Audi A6 Saloon full 9 point review
The most basic engine is a 2.0-litre diesel, but even that gives a decent turn of pace. As you step up the engine range, you're struck not just by the stronger performance, but also by how effortless that performance becomes. The 3.0-litre bi-turbo TDI barely needs to be revved to keep up with traffic – but when you do, it's astonishingly quick.
Ride & Handling
Being lighter than most rivals helps the A6 to feel reasonably nimble for such a big car. The standard suspension gives a decent balance of comfort and control, so we'd question the need for the optional air suspension system. Versions with sportier suspension and bigger wheels have an overly firm ride. The steering is light and undemanding, but not especially communicative. As you'd expect, four-wheel-drive versions provide excellent traction.
The 2.0-litre diesel 'Ultra' engine is one of the most refined four-cylinder diesels money can buy; it's smooth and supremely quiet when cruising, and doesn't have the background rumble of the six-cylinder diesels. There's virtually no engine vibration through the steering wheel or gearlever, either. There's a bit of wind noise, and a small amount of suspension thud over sharp bumps, but on the whole the A6 is a wonderfully hushed car.
Buying & Owning
Every version is impressively efficient and economical compared with rivals, and generous standard kit means the A6 is good value for money. Resale values are also strong, which helps make the A6 a comparatively cheap car to run, especially in 2.0-litre diesel Ultra form.
Quality & Reliability
The A6 more than lives up to Audi's reputation for excellent cabin quality. The materials, build quality and attention to detail are faultless throughout, and the overall ambience isn't far off that of Audi's pricier A8 luxury saloon. Sadly, quality doesn't equal dependability: the A6 scored badly for reliability in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
As you'd expect, the A6 is brimming with the latest safety kit, including six airbags and a stability control system. The result was a maximum five-star rating when Euro NCAP crash-tested the car. Optional extras include rear side airbags and a system that steers you back on course if you start to wander from your lane on the motorway. An alarm is fitted to help fend off thieves.
Behind The Wheel
There's plenty of adjustment for the supportive driver's seat and the steering wheel. The upper dashboard is refreshingly clutter-free, too, but there are a lot of similar-looking switches clustered around the MMI controller by the gearlever, which tends to divert your eyes from the road all too often.
Space & Practicality
It's unlikely that A6 buyers will wish their car had more space. There's vast amounts of head- and legroom for those in the front and rear seats, and the cabin has an airy feel overall. The boot holds slightly more luggage than that of a BMW 5 Series can, and there are split/folding rear seatbacks as standard to boost practicality.
Every A6 comes loaded with kit. SE trim includes satellite-navigation, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, and front and rear parking sensors. There's a hefty premium for S line trim, which adds extras such as lowered, stiffened suspension, larger alloys, sports seats, bespoke front and rear bumpers, xenon headlights and LED rear lights. Options include massaging front seats, TV reception, a head-up display and all-LED headlights.