The A6 has a beautiful interior design -- the wood trim used inside (layered walnut if you’re curious) looks and feels high-class; you get very comfortable leather; plus roomy back seat for a mid-size sedan. Exterior is also sharp as usual, with the Audi rings and grille up front, and a low profile that makes it look fast even before you get in. This vehicle screams class, both from a distance and up close. The S Line exterior design has been applied to all variants of the A6 for the 2017 model year.
18-inch wheels are standard, and an optional Sport package lets you upgrade to 19-inch Audi Sport 10-spoke wheels, all-season tires, and a sport suspension.
You get a power sunroof, xenon-plus headlights and LED taillights, and rear-view camera to help with parking and backing out.
My test vehicle had a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine; and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Output was 252 horsepower (though it seems like much more) … and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. You can also upgrade to a 3.0 -liter supercharged V6 engine (333 hp) or go all out with a 4.0-liter V8 turbo (450 hp). I had the low end of the spectrum and was very pleased with performance, so upgrading will only improve the experience.
In terms of overall ride quality, the A6 is one of the smoothest vehicles you’ll ever drive, and when you want power, put it in Dynamic mode and you’re off to the races. 0 to 60 time was roughly 6 seconds, and that will decrease on the more powerful engines, so be careful where you are when pushing it to the limit. If you ever make it out to a racetrack, the top speed is listed at 130 mph (not that you should test that of course … just letting you know).
Guiding yourself through traffic effortlessly is the standard experience with the A6, and it’s one that will make you want to drive the car as much as possible. It’s truly at home on a windy open road, far from the stop-and-go traffic of most cities. My test vehicle was a quattro (AWD) model, but you can also get the A6 in FWD if that’s not something you require.
You can’t do any better in the area of safety rankings than the 2017 A6 did -- Five stars overall and five stars across the board (driver and passenger frontal crash, front and rear seat side crash, and rollover). That’s a feat not accomplished by many vehicles.
This result is achieved by a comprehensive airbag system, side impact protection, front and rear body crumple zones, seat belts with automatic pretensioning, and LATCH system for children in rear.
Overall, the infotainment system is designed well and easy to use, with a dial setup in the middle that doesn’t take long to get used to and offers a ton of information and settings options.
Driver Assistance package is offered and includes: active lane assist adaptive cruise control, Audi pre sense plus, high beam assistant and top view camera system with distance sensors.
The Premium Plus package features including: Audi MMI Navigation; Audi Connect with online services (6-month subscription included); Audi advanced key; Auto-dimming, heated, power-folding exterior mirrors, Audi side assist, Audi pre sense rear, Audi music interface with USB inputs, Audi smartphone interface, Power adjustable column w/ memory, Four-zone automatic climate control, and a BOSE Surround Sound audio system.
Some A6 trim levels also offer a helpful head-up display to display info in front of the driver, but I didn’t have the feature on my test vehicle. Another interesting option on some vehicles is the night vision assistant with pedestrian and animal detection warning, which can look ahead up to 1,000 feet and detect anything in your path.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the A6 are 22 city/31 highway/25 combined. I was pushing the vehicle a bit more and not exactly aiming for fuel mileage records, so my average was closer to 20 mpg, but if I had been a bit more laid-back in my driving I probably would’ve been a few mpg higher.
Compared to its main competitors (Cadillac CTS, Mercedes Benz E-Class, BMW 5-series), these are very competitive fuel mileage numbers and you’ll go far with each fill-up.
My test vehicle came in at $56,875; base price starts just under $48K. A fully decked out A6 will run you close to $70K. This is in the general price range of all the key competitors in this luxury segment.
Warranty is 4 year/50,000 miles overall, you get a 12-year warranty against corrosion perforation, first scheduled maintenance free, and four-year roadside assistance coverage.
Show me an owner of an Audi A6 who’s dissatisfied with their driving experience, and I’ll show you a liar.
You’re not likely to find many luxury sedans more well-designed and fun to drive than the A6. The only thing some competitors might have on the A6 is a slight price break or some slightly better technology, but the differences are minor. And in this category of high-end sedans, it really comes down to feel and preference for the buyer, and maybe brand loyalty. I’ve got nothing against BMW or Benz or Cadillac, who all make fine vehicles, but anyone who drives the A6 first will have a high bar set when they do their comparison testing.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.