The exterior of a red Audi A6

Audi A6 review

The Audi A6 is one of the plushest cars on the market with a minimalist interior, beautiful materials and up-to-date tech. It's nippy but efficient, offering a fun drive without high running costs.

Pros

  • Excellent level of comfort
  • Fabulous interior with great design and high-quality materials
  • Huge boot space in both the saloon and estate models

Cons

  • It’s not as much fun to drive as rivals
  • Pre-2018 models don’t have the most up-to-date technology
  • The performance versions can be uncomfortable

Summary

“The A6 is all about providing the highest level of comfort.”

Packaged in a stylish design, the A6 has lots of equipment and more than enough interior and boot space. It’s well built, very safe and won’t let you down. It’s also excellent over long journeys with a good driving position and all of the controls at your fingertips.

There’s a reasonably capable off-road Allroad version, as well as an incredibly fast RS6 and an estate version called the Avant. There’s also the Ultra which provides better efficiency. All options are extremely comfortable and exude an executive feel. 

The previous, fourth-generation A6 was updated in 2014 which saw styling improvements and more technology. The latest generation, launched in 2018, looks even sharper. So there’s plenty to choose from depending on your needs.

Grille shot of the Audi A6

What's the interior like?

“The minimalist design makes it feel spacious and upmarket, but some competitors have better tech.”

The A6 has a simple interior design that creates a clean and uncluttered feel. It also makes things feel even more spacious. There’s an executive vibe and the quality of materials is excellent.

It has a very wide centre console containing Audi’s MMI (multimedia interface), which can access everything from the stereo to the sat nav. This can be controlled using touchscreen or the infotainment control dial which sits by the gearstick. You can also control many everyday features using the buttons on the steering wheel. You can also access a range of information in the digital speedometer or the infotainment screen, such as the climate controls and the stereo.

Rear seat shot of the Audi A6

What's it like to drive?

“Fantastic over long distances, the A6 provides a relaxed drive wherever you go.”

The A6 is about comfort and luxury, providing a relaxed drive whether you’re stuck in town traffic or heading into the country. Great for long-distance driving, it’s remarkably quiet, even in the diesels. 

Both petrol and diesel engines are responsive and economical. If you’re after higher performance, then the sporty S6 and mighty RS6 Avant are pretty nippy options. 

Unlike its rivals, most A6 models are front-wheel drive, although some have Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive which makes it good in poor weather or on poor road surfaces. All the diesels are responsive providing decent performance and economy. The 2.0 TDi has proved to be a popular choice. 

The latest generation, launched in 2018, has mild hybrid technology which means it offers slightly better acceleration and efficiency.

 

The rear exterior of a red Audi A6

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The diesels provide the best economy, particularly if you travel longer distances.”

The A6 depreciates significantly from new, so you can often find a great deal on a used one. Many of the lower-spec 2.0 TDi Ultra models may have higher mileages which can bring the price down further.

Running costs are good, mainly for the diesels, while insurance and road tax costs are similar to its executive rivals. More powerful versions are going to cost you more.

If you’re buying an A6 outside of its warranty, then it’s worth looking at Audi’s fixed servicing costs which can be reasonable.

The rear exterior of a red Audi A6

How reliable and safe is it?

“High levels of safety and decent reliability.”

The A6 is about average on reliability scores, with the only real issues being with some rattling interior trim parts and the occasional issue with the infotainment system.

It has a full five-star Euro NCAP rating and loads of safety items. Many versions will have driver assistance systems, such as active cruise control, which is useful if you do a lot of motorway driving.

Engine shot of the Audi A6

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.0 TDi Ultra

Best for family - 2.0 TDi Avant (estate)

Best for fun - RS6 Avant (estate)

The 2.0 TDi diesel or TFSI petrol engines will be perfect for most, but if you’re really interested in performance the 3.0 TDi is worth looking at.

The SE spec has lots of kit, but look at S spec cars as many will have extras fitted from new. The S-Line does give you better styling but can compromise the A6’s great ride comfort because of its larger alloy wheels.

The Avant is one of the best estates on the road, offering style along with loads of interior space and flexibility.

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