Audi A6 (2011 - 2018) Review logo

Audi A6 (2011 - 2018) Review

Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image
Car image

1/10

Car image

2/10

Car image

3/10

Car image

4/10

Car image

5/10

Car image

6/10

Car image

7/10

Car image

8/10

Car image

9/10

Car image

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2011
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Smart, sophisticated and very capable

Best bits

  • Discreet, upmarket image
  •  Roomy interior and beautifully finished
  • Great all-rounder in the shape of the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine

Not so great

  • Not as exciting to drive as those from other manufacturers
  • Estate model is preferred because of greater practicality
  • Subject to some recalls

Read by

Audi A6 Driving Front

Overall verdict

Audi A6 Interior

On the inside

Audi A6 Driving Front

Driving

Audi A6 Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A6 Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A6 (2011 - 2018)

"The Audi A6 is a strong contender in the car market. It’s a bit more stylish than some of its rivals, has an upmarket image, a classy interior and a competitive diesel engine. It’s a great all-rounder that will suit the needs of most buyers looking for this type of car."

Audi A6 Driving Front

It’s Audi’s answer to the BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the A6 is an ageless design that embodies the best of Audi. Owners rate the A6 because its well equipped, spacious and has a superb interior. It makes the epitome of middle-class good taste.

 

Audis are typically cheaper than premium alternatives from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. While they all have good retained values, this trend carries through to the second-hand market, meaning you’ll get a bit more for your money by picking the A6.

 

The A6 also benefits from being just that bit bigger than its direct rivals. You’ll get more rear legroom here than a BMW or Volvo, and the well-shaped boot is practical to use.

 

This is one of Audi’s core models, so the A6 benefits from a huge choice of engines and trim levels. You can choose from miserly diesels, cross-country capable V6s and everything in between. Because it’s a fleet car favourite, most models sold used the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine. With up to 190PS, it has decent power and acceleration, yet can average more than 60mpg. It can even be specified with all-wheel drive, called quattro (yes, with a small ‘q’), for assured winter-weather grip.

 

The A6 entry level model is the SE, later given a spec boost to SE Executive. This gets all the basics you would expect to find on a premium car, including leather seats. Then there’s the popular sportier-looking S Line variant. This has racier looks, a sportier suspension set-up and a fantastic set of hip-hugging seats inside. Its desirability is further ramped up on Black Edition models, which increase the standard specification yet further.

 

The A6 is an assured and confident car out on the road. It feels big and solid from behind the wheel, the sort of machine you sense you could drive all day long at high speeds without feeling a hint of fatigue. You’ll find that it’s in its element on the motorway, where it devours miles in quiet comfort: the faster you go, the greater it feels.

 

It’s more of a handful in town, where the A6 can feel a bit of a struggle when it comes to parking - it’s a long, wide machine (luckily, it has parking sensors as standard). On faster A and B roads where cars can often be more pleasing for the driver, the Audi A6 doesn’t offer the driver-pleasing feel and feedback of something like a BMW 5 Series either, but the Audi is a different sort of car, so that shouldn’t be seen as a deal-breaker.

 

The S tronic automatic gearbox is more plentiful on the used market and is available in greater numbers than the six-speed manual. It seems more fitting in a large car like this. Those who want to spoil themselves should look for a 3.0 TDI – a 272PS diesel that still returns over 52mpg, or an unbelievable 62mpg in rare 218PS guise – but the real star performer is the mighty 320PS 3.0 BiTDI. This will take the big A6 from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, yet also average 45mpg. It even makes a pleasingly sporty noise and as a result is sought-after by buyers.

 

A facelift for the Audi A6 came in late 2014, though it wasn’t easy to spot the changes. There was a spec upgrade, faster infotainment, eye-catching new LED headlights and improved gearboxes and engines, including the option of an ultra-low CO2 2.0 TDI diesel called Ultra. You shouldn’t feel short-changed if you buy an earlier model – many will be hard-pressed to spot the differences.


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


Is the Audi A6 (2011 - 2018) right for you?

The Audi A6 saloon is all about good taste. It looks good, drives well and excels in most areas - it just does it very discreetly. A car that will show that you’re doing well for yourself, but in a very subtle way and without being ostentatious.


If you want a sophisticated-looking load-lugger that oozes discerning good taste, the A6 is worth a look. Its shape doesn’t shout ‘estate car’, which will suit those who need the space but don’t necessarily want to drive something boxy.

 

A high-quality interior is an Audi signature, and the A6 doesn’t let the side down inside. It uses very good quality materials, meaning it will remain looking fresh and tight for years to come. The same goes for how it drives. Audi builds its cars to a high standard and they stay feeling strong long after the warranty has expired. The standout quality is the surprising efficiency of that punchy 2.0 TDI engine. Just make sure there are no outstanding recall issues with it.


If you need more practicality, look at the Audi A6 Avant or the Audi A6 Allroad .


What’s the best Audi A6 (2011 - 2018) model/engine to choose?

The best-selling A6 is the 2.0 TDI and as a result, this is the model that’s most plentiful for used car buyers. This is because its CO2 emissions are low, making it tax-friendly for company car drivers, who were by far the biggest customer for the car when the Audi A6 was new. As a result, you can afford to take your pick of models, specs and colours when it comes to this version.

 

Go for the S tronic automatic if you can. This variant is slightly faster against the clock in terms of acceleration, but returns nearly 3mpg more on the official fuel economy test - quite remarkable. It’s a refined, more relaxing car to drive, which suits the A6’s perfectly.

 

For value, look for SE trim. There are lots of them on the used car market. But, if you can, pay a little extra and go for an S Line version. Its extra features really add a dash of style to the A6 saloon, and it’s something you’ll be that bit prouder to have on your drive...

What other cars are similar to the Audi A6 (2011 - 2018)?

This part of the market is almost exclusively carved up between the three big German brands. German brands dominate this sector of car. The BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are two strong rivals to the Audi A6, and both offer a similarly diverse and wide-ranging choice of engines and trims.

Learn more

Audi A6 Interior

On the inside

Audi A6 Driving Front

Driving

Audi A6 Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A6 Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification

Mon-Fri 9am-6pm |
Sat & Sun 9am-5pm
Email us at:
hey@heycar.co.uk
Our customers say
“Excellent”
heycar Trustpilot
Copyright 2021 heycar - All rights reserved |
Registered address: 5 New Street Square, London, United Kingdom EC4A 3TW
Copyright 2021 heycar - All rights reserved