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Audi A6 Review

8 / 10
21 May 2024
Audi A6 saloon driving through city

The Audi A6 offers a high-tech, spacious interior and easy, comfy progress. It’s fantastic at eating up long motorway journeys.

Add in a big boot and powerful engines and the A6 has a lot to like. Used A6s can be excellent value, too.

What we like:
  • Very spacious
  • Motorway refinement
  • Luxurious interior
What we don't like:
  • Saloon bootlid has narrow opening
  • Slightly busy dashboard
  • Not the cheapest running costs

Should I buy an Audi A6?

If you’re the sort of person who resents your long motorway journeys, or if you just find driving boring, try a car like the Audi A6. It can’t teleport you to your location any quicker, or magically get rid of rush hour traffic, but it can make dull journeys slip away. Its huge array of connectivity and driver assistance tech take a lot of the strain out of driving.


The Audi isn’t alone in this – it’s had years of fierce competition from the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, plus the outside choices of the Jaguar XF, Lexus ES and Volvo S90. But, a little surprisingly, the A6 has value on its side – especially on PCP finance, where its sturdy residual values make it surprisingly attainable. It’s one of those cars that will make your neighbours think you’ve spent a lot more than you actually have.


Whether or not you care about what your neighbours think, there’s no doubt that the A6 is a lot of car for the money. It’s almost five metres long, with a huge amount of rear-seat space and a boot that seems to stretch much further than you can reach. It’s every bit the cut-price Audi A8 – it even looks fairly similar to its bigger sibling.

Interior and technology

Inside, the A6 looks almost identical to the A8. The dashboard has a stacked design and features not one, but two touchscreens – the top one for navigation and media playback, and the bottom one for climate control functions. Both use reassuring haptic feedback to give you  confirmation that you’ve pressed in the right place, which is handy when the screens are used for most major features.

Audi A6 interior

Audi’s MMI infotainment system is really good – it’s quick to respond, nice to look at and packed with settings and functions to play with. With a clear layout on the home screens, it’s one of the easier infotainment systems to use, too.


For the ultimate techfest, pick an A6 with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. This replaces traditional dials with a glossy digital set, and can be configured to show a full-width sat nav display if you wish. Using the buttons on the steering wheel, it’s really easy to cycle through the display and customise it to your preference.


As you’d expect, the materials throughout the cabin feel premium and impeccably screwed together – there aren’t any rattles or squeaks, and nothing moves if you get bored and decide to poke the dashboard.

Audi A6 Virtual Cockpit dials showing full-width sat nav display

Sport trim is first in the range, and includes everything you could ask for. LED headlights – with upgraded Matrix tech on newer A6s – come as standard, along with heated front seats, leather and leather-effect upholstery, multi-zone climate control, keyless start, cruise control and a reversing camera. S Line and Black Edition trims largely add visual improvements and sportier trimmings. 

Practicality

The Audi A6 might not be the easiest car to park in a tight multistorey, but its size makes it a comfortable chariot for five adults. It feels even more spacious in the rear seats than it does in the front, with loads of legroom and kneeroom. Unless the driver is particularly tall, the rear-seat passenger will have room to balance a laptop on their knees – which surely must be a consideration for the businessy types that typically flock to the A6. Headroom is also good, even with the A6’s saloon shape.


The A6 is wide enough for three people to sit side-by-side fairly comfortably, although the middle-seat passenger will find themselves perched higher than in the outer seats, and there’s a large transmission tunnel getting in the way of foot room. If your passengers are kids rather than adults, you’ll be glad to know that the A6’s space makes it nice and easy to fit child seats into the Isofix points. There’s a set on the front passenger seat too, giving three in total.

Audi A6 rear seat space

Open the bootlid and you’ve got a 530-litre space to fill. That’s 70 litres more than the smaller A4 has, and you can really tell the difference – the A6’s boot seems to stretch a very long way back. You might even struggle to reach things at the far end of the boot. The rear seats only fold from the sides – you can’t flip them down from the boot – but the slightly sloping boot floor creates a level loadbay with the seats down and no big step to get things over.


And because the A6 is a saloon, the boot opening limits the car’s versatility. It’s the perfect shape for suitcases and golf bags, but even a medium-sized square box will be tricky to get in, because the boot space isn’t tall enough.


The A6 Avant estate is much better for chucking big stuff into, with a much larger boot opening and a bigger space on offer. Forget one dog, you could get most of the 101 Dalmatians into the A6’s loadbay.

Engines and performance

And, if it comes to it, the A6 could outrun Cruella de Vil fairly easily as well. The range kicks off with the 40 TFSI petrol engine and the 40 TDI diesel engine, both with a hearty 204hp and a 0-62mph time of under 7.5 seconds. We’ve tested both of these, and found that they’re both capable of getting up to autobahn speeds with no fuss whatsoever – both feel pretty powerful in day-to-day driving. Above that is a 45 TFSI petrol, which is a 2.0-litre engine just like the others but tuned to 265hp, for even brawnier acceleration.


Then there’s the plug-in hybrid, badged 50 TFSI e, which combines the acceleration of the top petrol engine with a 40-mile electric range – perfect if you’re around town a lot. Sitting above the standard A6 is the diesel-powered S6 and the supercar-slaying RS6.

Audi A6 driving rear view

The 40 TFSI petrol is usually the cheapest way into A6 ownership, and offers the lowest insurance rating – although not by a lot. Up to 40mpg is achievable, and you might even see more than that on a long cruise, so it should be pretty easy on the wallet unless you’re driving up and down the country on a regular basis. If you are spending a lot of time on the motorway, we’d go diesel as it’ll return up to 50mpg.

Driving and comfort

Comfort is king in the Audi A6. It’s very quiet at high speeds and turns even the scruffiest motorway surface into glassy smoothness. Expansion joints are filtered out almost entirely – you might hear the change in tone but you won’t feel the jolt. As a motorway cruiser, the A6 is fantastic.


Light steering makes it easy to pilot the A6 around town, and thankfully the big Audi manages not to feel fidgety at higher speeds. It’s not very engaging, and won’t tempt you to take the twisty route home from work. Leave it in Comfort mode – a Dynamic mode is available but it feels wasted and unnecessary. A BMW 5 Series is a better choice if you want fun handling and executive comfort in one package.


As comfort is the A6’s best attribute, we’d stick to the Sport trim and its modestly sized 18-inch wheels. Higher trim levels also add sports suspension that’s a bit firmer than the standard setup – another reason to save money and go for the entry-level model.

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