Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force
- Highly efficient powertrains
- Built to a high standard
- Very refined and well-equipped
- More expensive than some rivals
- Sportier models are less comfortable
- Some competitors are more fun to drive
What's the Audi A6 like?
I'll never forget my astonishment a few years ago when I was cruising at between 60 and 70mph on a quiet dual carriageway.
I glanced at the trip computer of the Audi A6 diesel I was driving - which was set on economy - and it was showing an average of 60mpg.
Now, the A6 is not a small light car, it’s a big hefty one, so I was amazed how frugal it could be.
The last A6 was produced from 2011 to 2018 and despite holding its value better than most, it’s much more affordable a few years down the line.
And like other well-built executive cars, the A6's reliability is highly rated.
All Audi’s products are very well built and of course, even the more ordinary of them drive beautifully.
That said, this model doesn’t match up to its main opposition – the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF – when it comes to driving enjoyment.
A good saloon or Avant estate could still be just what you are looking for but drive it for a few miles to make sure you like it.
The A6 has a very wide array of different engine options – the majority with an automatic gearbox, but since 2011, petrols have ranged from a 1.8-litre turbo with 187bhp, through a 2.0-litre with 248bhp to a 3.0-litre with 305bhp and a 4.0-litre V8 with 443bhp in the very sporty S6.
With these kind of power outputs, performance is very good to superb – as you can imagine. Even the 1.8-litre accelerates from zero to 60mph in 7.6 seconds, and the S6 takes just 4.3 seconds, putting it right up there in the supercar league.
But the 1.8-litre at least is still capable of 49mpg and comes with decently low emissions.
Diesels are 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre and have power ranging up from an excellent 174bhp to a heady 305bhp in the BiTurbo.
These make up the majority of cars on the used market, because most were originally bought or leased as company cars.
Again, performance is excellent, with 0 to 60mph for the 2.0-litre at 7.5 seconds, and economy of 56mpg. Emissions are lower than the petrol engines of course and for this same model, CO2 is just 114g/km.
The top 3.0-litre BiTurbo sprints to 60mph in a very quick 4.8 seconds. Yet it is still rated at 47mpg.
Handling and roadholding are marvellous, with tenacious grip and very good balance through the corners.
This excellence is let down by steering that’s a little lacking in feel, but this is something that owners soon get used to.
Refinement is superb at any speed but personally, I would avoid any with sports suspension. The standard setup takes the cars round the corners just as well, and gives a noticeably more comfortable ride.
Likewise, and for the same reason, avoid the larger wheels and tyres.
Of course, Audi’s excellent quattro all-wheel drive system is available on most models and standard on some, and this improves the already excellent roadholding, as well as giving the security of top-level traction in snow and ice.
The quality of fit and finish inside and out is superb, and should still be good even years down the line.
All have hard-feeling but comfortable seats, and a high level of equipment including traction control, auto headlights and wipers, climate control and a multi-function steering wheel.
They also have Audi’s adjustable Dynamic Suspension, Drive select, which allows the driver to choose between different levels of accelerator response, cruise control, a parking system with front and rear sensors and leather upholstery.
Bluetooth, non-touchscreen sat nav and voice activation for many functions is also standard.
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Find your Audi A6 your way with CarStore
The Audi A6 is a highly-refined luxury car that provides plenty of gadgets as standard and a range of efficient powertrains. Whilst some rivals are more fun to drive, very few can match the A6 when it comes to overall build quality, making it a top used car buy.
Here at CarStore, you're able to buy your car your way. Whether that be online, in-person, or a mix of both, the choice is yours. With an extensive variety of used cars available, we're sure to have a car that suits your lifestyle.