We brought one into the office to see what it’s like to live with. The test car was a top-of-the-line A6 3.0T Quattro Prestige. That trim, an $8,200 upgrade, added a heads-up display, adaptive headlights, surround-view camera system, Virtual Cockpit instrument display, power trunk, four-zone climate control, rear sunshades, multicolor ambient lighting, dual-pane acoustic glass, and an upgraded Bang and Olufsen audio system. Other options included the Individual Contour seating package for $3,200, the Driver Assistance package for $2,750, the 20-inch wheel Sport package that also added stiffer suspension for $1,050, and the $600 Cold Weather package with heated steering wheel and rear seats. All these options brought the A6’s base price from $59,895 to $76,290.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: What size Audi do you take? We’ve had several large sedans come through our fleet in the past few weeks. The A7 is my favorite, but the A6 is a close second (sorry A8L, although that one’s great for putting a carseat in). The A6 has presence. The design is well tailored, and the proportions are elegant. The grille, big wheels and flashy lights smartly dress things up. Like a stainless steel watch with a white dress shirt.
Inside, the brown and black materials are subtle, almost austere, yet make for a complex and sophisticated setting. It feels very cultured in here. I like the ledge that bisects the dash, making the interior feel more impressive and substantial. The V6 and seven-speed S tronic are a silky combo, and the A6 rides comfortably without being too soft. Our tester came in around $77 grand, which felt like a solid value for a premium atmosphere like this.
Assistant Editor Zac Palmer: Audi is killing the interior game nowadays. Three massive screens dominate the atmosphere, but I never felt overwhelmed by them. Every touch is responded to by an affirmative reaction from the screen in the form of vibrations and clicks. The haptic feedback is a luxurious experience — it’s almost like Audi wanted to make you feel like you were still clicking physical buttons, even though it’s all being done through a screen. Using glove-compatible touchscreens with gloves can be frustrating sometimes, yet the Audi interface never missed an input from me in the sub-10 degree weather we’ve been enjoying here in Michigan. The transition to this kind of a dual-screen setup to replace nearly every button is one Audi clearly worked hard on. In my eyes, the Germans nailed it.
I like everything surrounding the screens, too. Two-tier dash designs like the one on this car are a good trend — Audi’s looks particularly dashing here. The seating position and viewing angles combined with the athletic nature made the large car feel as though it was shrinking around me. That was what I was worried about most with this car, too. When a large sedan truly feels its boat-like size, it takes the fun out of the driving experience. Certainly, this car was no corner carving machine, but there’s a solidness to the ride that imbued confidence in me to push harder.
Audi checked all the boxes that needed checking for a luxury midsize sedan on this one. The near $80,000 price tag doesn’t feel one dollar out of place. Effortless torque is a go. A supple, quiet ride is the only way it rolls. Anybody shopping between the Germans in this segment right now has a difficult decision on their hands. The A6 is back in the game in a strong way, because this is how luxury is supposed to feel.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: Like Greg, given a choice between this and the bigger, more prestigious A8L, I would pick the A6. Outside, it’s a leaner and more aggressive looking than the formal, uptight A8L. Inside, about the only thing you miss out on are the crazy hideaway air vents. Otherwise, you’re treated to the same high-tech screens on the center stack and instrument panel. There’s nearly as many ambient light sources. The wood trim is still beautiful, and my favorite interior touch with its natural finish. Particularly impressive is how the wood trim is shaped to match the crisp corners of the angular plastic trim in the cabin. I do wish there was a bit less piano black trim, though. I get that it’s to help blend the screens into the dash, but it’s a little much.
So the A6 barely loses anything inside, and driving wise, I’d say it gains. The steering feels more naturally weighted, and the throttle is more responsive in normal mode compared to the A8‘s chauffeur-tuned skinny pedal. It’s also much easier to navigate through parking lots with its smaller dimensions. The ride is a bit firm, so I’d actually recommend skipping the Sport package, but this A6 certainly was enjoyable through corners. Just as Zac said, it’s not exactly a lithe sports car, but it’s surprisingly capable and confidence inspiring. It’s an impressive all-around package that’s certainly worth consideration.