2011 A6 Interior vs. E Class

by Jason Dybas

    As with all luxury vehicles, the 2011 Audi A6 and 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class have plush interiors and offer a wide range of standard and optional amenities. Audi offered the A6 as a sedan or wagon, known as the Avant, and had three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Along with a list of individual options, Mercedes-Benz offered two option packages that affected the interior of its E350 and E550 models: Premium 1 and Premium 2. Although E350 models also had sedan and wagon body styles, there was no wagon option for the E550.

    The A6 sedan and A6 Avant share the same interior dimensions with the exception of the cargo volume, as reported by kbb.com. Each has 37.5 inches of headroom in the front and 37.8 inches in the rear. Legroom up front measures 41.3 inches and rear legroom measured 36.9 inches. As for shoulder room, front passengers have 57.1 inches while passengers in the back have 55.9 inches. When it comes to cargo volume, the Avant wagon more than doubles the 15.9 cubic feet available in the trunk of the A6 sedan to 33.9 cubic feet. And according to Audi's media information, when you fold the Avant's rear seats down, the useable cargo area nearly doubles again to almost 64 cubic feet.

    With identical dimensions on the inside, the E350 and E550 sedans offer about 38 inches of front and rear headroom, 41.3 inches of front legroom and 35.8 inches of legroom in the rear, according to kbb.com. Shoulder room measures 57.8 inches in the front and one inch less in the back. Trunk space in either sedan is identical to the Audi A6 at 15.9 cubic feet. The E350 wagon differs from its sedan counterpart only in terms of rear headroom and rear cargo space. Rear passengers enjoy an extra 1 1/2 inches of headroom over the sedan and the wagon offers 29.0 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down and you have 57.4 cubic feet of total cargo space in the back, says Joe Lorio of automobilemag.com.

    As for interior features, Audi didn't offer individual options in its A6 models. Instead, each of the three trim levels acted as an option package. All A6 models came standard with what Audi called its Premium package. The base-level Premium package offered a number of standard amenities such as, six-disc CD changer, GPS navigation, eight-way power front seats with heated leather, leather-wrapped steering wheel, HomeLink garage door opener, walnut wood trim and Bluetooth hands-free capability. The Premium Plus package included Premium features along with automatic memory for the driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in compass and rear parking sensors. The high-end Prestige package came with a Bose sound system, power adjustable steering wheel, voice-activated navigation and a back-up camera in conjunction with the rear parking sensors, along with all features from the Premium Plus package.

    E-Class models came standard with 14-way power adjustable front seats with memory, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, burl walnut trim, a six-disc CD changer, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, hands-free Bluetooth technology and an integrated three-button garage door opener. Individual options included a parking guidance system, heated seats, an upgraded driver's seat with massage and a rear seat entertainment system. Leather upholstery was optional on the E350, but standard on the E550. The Premium 1 and Premium 2 packages offered a hard-drive-based navigation system, HD digital radio with digital surround sound, a rear-view camera and power rear sunshade, as listed on mbusa.com.

    Neither. Both models have plenty of the features and amenities you might expect from a luxury vehicle. These cars are very similar in almost every way. However, if you're looking for a wagon, the A6 holds a significant advantage in the way of cargo space. And Audi did it without sacrificing legroom for passengers in the rear. On the other hand, the A6's interior was only affected by its respective trim level. And since Mercedes-Benz offered a number of individual options across the board, it may be easier to find an E-Class vehicle that suits your particular needs.

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