Audi's A6 is a first-class all-around luxury sedan, combining prodigious over-the-road capability with plenty of modern safety and convenience technology and an interior that defines cool elegance.

Pricing and Equipment

The A6 can be had with one of three different powerplants -- a turbocharged inline-four, a supercharged V6, and a turbodiesel V6 -- spread across three progressively tech-heavy trim levels.

The turbo four-cylinder is available in Premium or Premium Plus dress and can be had with either front-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox or Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. Selecting one of the V6s mandates the Quattro/automatic driveline and allows you to choose between Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.

Pricing starts at $46,200 for a front-drive A6 in Premium trim and can close in on $80,000 for an A6 Prestige with Driver Assistance (top and corner-view cameras, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control), the Individual Contour Seating package, and a reality-distorting $4,900 Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Our preferred setup would probably be an A6 Premium Plus with either of the V6 engines and a few well-chosen options like the S line sport package, which would end up with a sticker price near $62,000 or so.

Performance Pros

Audi A6 Front Quarter
  • We love the way the A6 feels while on the move, whether on Interstates or twisting two-lanes. It is controlled, stable, well-damped and supremely confident.
  • It will move swiftly and securely in any conditions short of a flood.
  • The front-drive four-cylinder loses last year's dull continuously variable transmission (CVT) in favor of a dual-clutch semiautomatic gearbox that feels much more mechanically direct and responsive.
  • The diesel V6 combines impressive muscle (428 pound-feet of torque) with impressive fuel economy: an estimated 38 miles per gallon on the highway.

Performance Cons

The A6's considerable mass, the Quattro system and the car's nose-heavy balance mean that the driving feel is more secure and composed than edgy and focused. It's certainly not a vintage Cadillac, but neither is it really a vintage BMW. We understand compromises; this is less of a "con" than an engineering tradeoff.

Interior Pros

Audi A6 Interior
  • The A6's interior is simply one of the finest in the industry. It manages to be both a serious driver's environment and a master class in tasteful design and high-quality materials.
  • The seats are all-day comfortable.

Interior Cons

  • We think MMI is one of the better and more comprehensive infotainment systems in the industry, but it will still take a good bit of study and practice to use its capabilities efficiently.
  • Rear seat room is adequate but not excessive.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The market for diesels remains a smallish cult movement in the United States, but it is hugely gratifying to see Audi make its excellent high-efficiency high-torque oil-burner available in the A6 for those who understand.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

This is not much of a surprise, but once again Audi has decided against offering the lovely A6 Avant station wagon in the crossover-obsessed United States.

The Bottom Line

Audi A6 Side

The diesel is worth serious consideration especially if you travel long distances. The Prestige trim level might be a bit too much, although its features are impressive. Regardless of spec, the A6 is a magnificent machine -- possibly the best midsize luxury sedan on the market.