Audi A6 saloon driving position
As with the BMW 5 Series, the A6's pedals are a little offset to the right, but unlike its BMW counterpart, you get electric lumbar adjustment as standard and a fully electrically adjustable driver’s seat. That gives you loads of tweaking capability, which, combined with generous steering wheel rake and reach adjustment, means you should have no issues getting comfortable before a trip. Even after a long motorway drive, you shouldn't have any twinges, although a brisk back-route blast might have you wishing for a tad more side support during cornering.
As standard, you get clear analogue dials, but add the Technology Pack and these get upgraded to digital dials on a 12.3in screen. They're excellent, doing more than analogue dials by being highly configurable and able to show lots of useful information just below your sightline. In fact, they make the optional head-up display a worthwhile extra but not one that's an absolute must.
Including the infotainment screen (which you can read about below), the A6 has the potential for up to three digital displays, because you get another 8.6in touchscreen for its climate controls. This features haptic feedback when you press an icon, but other than looking good, what’s the advantage over regular physical buttons? None, as far as we can see; you’re only disadvantaged, because unlike physical buttons, you can’t feel the position of screen icons, forcing you to take your eyes off the road to find them. Clearly, that’s got the potential to be less safe.
Audi A6 saloon visibility
You won’t struggle to see out of the A6. Its front pillars are thinner than many of its rivals', while the large rear quarter windows really open up your over-the-shoulder vision. The 5 Series is also pretty good in this respect, but the E-Class's thicker rear pillars cause you more trouble when reverse parking.
To make matters even easier, all A6s get front and rear parking sensors as standard, as well as a rear-view parking camera. You also get LED headlights as standard, and in S line trim they are clever adaptive units that can keep the main beams on without dazzling oncoming cars.
Audi A6 saloon infotainment
Audi’s latest generation of infotainment system swaps a rotary controller (like BMW’s iDrive) for a touchscreen with haptic feedback. It’s a retrograde step. For a start, the touchscreen diverts attention from the road more than using a physical wheel to scroll through menus. The menus themselves are also less intuitive than the 5 Series', which take little time to learn. On the plus side, the screen is sharp. As standard it's 8.8in in size, but if you add the Technology Pack, the upgrades include a larger 10.1in screen.
Standard functionality includes sat-nav with live traffic information and a 10GB flash memory for music storage, while the Technology Pack upgrades also include wireless charging, 3D mapping and Google Earth, along with natural voice recognition software.
We were impressed by the standard 10-speaker hi-fi, which sounds clear and punchy, but for music lovers there are two options: a reasonably priced Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 730 watts and 16 speakers, or a 19-speaker, 1920-watt Bang & Olufsen system that costs as much as some city cars.
Audi A6 saloon build quality
The A6 has a cleanly designed interior with a tremendously high level of build quality, so everything you touch feels like it'll last. The materials used look extremely high-end as well, with plush plastics mixing with lots of real aluminium trim highlights, which you can swap to fine-grain ash wood for an extra charge. You can also have the entire interior wrapped in leather, should your budget stretch. At night, ambient lighting adds to the car's crisp, modern look.
Our only slight criticism, which is more of a subjective one, perhaps, is that the interior is a little short on character next to what some would argue is the swisher-looking interior of the Mercedes E-Class.