Even the standard driver’s seat of SE models provides good side support, although it’s disappointing that electric lumbar adjustment is an optional extra. S line, Black Edition and S6 versions get sports seats of a more figure-hugging design, along with lumbar support adjustment. Whichever A6 you go for, there’s plenty of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel, so most drivers will be able to get comfortable.
Unlike in a BMW 5 Series, the Audi’s pedals line up with the driver’s seat pretty well, even on manual models, so you won’t have to sit at an awkward angle.
It’s a shame that some of the controls aren’t easier to use. Compared with the best models in the class, the A6’s dashboard and centre console have too many similar-looking buttons, making it difficult to pick the one you want quickly while driving.
Seeing forwards out of an A6 is easy thanks to its tall, wide windscreen and relatively thin front pillars. It makes placing the car when parking or threading it through busy urban traffic that bit easier, too. The front side windows are similarly well proportioned.
Your over-the-shoulder view isn’t quite as good due to the A6’s thick rear pillars, although visibility is no worse than in rivals such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. In any case, you needn’t worry too much, because front and rear parking sensors are standard on every A6 to help guide you into tight parking spots. If that’s not enough, rear or all-round cameras are available as optional extras, as is a self-parking system.
Every A6 comes with Audi’s impressive MMI system, which is similar to the class-leading iDrive set-up in BMW’s 5 Series in that it consists of a central screen controlled by a dial between the front seats. The standard screen size is 6.5in, but you can pay extra to upgrade to an 8in display and an MMI rotary controller that can be ‘drawn’ on with your finger to enter letters and numbers.
Where it’s slightly behind the BMW’s system is ease of use. The MMI’s graphics aren’t as crisp, while the BMW’s scrolling menu layout is favourable to the Audi’s hot-corner set-up, which takes longer to get used to. Even so, it’s still one of the most usable systems on the market, even if it's starting to look a little old now.
Audi has got cabin quality well and truly sorted. That’s clear from its small cars such as the A1 and A3, but the interior of the A6 is something really special. 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.
Bargain small estate offers plenty of room, but refinement and...