Smart executive saloon among the best in its class
- Better to drive than the old one
- Rammed with cutting-edge tech
- Good engines from launch
- Simple trim structure
- Extremely predictable styling
- Confusing options list
- Some navigation issues
- Air suspension slightly unsettled
The new Audi A6 is the most important arrival in the executive car market so far in 2018. The new saloon is set to take on four-door versions of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Jaguar XF. It’s hugely important for the company, and clearly has some very capable opposition – so has Audi done enough to build the best car in its market sector?
Despite its familiar styling, the fifth-generation A6 is all-new from the ground up. It benefits from a huge number of changes across the board, including its new body - which is larger than before, more efficient engines, and a more tech-laden interior.
The whole car is long, low and wide; in fact, it’s 7mm longer but with a wheelbase extended by 25mm for increased interior space. It’s also 14mm wider than the previous-generation A6 Saloon, which Audi says is better for handling stability. Its 530-litre boot has a wider opening as a result.
What engines can I get with the new Audi A6 Saloon?
The engine range comprises four engines available from launch – one petrol and three diesels. These are detailed and reviewed in the performance section of this review.
You’ve got a choice of four suspension configurations – two each for Sport and S Line trim – and rear-wheel steering is an option for the first time too. We’ve tested all this extensively in the Handling section.
The Audi A6 Saloon interior lowdown
Inside, it’s classic Audi: it’s impeccably well-built and looks great. The technology on offer here – standard and optional – has some very clever features, including twin touchscreens that work with the Virtual Cockpit instrument screen and cloud-assisted voice control that accepts natural speech. Tell it you’re hot and it’ll lower the climate control temperature.
There’s also more rear leg and shoulder room, plus more space for taller passengers’ heads.
Audi A6 Saloon: price, specification and release date
The latest Audi A6 Saloon will be available in the UK from June 2018 with a starting price of around £35,000 for a 40 TDI SE.
UK trims are initially expected to consist of Sport and S Line, with more to come in the future. We’ve yet to learn exact specifications at time of writing.
However, here’s what we know about the kit breakdown so far. Sport models will get:
- Full LED headlights
- 18-inch alloys
- Audi Drive Select drive modes
- MMI Navigation with twin touchscreens
- Heated electrically adjustable door mirrors
- Lane-departure warning
- Automatic braking
- Cruise control and speed limiter
Moving up to S Line spec additionally nets you:
- Matrix LED headlights
- 10mm lower sports suspension
- S Line bodykit with 19-inch wheels
- Headlight cleaning system
The Parkers Verdict
From our initial evaluation we think Audi’s onto a winner here. The new A6 Saloon impressed with its drive, its build quality and technology.
It’s already clear its outright proficiency will depend heavily on which model you choose, however, so we’ll need to get to grips with the car in the UK for an extended test to see if it’s as good – or better – than the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. We’re confident it’s already head and shoulders above the Jaguar XF, though.