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#5

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $44,800 - $75,500
Invoice: $41,664 - $70,217
MPG: 25 City / 33 Hwy
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Audi A6 Performance

Most critics say the 2015 Audi A6 offers athletic handling and a composed ride. Some note that the base engine delivers unimpressive acceleration, but others write that it feels powerful given its horsepower rating. The 3.0T and TDI models receive praise for their strong acceleration, and the TDI gets very good fuel economy for the class.

  • "The Audi A6 midsize luxury sedan splits the difference between the performance-oriented BMW 5 Series and the comfort-oriented Mercedes-Benz E-Class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 Audi A6 is a fun car to drive, especially considering its size and heft." -- Edmunds
  • "Blessed with an athletic chassis, great outward visibility and available quattro all-wheel drive, the A6 is a no-nonsense driver's car." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "This isn't the most hard-edged sports sedan, but its balance of comfort and sporting aggression is commendable." -- Car and Driver (2013 S6) 

Acceleration and Power

The base 2015 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 all-wheel drive models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The A6 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. The A6 TDI and 3.0T models both come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the base 2015 A6 gets 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class, while the TDI model gets 24/38 mpg, which is great for the class.

The performance-oriented Audi S6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automated manual transmission is standard. Audi says that the 2015 S6 has a top speed of 155 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Some critics say the A6 2.0T feels stronger than its horsepower rating suggests, but others think it has disappointing acceleration for a luxury sedan. On the other hand, the A6 3.0T earns praise from most reviewers for its powerful acceleration. Some auto writers say their favorite model is the A6 TDI because of its impressive power and fuel economy. They agree that you should skip the CVT in favor of the eight-speed automatic, which they think makes the A6 feel more responsive.

  • "The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine is responsive and pulls with effortless authority all the way to redline. The 2.0T doesn't sound quite as smooth, but it certainly feels stronger than the official 220-hp rating. … Cost no object, the TDI is the pick of the litter, as it provides a mountain of torque and by far the best fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "The combination of the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and 8-speed automatic is marvelously responsive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2014)

Handling and Braking

The base 2015 Audi A6 2.0T comes with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on the 2.0T, and standard on higher trims. Test drivers write that the A6 has poised handling and is more nimble than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but a bit less agile than the BMW 5-Series. Additionally, some critics would like the steering system to be more communicative, though they note that a lot of cars in this class have lackluster steering feedback. According to reviewers, the A6’s ride is composed, but also firmer than some competitors’, so they recommend avoiding the stiffer optional sport suspension and larger wheel packages.

  • "Best of all, the Audi A6 retains its composure when the road begins to bend. We wish the electric power steering provided better feedback, a shortcoming it shares with many competitors, but it's not a deal-breaker." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although the A6 has a composed ride that's never harsh, it's definitely firm, and there are sometimes more jolts than we'd like on rough pavement. For this reason, we recommend skipping the Sport package with its firmer suspension, especially if you're eyeing the 20-inch wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "The ride isn't as buttery-smooth as in some other fancy luxury sedans, however, so we suggest staying away from the gorgeous 20-in wheels, tempting as they may be." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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)
Review Last Updated: 4/9/15

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