What's the used Audi A6 saloon like?
The Audi A6 has always been a stylish and luxurious executive car, and this 2011 version does not buck that trend. Moreover, it substantially improves on previous models by being lighter and therefore better to drive and to ride in, plus it's more efficient and easier on the pocket, too.
Most A6s can be found with a 2.0-litre diesel engine in either 175bhp or revised 187bhp Ultra form from 2014 onwards. There are also multiple versions of a six-cylinder 3.0 TDI: 201bhp and 242bhp guises (later uprated to 215bhp and 268bhp) and 309bhp and 316bhp twin-turbo BiTDI forms.
Used examples that are powered by petrol are a bit thin on the ground; this generation of A6 heralds from a time when buyers were encouraged to choose diesel power for its lower CO2 emissions. They are out there, though; on the sensible side, there are the 187bhp 1.8 and 248bhp 2.0-litre engines, followed by a short-lived 208bhp 2.0-litre hybrid model and 296bhp 3.0-litre V6. On the not so sensible front, you could get three 4.0-litre V8-powered models in 444bhp S6, 552bhp RS6 and 597bhp RS6 Performance forms.
Entry-level SE models come with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, 17in alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers all as standard. From the 2014 onwards, the headlights were upgraded to brighter Xenon alternatives.
S line adds larger 18in wheels, sportier looks inside and out, sports suspension and upgraded leather. From 2012, a premium Bose sound system and a DAB radio became standard fitment, while further enhancements in 2014 brought four-zone climate control, LED front and rear lights with dynamic indicators. Black Edition models replace all exterior brightwork with black trim.
Under the sleek looks, the A6 is unusual in this class in being front-wheel drive, whereas its most obvious rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar are all rear-wheel drive. There are some who would see this as a potential sticking point; many say that rear-wheel-drive cars are more fun to drive.
The A6 offers the option of four-wheel drive (called quattro), though, and the truth is that, in everyday motoring, even the front-wheel-drive models are safe and secure and can be driven in difficult road conditions without any qualms. It may not set your hair on fire, even with its more powerful engines under the bonnet, but the A6 has plenty of grip, great balance and noticeably good poise.
The ride is better than that of Audi models of old; it's excellent almost all of the time. However, the four-wheel-drive S line models can fidget and thump occasionally at low speeds.
Inside is a good driving position with plenty of adjustment and space in the back for two, although a high central floor hump restricts leg room for the middle passenger, even in the front-wheel-drive models. However, the boot is large, and has a standard split-folding rear bench if you need to load longer items.
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