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
The Audi A6’s interior does a great job of mimicking the much more expensive A8. You get a similar dual-screen infotainment system as standard and plenty of equally plush-looking glossy plastics, brushed metal trims and pin-sharp stitching on the dashboard, seats and doors.
Give the dashboard a good hard prod – as if you aimed for the infotainment touchscreen and missed – and it’ll bend and flex more than in the range-topping A8. That being said, it doesn’t feel any cheaper inside than the likes of the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class.
The minimalist design certainly helps it stand out. Sure, it doesn’t feel as sporty as the BMW, and can’t match the elegant design of the E-Class, but the touchscreen climate controls look and feel much more futuristic. They’re a doddle to use when you’re parked – thanks to haptic feedback that makes the whole screen click like a laptop touchpad – but the physical dials you get in a BMW and Mercedes are much easier to quickly tweak when you’re driving.
The A6’s optional extras are very moreish, but liable to bankrupt you…
When it comes to the sheer number of infotainment screens, the A6 leaves the 5 Series and E-Class well and truly in its wake. Even entry-level cars come with two screens on the dashboard and centre console that replace conventional physical buttons. You get an 8.8-inch screen at the top as standard, which can be upgraded to 10.1 inches as an option. The bottom screen measures 8.6 inches in every A6.
Through the upper display, you’ll control the standard satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring functions using Audi’s slick MMI interface. This comes with bright, bold menus that are dead easy to read and much easier to navigate through than in an E-Class. Only the lack of a physical rotary dial to help you scroll through settings when you’re driving (like you get in a 5 Series) lets it down.
Helping the A6 claw back some points, however, is the high-resolution Virtual Cockpit system. This optional 12.3-inch display comes as part of the £1,500 Technology Pack and replaces conventional analogue dials with a high-resolution screen that you can configure using buttons on the steering wheel. This’ll let you choose from colourful widescreen maps, a set of digital dials or a combination of the two to make it especially easy to follow sat-nav directions.
Speaking of sat-nav, the Audi’s built-in system is easy to program and delivers concise, easy-to-follow directions. If you prefer to use your phone’s navigation apps instead, you can use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to beam your phone’s display onto the A6’s built-in screens as standard.
These smartphone mirroring features also let you play music from streaming services such as Spotify through the car’s stereo – a reasonably punchy system that’s easily loud enough to embarrass kids on the school run. For sheer ear-popping volume, however, you’ll want to upgrade to the optional Bang & Olufsen system that comes as part of the Comfort and Sound pack.