For 2013, Audi has added a quattro variant of the 2.0T-powered A6. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this all-wheel-drive Bahn-burner will return up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The front-wheel-drive 2.0T-powered A6 makes do with a continuously-variable transmission, and is rated at 33 highway miles per gallon. The quattro-only A6 3.0T sacrifices a couple miles per gallon across the board to the 2.0T quattro, but its supercharged V6 churns out 310 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
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Inside, Audi brings its A-game. Walnut trim is standard fare in the sumptuous yet understated cabin, but ash, oak, and brushed aluminum are on offer. Delicate, sculpted-looking tweeters pop up from the corners of the dash when you fire up the radio. Ten speakers come standard, with 14-speaker Bose or 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound optional. Technologically advanced driver aids and infotainment have been critical components of Audi’s success in the 21st century, and the A6 has an array of standard and optional goodies. Audi connect and MMI, now with Google maps, are available. So are four corner-mounted parking cameras. Optional adaptive cruise control takes the strain out of rush-hour traffic.
Competitors include the Mercedes E-350, which has a larger trunk, a big V6, and rear-wheel drive performance, but is quite a bit more expensive and can’t match the front-drive A6 2.0T’s fuel efficiency; the BMW 5-series, which is closer in price, and also uses 4-cylinder power for the base model, but has 1.3 inches less rear legroom; the Lexus IS, with a whopping 6.8 inches less rear leg room but decidedly sportier styling and high-revving naturally aspirated V6 power for the base model; and the Chrysler 300C Luxury, an American luxury classic, with the new Pentastar V6 as standard that almost matches the base A6’s turbo four for highway fuel economy, and a new interior—but don’t expect Audi build quality or features.
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