Following a midlife makeover in late 2014, the Audi A6 has never looked better. With one of the best standard interiors on the market and some of the best engines available, it’s a bit of an executive no brainer. The A6 is also available as an estate and for those of you in the want for more oomph, you can opt for the RS6 Avant.
Like the rest of the Audi range, the A6 comes with a choice of petrol, diesel and further high performance petrol models in the form of the S6 and RS6 which sits at the top of the pile. Standard engine line-up includes Petrol: 1.8 TFSI 190bhp with a choice of 6-speed or S-tronic transmissions. Diesel: 2.0 TDI with 150 & 190bhp options mated to a choice of the same transmissions and a 3.0 TDI with 218, 272 or a bi-turbo 318bhp option with a choice of the above gearboxes with the exception of the 318bhp bi-turbo being in a Quattro tiptronic setup. The RS6 Avant comes with a 4.0 litre TFSI engine that produces 560hp and 516Nm of torque - not bad if you're in a hurry on the autobahn. There is an even more powerful 605hp performance engine available.
There is no doubting that the current A6 is the most supple model ever produced. Despite having selectable damping on every model where you can choose between certain driving modes to suit the terrain, but if you just leave it in normal, the car is perfectly happy in all scenarios. Being the only front wheel drive executive car in its segment, Audi appear to have significantly improved the drive, but the steering does feel a bit numb. S-line models stiffer setup do not absorb everyday lumps a bumps as well as the SE but overall the best A6 to drive so far.
Available in saloon or Avant guise, the 2.0 TDI is the most popular choice among all A6 drivers. It’s a strong unit too, almost living up the standard of the excellent BMW 520d. While it may be a little raucous on a cold start-up, it strikes the perfect happy medium when it comes to engine choice delivering strong acceleration from low down with a near perfect flow of power right through the revs. The 3.0 TDI option is kept in check by the silky S-tronic transmission while the bi-turbo is smooth and powerful catapulting you from 0-100kmh in 5.1 seconds. The cracking RS6 brings the car from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds.
There is no doubting the quality of the Audi A6 interior and It sets the benchmark in its segment while the BMW and Mercedes E-Class are left in the wings. The only car that comes close is the Jaguar XF sporting an exquisite new interior design. Audi’s have always been defined by their interiors but the A6 also has a real sense of space in the cabin. There is a blend of classy design quality materials throughout. Its MMI infotainment system is very user friendly but when compared to the Mercedes system or BMW’s latest iDrive, it’s getting very close to requiring an update.
The Audi A6 earned itself a 5 star NCAP safety rating when it was first tested back in 2011 and since then the German giant has introduced a host of optional safety features that you can now spec your new 6 with. These include adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, Audi parking system plus, night vision assistant, rear view camera, side assist and pre-sense rear, speed limit display and top view camera. Standard systems include front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control and seat belt monitoring.
Being available in both saloon and Avant (estate to you and me), the A6 is not without it practical merits. There is an abundance of head and legroom in both models making for happy adults in the front and back at all times. It sports a class leading 530 litre boot which cannot be matched by the BMW 5 series or Mercedes E-Class. The E-Class estate is bigger than the Avant but unless you need even more room, perhaps buy a van. In the saloon, the rear seats also fold to create 995 litres of space but if you require storage of larger items, the Avant is the pick of the two. It looks better too.