Audi A6 Review logo

Audi A6 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“A sophisticated and spacious saloon”

Best bits

  • Futuristic in-car technology
  • Roomy interior
  • Superlative cruising refinement

Not so great

  • Not as efficient as its rivals
  • Fiddly touchscreen climate controls
  • Exorbitant optional extras

Read by

Audi A6 Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Audi A6 Interior

On the inside

Audi A6  Driving Aerial

Driving

Audi A6 Dashboard

How much does it cost to run

Audi A6 Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A6

"The latest Audi A6 is a thoroughly modern take on the large executive saloon. It's stuffed with technology, from its touchscreen-laden interior to its mild-hybrid engines, but has all the traditional qualities required of cars in this class."

Audi A6 Exterior Front

Audi uses its flagship A8 saloon as its technological testbed, debuting its newest innovations and gadgets, but it doesn’t take long before this kit trickles down from this pinnacle to the more affordable A6 four-door. Its 'digitised cabin' features up to three high-definition displays, giving this car an unmistakably futuristic vibe.


The infotainment system is a little hit-and-miss though. It's packed with features, but some of the really cool kit (such as the digital dials) is only available as part of an expensive option bundle, and the touch panel for the climate controls is fiddlier to use than in Audi's other cars, and indeed its rivals from BMW and Mercedes.


Most models come with four-wheel drive as standard, with the entry-level 40 TDI diesel the only exception, although you can add it as an option. It's a four-cylinder engine producing 204PS, that's remarkably smooth, and has more than enough performance for most drivers, and can also return over 50mpg on a steady run.


All A6s get a smooth automatic gearbox (with seven or eight speeds depending on power output) and mild-hybrid technology to help save fuel. It's still not the most economical large saloon, but close to the class best.


This transmission does help keep things calm on long journeys, although it can sometimes hesitate at poorly chosen moments (like pulling onto a roundabout) in a way that the best automatic gearboxes simply won't.


The petrol range also kicks off with a four-cylinder turbo, the 45 TFSI, which has 245PS, and there are a pair of 3.0-litre V6 engines (one petrol and one diesel) that are smooth, refined and powerful. In 2019 Audi added a pair of plug-in hybrid models, the 50 and 55 TFSI e, which use the same 2.0-litre petrol engine and 141PS electric motor as the hybrid Q5 SUV. They have an electric range of around 30 miles, and over 300PS each.


There's also an indecently fast high-performance diesel - the S6. Unless you want to set lap records on the M25 though, we're not sure you'll be able to use its monstrous power and torque in normal driving. As for the standard car, it's a composed, stable companion on long journeys, but not as pliant as the softest saloons.


Cabin space is very impressive, with more passenger space (even with three in the back) then you'll get in any of its German and British competitors, and a nicely-shaped boot that can carry a decent amount of stuff.


Obviously, the A6 Avant estate is even more practical, but for a four-door the A6 is surprisingly roomy inside.


Some cars take a while to find their niche. Before, if you were in the market for a large, luxurious saloon to show off in the company car park, then the BMW 5 Series was the sporty one, and a Mercedes E-Class was the plush one for wafting home after a day in the boardroom, so where does that leave our friend the A6? 


It's a great all-rounder, with a stunning cabin, and a comfortable ride with a sporty edge. Avoid the highest trim levels and it's decent value too, although if we're nit-picking, it's a little short on personality and style.


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Audi A6 (2011-2018) review.


Is the Audi A6 right for you?

The Audi A6 is a large, comfortable executive saloon that is aimed at company car drivers with a bit of cash to spend, who want the latest in on-board technology, and a luxurious cabin to unwind in on their commute.


It actually feels more like a fully-fledged luxury car than ever, with many of the impressive gadgets from the flagship Audi A8 having trickled down into this more affordable model. You get more passenger space and slicker infotainment screens than in the Audi A4 saloon, and at nearly five metres long, it feels like a bigger, heavier car.


There's no single area where the A6 stands head and shoulders above the competition, and to drive it feels more at home quietly cruising the outside lane of the motorway than anywhere else. If you need practicality, the A6 Avant is a better choice, while the Audi A7 Sportback wraps the same underpinnings in a far sleeker body.


What's the best Audi A6 model/engine to choose?

A big teutonic saloon like the A6 is a pretty conservative choice, and we think it's best to lean-in to the Audi's understated charm when it comes to speccing your own. That means a frugal engine, two-wheel drive, and a trim level that won't leave you short on the cash required to fit the options required to fully deck out the cabin.


For most buyers, the 40 TDI Sport will, therefore, be the pick of the range. You'll still need to fit the technology pack to delivery on the cutting-edge promise of that futuristic interior, but it has all of the essentials covered. The engine is quick enough, very refined, and this trim has Comfort suspension, so it's an excellent cruiser.


If you have the ability to charge it regularly, the 50 TFSI e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) could save you a lot in fuel, as well as being a massive tax break for company car drivers. It's also very quick and comes with four-wheel drive as standard, but with a starting price that's over £13,000 higher in the same trim, it's not for everyone.


What other cars are similar to the Audi A6?

The Audi A6 has been locked in battle with its two fiercest German arch-rivals - the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class - for the last 25 years, and the heat of that competition has driven all three to excel.


If we were to pigeon-hole them, the BMW is the best all-rounder, with the lowest running costs, and tidy handling, while the Mercedes is a comfortable cruiser, perhaps even more supple than the A6. Both come with marginally more standard equipment than the Audi, and can also be bought for a lower starting price.


This trio totally dominates the class in the UK, but if you fancy something stylish and safe that does a very similar job, the Volvo S90 is hard to ignore. It's got a gorgeous cabin, and class-leading crash safety stats.


Another left-field choice is the Lexus ES, with a conventional hybrid powertrain and beautifully crafted cabin, it's a more affordable than any of the Germans, with prices for the standard version starting from £35,200. Its low 119g/km CO2 emissions mean it sneaks into a much lower BIK tax bracket than the cleanest A6 diesel.


Learn more

Audi A6 Interior

On the inside

Audi A6  Driving Aerial

Driving

Audi A6 Dashboard

How much does it cost to run

Audi A6 Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Audi A6 a good car?

Yes. The constant competition with its rivals has forced Audi to innovate and strive to excel, so the result is a very posh, refined car that is perfect for long journeys and easy to live with.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

What is the boot space in the A6 like?

Since the A6 is a saloon it’s actually less practical than its sibling, the A7 Sportback, which has a hatchback, but its capacity is still 530 litres, easily enough for a pair of big suitcases.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

How many different A6 body styles are there?

The current A6 is offered as a four-door saloon, a five-door estate (called the A6 Avant) and a jacked up off-road version with SUV styling cues known as the A6 Allroad, so three in total.

Dan Powell

Answered by

Dan Powell