Audi A6 Performance
Test drivers say the 2014 Audi A6 offers one of the most enjoyable driving experiences in the class thanks to its smooth ride, sporty handling and powerful engine options.
- "Blessed with an athletic chassis, great outward visibility and available quattro all-wheel drive, the A6 is a no-nonsense driver's car. By contrast, the once-unrivaled BMW 5 Series has gone soft as of late, and no other competitor has stepped in to fill the void. That's why we think a properly equipped A6 may be the best-driving sedan in its class." -- AutoTrader
- "And when it comes time to actually drive, this year's A6 boasts three appealing engine choices -- a frugal four-cylinder, a potent V6 and a new-for-2014 torque-rich 3.0-liter diesel V6 -- plus handling capabilities that are among the best in the segment." -- Edmunds
- "A nice compromise between the performance-oriented 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the A6 is designed to please the vast majority of owners who want a sophisticated driving experience but not at the expense of comfort or quiet." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "This isn't the most hard-edged sports sedan, but its balance of comfort and sporting aggression is commendable." -- Car and Driver (2013 Audi S6)
Acceleration and Power
The 2014 Audi A6 2.0T comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard, while an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are optional. The all-new A6 3.0 TDI comes with a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates 240 horsepower, while the A6 3.0T has a 310-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. A6 3.0 TDI and 3.0T models both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base A6 gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is very good for a luxury large car, while the TDI model gets an excellent 24/38 mpg.
The high-performance S6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 420 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 406 pound-feet of torque at 1,400 rpm. A seven-speed automated manual transmission is standard. Audi says that the 2014 S6 has a top speed of 155 mph, and that it will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
Many reviewers think the 2.0T engine delivers unimpressive acceleration, and they say the CVT is not smooth or responsive. They agree that the eight-speed automatic is a better choice than the CVT because of its smooth, quick shifts. Critics think the 3.0T offers strong acceleration at any speed, and they say the 3.0 TDI delivers robust acceleration.
- "On the road, the 2.0T engine feels lackluster for luxury-sedan duty, and the entry-level CVT is an imprecise tool, though it does return solid fuel economy. We much prefer the 2.0T's optional 8-speed conventional automatic transmission, which comes bundled with quattro all-wheel drive and gives the A6 a crisper, sportier feel on the road." -- AutoTrader
- "The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine provides sharp response off the line and continues to pull with authority throughout the range. The 2.0T doesn't sound as refined as a six-cylinder, but it's hard to argue with the excellent fuel economy it returns. The eight-speed automatic is excellent, with quick, imperceptible shifts in normal use and smooth downshifts for when you need quick acceleration." -- Edmunds
- "The new TDI diesel model offers impressive acceleration, thanks in part to its generous torque, and returns an even more impressive 38 mpg on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With the V6 engine, A6 is plenty quick by any measure, albeit maybe not quite as fast as Audi's claimed 5.3-second 0-60-mph time." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Handling and Braking
The base Audi A6 2.0T comes with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on the 2.0T, and standard on higher trims. Reviewers write that the A6 has athletic handling and a smooth ride, which they say make it an appealing choice in comparison with sporty cars like the BMW 5-Series and comfort-oriented cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However, some wish the A6’s steering system provided more feedback.
- "Although the current A6 continues to use a front-wheel-drive platform, its weight distribution has never been more balanced, and the quattro all-wheel-drive system can send up to 60 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels for improved driver control. The result is a car that drives smaller and lighter than it really is, especially with one of the Sport packages in place." -- AutoTrader
- "The 2014 Audi A6 feels light and changes directions eagerly. There's plenty of grip, and overall, the A6 provides a satisfying connection between car and driver: not something we can say about every midsize luxury sedan." -- Edmunds
- "Although we wish the electric power steering delivered better feedback, it's not a deal breaker." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "A6 falls right in between its German rivals (BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class) for handling. It's more responsive than the Benz but not quite as ‘tossable’ as the BMW." -- Consumer Guide (2013)