Audi A6 Review
The Audi A6 is a large, comfortable saloon with a range of high-tech hybrid engines, but too many desirable features cost extra and it isn’t as much fun to drive as some alternatives.
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If you’re looking for a posh saloon car with plenty of high-tech features and one seriously spacious cabin, then the Audi A6 should be right at the top of your shopping list.
It’ll appeal if you’re looking for something that looks a bit sporty, too – especially the A6 S Line car. These add some more aggressive bumpers to the Audi A6’s already crease-ridden bodywork which helps them look more assertive than the swoopy Mercedes E-Class and the slightly unassuming BMW 5 Series.
Whichever Audi A6 you pick, you’ll get a super-posh interior that feels more like a swanky cocktail bar than the Mercedes E-Class’ country-club cabin. It’s packed with plush materials, stylish glossy trims and large infotainment displays, through which you’ll control the car’s standard sat-nav, smartphone mirroring and even the climate control systems. The latter looks far more futuristic than a set of old-fashioned button and knobs, but it can be a little tricky to use on the move.
You won’t have any trouble getting comfortable in the Audi A6’s cabin, though. There’s absolutely loads of space for tall drivers to stretch out and the seats and steering wheel get plenty of adjustment as standard.
The A6 comes with almost as much tech as the super-luxurious A8 but wraps it up in a more compact – and cheaper – package. What’s not to like?
Don’t think passengers in the back will feel left out – there’s more space for them to get comfy in the Audi A6 than in the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series and just as much space left over in the boot for all their luggage. If you need to carry anything more bulky than a few sets of golf clubs, then there’s always the A6 Avant to consider.
Even with the boot filled to bursting, the Audi A6’s standard suspension does a good job ironing out bumps and potholes. The stiffer sports suspension you get in S Line models is a little firmer, though not excessively so, but the most comfortable option is to pay extra for the air suspension system. This helps turn the Audi A6 into a super relaxing motorway cruiser.
The Audi’s diesel engines help it soak up long journeys with ease, too. There’s a punchy yet smooth 3-litre V6 and a more affordable 2-litre four-cylinder unit. There’ll soon be a petrol V6 too, if you fancy something faster and aren’t particularly concerned about fuel economy or how far you can drive between fill-ups.
Whichever engine you pick, you’ll want to pay extra for some of the Audi A6’s optional driver assistance packs. These include a system that’ll brake, accelerate and steer for you on motorways and a rear-wheel-steering feature that helps make this big car pretty manoeuvrable around town.
Sure, a big saloon will never slink through rush hour traffic like a compact hatchback, but at least the Audi A6’s light steering and standard-fit reversing camera helps take the stress out of parking.
If you’re happy to hand over a little extra cash, then, the Audi A6 makes an excellent large saloon car that’s easy to drive, fairly cheap to run and comes will all the latest high-tech kit to make it easier to live with.
See how much you can save on our Audi A6 deals page.
The A6 comes with spacious front seats, reasonably generous back seats and a boot that’s easy to load. Some alternatives come with more spacious load bays, however
The Audi A6’s front seats come with plenty of adjustment as standard to help you find your ideal seating position. There’s a decent amount of headroom – even if you’re very tall and like to sit with the seat raised up high – and there’s more than enough legroom for you to stretch out.
The seats themselves are pretty supportive, too, if not quite as cosseting as those you get in an E-Class, but they come with four-way electric lumbar adjustment to help prevent lower-back pain on long drives. It’s a shame you have to pay extra for electric seat-height adjustment, though.
It’s not just the front seats that are big enough for adults to get comfy – there’s room in the back for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver. Head, knee and shoulder room are all more generous than in the old Audi A6, so carrying three adults side-by-side is less cosy than in the Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series.
The taller Audi A6 Avant estate will be even better if you regularly carry adults in the back seats, but there’s still more than enough room in the standard Audi A6 for three kids to stretch out. There is quite a large lump in the floor that makes it slightly tricky for your middle passenger to climb in and out, however, but at least there’s space for everyone’s feet in the generous footwells under the front seats.
If it’s very small children you usually carry, you’ll be pleased to hear the Audi A6’s back doors open nice and wide so it’s pretty easy to lift in a bulky child seat. The standard Isofix anchor points are easy to locate behind removable plastic covers, too – just like in the E-Class and 5 Series – but the Audi A6’s relatively low roof means you do have to stoop down slightly to strap in a child.
You shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping the A6’s cabin looking neat and tidy. There’s space beside the gear lever to hide away a few small bits and bobs and there’s room in the glovebox for a small soft bag or a large 1.5-litre bottle of water.
All four door bins are also wide enough to carry a 1.5-litre bottle, and you get a couple of cupholders in the front to prevent scorching coffee spills on rough roads. Annoyingly, you only get cupholders in the back as part of the optional Storage Pack, which seems a bit cheeky.
The Audi A6 has 530 litres of bootspace – that’s just as roomy as the 5 Series and only 10-litres shy of the slightly more spacious E-Class. A few large suitcases or a set of golf clubs will fit with room to spare and the A6’s wide, square shape means it’s easier to load bulky items – such as a baby buggy – than in the (technically roomier) Mercedes.
The A6’s back seats fold down in a 60:40 split, but there’s a handy ski hatch to let you carry very long luggage and up to two passengers in the back at once. Fold all the back seats down, and you’ll have a long, flat loadbay that makes it a doddle to push heavy items right up behind the front seats.
There’s space to carry a bike with its wheels attached and you get a smattering of tether points to help keep everything securely tied down. A netted cubby on each side of the boot helps stop very small items rolling around, and you also get a few shopping hooks to keep your groceries safely upright on the move.
All A6s come with mild hybrid engines as standard to boost fuel economy, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want fancy driver assistance systems and super-comfy air suspension
The A6 might not feel as sporty as some other large saloons, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s very comfortable and impressively relaxing to drive
You can currently have the Audi A6 with two diesel engines – a four-cylinder 2.0-litre 40 TDI with 204hp and a 286PS six-cylinder 3.0-litre 50 TDI. Both come with mild hybrid systems to help make them slightly cheaper to run than conventional petrol and diesel alternatives.
The pick of the diesel units is the 40 model. It’s front-wheel drive and comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and is remarkably smooth and quiet for a four-cylinder diesel. It’s easily quick enough too, dispatching 0-60mph in less than 8.1 seconds and providing lots of mid-range punch for overtaking. Officially, it’ll manage up to 62.8mpg, but you can expect around 45mpg during mixed driving, which isn’t bad at all for such a large car.
The 50 model gets all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic as standard and is a little noisier at idle. Still, it’s quiet on the move and fast enough to blast past slow-moving traffic – it’ll accelerate from 0-60mph in less than 5.5 seconds – but still won’t cost the earth to run. Audi claims it’ll return around 51mpg, but you can expect to see a figure in the low forties.
If you fancy something a little faster, you should consider the 55 turbo petrol model, which will arrive after the diesels. This 340hp V6 produces 54hp more than the 50 TDI and will sprint from 0-60mph in close to 5 seconds. It’s slightly smoother when you accelerate hard, too, but isn’t quite as frugal – go easy on the accelerator and it’ll return around 35mpg, compared with Audi’s claimed 42mpg.
The Audi A6 doesn’t try to be a sporty saloon – instead, it’s a comfortable motorway cruiser that feels more therapeutic than thrilling. You won’t hear much wind or tyre noise at speed and the reasonably large windows mean you won’t have to crane your neck to check for oncoming traffic at junctions.
There are four suspension types possible. Both the standard suspension on Sport models and stiffer setup on S line cars does a good job ironing out potholes, but you’ll be better off without the stiffer springs on particularly pockmarked roads. There’s also an optional air suspension setup if you fancy a more wafty experience at high speeds, which has the added benefit of stopping the Audi A6’s body leaning in tight corners when you put everything in its Dynamic setting.
Around town, the Audi’s large size does make it feel a little daunting to drive, but there are plenty of optional extras designed to help you make light work of tight city streets. The rear-wheel steering option makes the A6 impressively manoeuvrable for a large saloon, while the optional 360-degree camera displays a 3D image of the A6 in its surroundings on the infotainment screen to help you avoid scratching your alloy wheels on tall kerbs.
There’s also a City Assist pack that comes with automatic emergency braking that’ll even work in reverse to help you avoid car park bumps and scrapes. Pay extra for the full-fat Driver Assistance system, and you get five cameras dotted around the A6 that monitor its surroundings and help it brake, accelerate and steer for you on motorways and well-marked single-lane roads.
These features don’t just make it very relaxing to drive, they also help make the A6 one of the safest large saloons on sale and a seriously stress-free car to travel in for long periods.
The Audi A6 comes with a flashy interior and slick touchscreens, but it’s not quite as intuitive to use as some alternatives and a digital driver’s display costs extra