Despite having been on sale since 2011, the current Audi A6 is still one of our favourite executive cars. Even in the face of fresh challenges from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Jaguar with the E-Class, 5 Series and XF respectively, the A6 remains a luxurious and refined way of getting around.
We've been impressed with its powerful yet efficient range of diesel engines, its quiet, continent-crossing cruising power and its well appointed interior. Despite a relatively high asking price of £32,995, the A6 is frugal when it comes to tax - something which will please company car buyers - and is affordable to run.
Here are 5 reasons to consider the Audi A6 when choosing your next car.
5 reasons to buy an Audi A6
5. Comfortable interior
It's easy to get comfortable in the driver's seat of the A6, and even entry-level cars get plenty of kit, including sat-nav, four-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors. Audi's MMI infotainment system is one of the best around, too.
4. Rear space
Two adults will be comfortable on the rear bench of the A6, and the car's boot is usefully large and practical - especially for a saloon. If you do need more space, then consider the estate version of the A6, which is called the Avant. You can find our full review of that car here.
3. Strong engines
Every engine in the A6 range feels capable, and indeed the high-powered versions provide blistering performance. For the best balance, though, we'd recommend the 2.0-litre TDI Ultra. This engine is smooth, quiet and has low CO2 emissions, which is helpful for both company car drivers and private buyers.
2. Quiet drive
Noise is one of the A6's strongest attributes. Most diesel-powered rivals struggle here, but there's very little clatter from the A6's engine bay, and even when pushed hard the engines sound smooth. This is one of the quietest executive cars money can buy.
1. Sporty S6
If you want luxury and thrills in the same package, then it's worth looking at the performance-oriented S6 model. It's more expensive than the standard car, with a price tag of £57,215, but it does come with a storming 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and four-wheel drive.
What about buying used?
The previous Audi A6 was on sale from 2004 until 2011, and like the current car earned a four-star rating on our road test. It's well equipped and superbly refined, and if you opt for one of the diesel engines you'll enjoy a smooth ride with low running costs.
As little as £1800 will get you an A6 saloon from this era, but for a low-mileage (sub-50,000) diesel example you'll be looking to spend closer to £6000. For that price you'll get our recomended 138bhp 2.0-litre TDI, but if you're on the lookout for petrol models then the 165bhp 2.0-litre option is the one to go for. You can pick up a decent example for around £9000.
Running costs should be competitive with other cars of this type. Our recommended 2.0-litre diesel returns 44.8mpg, while servicing costs can be kept in line by using an independent garage rather than a franchised Audi dealer. The bad news is that the high emissions on most A6 models keep taxes from being low. That said, the 2.0-litre TDIe model, which was introduced in 2008, emits just 139g/km and should return 53.3mpg.
Overall, the A6 has a good reputation for reliability, but watch out for air conditioning issues - usually accompanied by a bad odour - and eletrical gremlins.
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