With resurgent competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it might be easy to write off the long-in-the-tooth Audi A6. But don't tell Audi that, as the German brand has introduced a few small updates for 2018 designed to keep this executive sedan fresh until the next generation arrives.
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2018 Audi A6 Overview
What's New for 2018
Audi's MMI navigation and infotainment system and passive entry are standard on all the variants for 2018. The mid-range Premium Plus trim now gets LED headlights and ambient lighting, while the Prestige variant includes a surround-view camera.
Audi discontinued the A6's Competition trim, converting it into a $3,000 package for V6-powered models. The pack includes black side-view mirror housings, red brake calipers, 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension and differential, a different steering-wheel design, and a black headliner.
Choosing Your Audi A6
The entry-level A6 continues with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic gearbox sends the power to the front wheels. The Quattro all-wheel drive system, with an eight-speed automatic transmission, is an optional (and recommended) feature. Fuel economy is 25 miles per gallon in city, 34 highway, 28 mpg combined for FWD model and 22/31/26 mpg for AWD.
For more performance, customers can opt for a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 engine that makes 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, allowing the A6 to hit 60 in just over five seconds. The eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. Look for an EPA-estimated 20 miles per gallon city, 29 highway, and 23 mpg combined.
The entry-level A6 is well-equipped and our ideal pick as long you don’t mind the 2.0-liter engine. While the features on the Premium Plus and Prestige trims are appealing, the reality is that the price is too good to ignore. Plan on adding extra for Quattro all-wheel drive, especially if you regularly drive in the snow and ice.
2018 Audi A6 Review
Eight years into its fourth generation, the 2018 Audi A6 remains a solid contender in the luxury mid-size class. But its sleek design, intelligent interior, and good powertrain options are offset by a top trim that competes with the slicker A7, a tight back seat, and the lack of a hybrid model.
2018 Audi A6 models range in price from $50,675 for one with front-wheel drive in Premium trim and can top out at over $71,000 for a fully-optioned Prestige quattro (all-wheel-drive) model. While the Prestige is equipped with a 340-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6; a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is standard on all other trims. We'd forego the $4,600 premium for the V6, but pick the quattro drivetrain for all-season peace of mind and opt for the Premium Plus trim with its access to advanced safety features.
In addition to the Premium model's navigation system, active park assist, rearview camera, and 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the Premium Plus adds full LED headlights, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, blind-spot monitoring, rear collision mitigation, four-zone automatic climate control, and a Bose sound system.
- Model: 2018 Audi A6 Premium Plus quattro
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 252 hp / 273 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 22 City / 31 Hwy
- Options: Tornado Gray Metallic ($575), Cold weather package ($500, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel), Driver assistance package ($2,000, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams), Rear Side Airbags ($350).
- Base Price: $55,075 (including a $975 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$58,500
Both the turbocharged four-cylinder and supercharged V6 engines offer plenty of power. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic found on front-wheel-drive models is a big improvement over the previous CVT, while the eight-speed automatic found on quattro models is adept at finding, holding, and swapping gears with ease.
Although the ride is smooth, competitors have caught up with – and, in many cases surpassed – the A6 in this department. At the same time, handling is solid but it lacks the feedback found in the sportier and more powerful S6 model. The A6's powertrain choices, though good, don't include a hybrid.
The A6's subtle, handsome exterior has aged well despite receiving only a single refresh in eight years. Inside, an understated color palette, an elegant low dash, and a pop-up touchscreen keep it from looking too fussy.
At the same time, three adults will find accommodations tight in back, while the A6 looks dated alongside the newer A4 and its sexy alter-ego, the A7, comes with a hefty price premium.
The Best and Worst Things
The A6's combination of conservative good looks and variety of drivetrain choices make it a solid competitor in the mid-size luxury class. At the same time, it faces competition from newer models with more expressive designs and better ride and handling characteristics.
Right For? Wrong For?
The A6 is a great choice for luxury-minded families thanks to its 98 cubic feet of passenger volume, 16 cubic feet of trunk space, wide range of available active safety features, and the option of all-wheel drive.
Despite a range of engine and drivetrain choices, the A6 isn't available as a hybrid. Eco-friendly buyers need not apply.
The Bottom Line
Despite its conservative design and tight rear accommodations, the 2018 Audi A6 is a solid choice in the mid-size luxury class thanks to its smooth ride, elegant interior, and solid engine and drivetrain options.
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