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- Highs Athletic handling, stylish looks, long list of standard and optional features.
- Lows So-so trunk space, desirable all-wheel drive ups the cost, a bit long in the tooth.
- Verdict The Audi A6 is a good-handling, comfortable, luxury sedan with snazzy looks, an upscale interior, spirited performance, and a long list of features.
This generation of the Audi A6 is getting to the end of its production life, but it continues to be one of the easiest recommendations we make to family and friends searching for a nice, competent luxury sedan. It’s set to be replaced by an all-new 2019 model soon, but that didn’t stop us from including the current model on our Editors’ Choice list for 2018. Its agile handling, snazzy looks, comfortable cabin, and long list of features amount to a well-rounded package that’s undeniably appealing. The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder provides plenty of gumption, and the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gives the A6 legs. Front-wheel drive is standard, but we’d recommend the all-wheel-drive model, which features Audi’s legendary Quattro brand name and all-season stability. It’s rare that a car at the tail end of its product cycle remains this competitive. Simply put, the next-generation A6 will be challenged to be as impressive as the current model.
What's New for 2018?
The slightly more powerful (340 horsepower versus 333) version of the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 from last year’s Competition model is now standard on any A6 wearing the 3.0T badge on its trunk lid. The base Premium trim gains navigation and a proximity key. A new Sport trim joins the lineup and can be had with either the turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder or the V-6. Choosing the Sport trim adds 19-inch wheels, black exterior and interior trim, and a sport suspension with a ride height that is slightly lower than the standard A6. The midrange Premium Plus trim is slightly updated with LED interior lighting and headlamps; the top-spec Prestige model now comes with a 360-degree exterior-camera system as standard. Instead of a standalone Competition model, Audi is now offering a Competition package on V-6–powered Premium Plus and Prestige trims, which includes red brake calipers, black mirror caps, 20-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport suspension, and a reworked Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Inside, the Competition package adds sport seats with diamond stitching, brushed-aluminum trim, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles
- Premium: $50,675
- Sport: $52,175
- Premium Plus: $52,875
- Prestige: $62,375
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
With its base four-cylinder power, the A6 is a quiet, practical, and efficient luxury car. With the supercharged V-6 under the hood, it’s a sleeper sedan capable of sports-car-like acceleration. Buyers get a choice of a 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Front-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic are standard with the four-cylinder, and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is available as an option, paired with an eight-speed automatic. All V-6–powered models come with all-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 is genuinely quick. Nail the throttle, and the supercharged A6 leaps forward with nary a chirp of the tires. But that extra performance costs: Opting for the V-6 over the turbo four will empty your piggy bank of an additional $7000. A sport suspension, once available only with the supercharged V-6, is now available with the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four via the new Sport trim level. The A6 is a quietly athletic car. Its suspension keeps body roll in check easily in high-speed corners, but its steering wheel broadcasts precious little information from the front wheels. Still, the A6, especially with Quattro all-wheel drive, is predictable and easy to drive quickly on twisty stretches of road. When driven sedately, the A6 coddles its passengers with a ride that even our scarred, winter-beaten Michigan roads can’t perturb.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the "Compare Side-by-Side" tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Despite not having been updated since the 2012 model year, the A6’s cabin doesn’t shortchange you in the luxury-car experience. Outward visibility is great, too, which makes piloting the large sedan easier. The new-for-2018 Sport trim slots in above the base Premium model and sports gloss-black interior trim in addition to its many exterior appearance items. Last year’s Competition model is dead, and in its place is the Competition package, which is available on Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The Competition package dresses up the interior with quilted-leather seating surfaces, brushed-aluminum trim, and a sport steering wheel with a flat bottom. Premium Plus models now come with LED interior lighting as standard. In the world of mid-size luxury sedans, the offerings are evenly matched when it comes to cargo accommodation. When you fold down the A6’s rear seats, suitcase space increases substantially. But the A6’s trunk space is only average for its class. Those requiring maximum space should look closely at the all-new BMW 5-Series, which offers a five-cubic-foot advantage—although, surprisingly, it cannot handle more carry-on bags than the Audi.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Intuitive and quick to respond, Audi’s MMI infotainment system is one of our favorites. Plus, it’s got a trick feature that makes it seem more expensive than it is: a disappearing screen. The sole change in the A6’s infotainment offerings is that navigation is now standard on all models. The interface is elegant in its simplicity and is controlled by a rotary knob located within easy reach of the driver and front-seat passenger on the center console. The screen powers itself down and into the dashboard when the ignition is switched off or at the touch of a button. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both welcome standard features.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
For more information about the Audi A6’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.