Large saloon is a popular company car but lags behind rivals
- Plush cabin
- Long list of safety kit
- Not as fun to drive as rivals
- Vague steering
- Smaller boot than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The latest generation of the Audi A6 is sticking to the design formula of the other models in the German maker's range. Therefore it’s similar to the A4 and the A8 and although it's not ugly, it’s not going to wow you as a design classic.
Audi A6 boasts a plush cabin
If there is one area where Audi excels, it is the quality of its cabins, and the A6 saloon is no exception.
Every fitting, fixture, button and switch you come into contact with has a pleasing weight and action that leaves you feeling you have spent your money on a car that will last and last.
The A6’s cabin is also well insulated and the seats are very comfortable.
Drive misses out on fun
The Audi A6 has made great strides in the way it drives compared to previous generations. The only fly in the ointment is so have all of the A6’s rivals, which include the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class – a more fearsome and capable set of rivals.
The good bit is the A6 rides well, albeit slightly on the firm side, and is suitably hushed at all speeds.
Where the A6 cannot get on terms with the BMW and Jaguar is the feeling of precision in its handling and steering. For some, this will be of no consequence, but for many drivers the A6 misses that degree of enjoyment that marks out its key rivals.
Even with Quattro all-wheel drive, the Audi cannot get on terms with this pair of competitors, even though the four-wheel drive system endows the A6 with prodigious levels of grip in all conditions.
High-performance Audi S6 Saloon
Available in both saloon and Avant (estate) bodystyles, the S6 has a 450hp V8 engine that makes for a 0-62mph sprint in 4.6 seconds. It's there to bridge the gap between the regular A6 and the ultra-powerful RS 6 Avant, which is only available as an estate.
Late 2016 saw the S6's single spec range double with the addition of the Black Edition trim. Building on the spec of the standard car, the S6 Black Edition gains goodies such as 20-inch matt titanium look alloy wheels, Bose surround sound, black styling pack and privacy glass.
Updates to Audi A6 engine and equipment in 2014
Revisions to the A6 came in 2014, and included a styling update, new lighting options, and engine and gearbox upgrades.
As well as the addition of an efficient new 'Ultra' 2.0-litre engine, the existing three diesel-powered A6s were given more power and now comply with Euro 6 emission regulations.
The facelift also saw the retirement of the CVT gearbox, which was replaced by a redeveloped seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission in front-wheel drive models.
Further range changes in 2016
In April 2016 another update was announced for the A6 range. The biggest news here was the introduction of SE Executive specification in place of base-spec SE.
The Parkers Verdict
The Audi A6 saloon is still among the better cars in its class, despite being launched long before the current version of its main rivals. There's something for almost anyone in the range, but all versions are nicely finished and have relatively efficient engines, meaning they don't cost very much to run.
So is this car special enough to stand out in an extremely competitive market? Read on for our Audi A6 review to find out.
What owners say about this car
This A6 is unreliable, uncomfortable, badly built. It's back with a dealer every month or so for... Read owner review
This is my third A6 (having had four A4's prior to this) and this is my best Audi so far. Read owner review
It's nippy, large and comfortable, ticks all the right boxes and gives me a good return in fuel. Read owner review