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$54,900 - 74,400 MSRP

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Pros & Cons

  • Refined ride and handling
  • Potent engines
  • Elegant cabin
  • Comfortable seats
  • Small trunk for the class
  • Not as sporty as some rivals

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Audi A6's #3 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Midsize Cars category. Currently the Audi A6 has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 13 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.4
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.8 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Audi A6?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Audi A6 a Good Car?

Yes, the Audi A6 is a very good luxury midsize car. It has a serene ride and a lavish interior full of high-end materials. This Audi also has a lineup of brawny engines, including a twin-turbo V6 in the Audi S6 and a twin-turbo V8 in the high-performance RS wagon. Fuel economy is decent, which is impressive when you consider that this sedan comes standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. However, its trunk is smaller than many rivals’.

Why You Can Trust Us: 13 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with 13 professional Audi A6 reviews.

This 2021 A6 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

Should I Buy the Audi A6?

The A6 packs a lot of value into a moderately sized package, but in this highly competitive segment, it’s worth considering some rivals too. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes in a range of body types, and the performance-tuned Mercedes-AMG models go toe-to-toe with the Audi S6 and RS 6. You could also consider the BMW 5 Series, which has a similarly strong engine lineup.

While the high-performance RS 6 Avant wagon is covered in this review, the Audi A6 Allroad, a more affordable entry point to the A6 wagon body type, is reviewed separately.

Find a 2021 Audi A6 for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Audi A6: What's the Difference?

Other than shuffling a few features, Audi made no major changes to the A6 for 2021.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 A6 »

Here are some of the key changes for the A6 over the last few years:

  • 2018: gained standard navigation; supercharged V6 engine received boost in horsepower
  • 2019: fully redesigned with a revamped engine lineup, standard Quattro all-wheel drive, and a new dual-screen infotainment system
  • 2020: Audi S6 sedan and Audi RS 6 Avant wagon debuted
  • 2021: minor reshuffling of features

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 A6, 2019 A6, and 2020 A6 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Audi A6 Cost?

The 2021 Audi A6 has a base MSRP of $54,900, which is one of the highest starting prices in the class. The top-of-the-line Prestige trim starts at $64,900, and the Audi S6 starts at $74,400. Prices get even higher with the brutish Audi RS 6 Avant wagon, which retails for $109,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

Audi A6 Versus the Competition

Audi A6 vs. BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series is an excellent luxury midsize car with across-the-board appeal. It has a lengthy list of blistering powertrain options, and the range-topping BMW M models rival the Audi S6 and RS for power and performance. The BMW also impresses with its thrilling handling, silky ride, and impressive cabin materials. The Audi is a good vehicle, but the BMW is better.

Compare the A6 and 5 Series »

Audi A6 vs. Audi A7

The Audi A7 is a luxury large car that has a lot in common with its sibling. Both vehicles have a dual-screen infotainment system and sumptuous cabin materials. Both also have performance-oriented models: the Audi S6 and S7, as well as high-performance RS models. However, the A7’s liftback design gives it more cargo space than the A6 or S6 sedans. There’s no wrong choice between these Audis.

Compare the A6 and A7 »

Compare the A6, 5 Series, and A7 »

A6 Interior: High-End Cabin, Tiny Trunk

A6 Cargo Space

This sedan has a 13.7-cubic-foot trunk. That's small for the class, but most reviewers have no complaints about the size, and the standard split-folding rear seat can be used to create more space. A power trunk lid is available. Audi has not provided numbers for the RS 6 wagon’s cargo hold as of this writing.

For something with more cargo space than the A6 sedan, you might consider the Audi A6 Allroad wagon, which we review separately.

How Many People Does the A6 Seat?

Regardless of body style, this car can accommodate five people. Leather upholstery comes standard, and front-row occupants are treated to eight-way power-adjustable heated seats. Upgrades include additional power adjustments for the front seats, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated rear seats, upgraded leather upholstery, and a heated steering wheel.

Both rows have enough head- and legroom for most adults to sit comfortably. The seats are well-cushioned, and the long list of upgrades help to maximize comfort.

A6 and Child Car Seats

This sedan has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats, plus a single tether for the rear middle seat. The whole setup is easy to use.

A6 Interior Quality

With its premium cabin materials, soft leather surfaces, and cutting-edge tech features, the A6’s cabin oozes luxury.

A6 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Audi’s MMI infotainment system uses dual touch screens with haptic feedback, meaning touch-based clicks or vibrations signal that your input has registered. The system works well, with the upper screen displaying navigation and audio functions and the lower screen showing climate and other settings. While the system is responsive and offers crisp graphics, it can be distracting to use while driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8.8-inch upper touch screen, an 8.6-inch lower touch screen, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a navigation system, USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.1-inch upper touch screen, a 16- or 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, wireless device charging, and a 12.3-inch digital driver display (Audi's Virtual Cockpit)
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and proximity keyless entry
  • Additional available features: quad-zone automatic climate control

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

A6 Performance: Mild-Hybrid, Major Power

A6 Engine

There are four engine choices for this vehicle. The A6 can be had with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter V6, and both are turbocharged. The four-cylinder makes 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, while the V6 has 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Both have mild-hybrid setups and are paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The turbo-four engine is perfectly fine for daily driving, and outside of feeling a touch strained on the highway, it supplies ample power for most driving situations. The V6 helps deliver more authoritative acceleration.

For something spicier, you might consider upgrading to the S6 or RS 6 Avant. The Audi S6 has a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine rated at 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It helps the S6 sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.

The strongest engine in the mix comes in the high-performance Audi RS 6 Avant. This wagon has a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with a blistering 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The RS can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. Both the S6 and RS 6 have an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A6 Gas Mileage

As of this writing, the EPA has only evaluated the 2021 A6 with its V6 engine, giving it fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The mechanically identical 2020 sedan with a four-cylinder engine is rated at 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those are decent ratings, considering the Audi’s standard Quattro all-wheel drive.

The EPA rates the 2021 Audi S6 at 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. It has not evaluated the RS 6.

A6 Ride and Handling

The A6 provides a composed and comfortable ride, and it's easy to maneuver around turns. Few road flaws penetrate the cabin. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

Read more about performance »

A6 Reliability

Is the Audi A6 Reliable?

The 2021 Audi A6 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Audi A6 Warranty

Audi covers the A6 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

A6 Safety

A6 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 A6 sedan an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash and rollover tests and four stars in the frontal crash test.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Audi A6.

A6 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Lane departure warning
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Audi Pre Sense Basic (rolls up windows and tightens seat belts if sensors detect an imminent collision)
  • Audi Pre Sense Front (forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Lane keep assist
  • Intersection assist
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Night-vision camera
  • Audi Pre Sense Rear (blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert)
  • Audi Pre Sense Side
  • Head-up display
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist

Read more about safety »

A6 Dimensions and Weight

The A6 is 16.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,101 to 4,266 pounds. The Audi S6 sedan is 16.3 feet long with a curb weight of 4,486 pounds. The Audi RS 6 wagon is 16.4 feet long, and it has a curb weight of 4,960 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Audi A6 Built?

Audi builds the 2021 A6 in Germany.

Which Audi A6 Model Is Right for Me?

Audi makes the 2021 A6 in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The performance-oriented Audi S6 comes in Premium Plus and Prestige trims, and the high-performance Audi RS 6 Avant comes in a single trim. The RS 6 Avant is a wagon, while the rest are sedans.

The major difference between the A6, S6, and RS 6 relates to powertrain. The Audi A6 has a four-cylinder or V6 engine. The Audi S6 has a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and the RS 6 features a twin-turbo V8. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is standard throughout the lineup.

Every model is well-equipped, but it may be worth upgrading to the Premium Plus trim to get Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional gauge cluster with a high-tech digital display.

Audi also produces the Audi A6 Allroad wagon, which we review separately. This model represents a more affordable way to get an A6 wagon than the RS 6 Avant, though you lose that model's incredible performance for that reduced price.

Audi A6 Premium

The entry-level Premium trim has a starting MSRP of $54,900. Standard equipment includes the MMI infotainment system, an 8.8-inch upper touch screen, an 8.6-inch lower touch screen, a navigation system, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, USB ports, and Bluetooth.

The Premium also has leather seats, heated and eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, Audi Pre Sense Basic, Audi Pre Sense Front, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and lane departure warning.

The Convenience package adds wireless device charging (Audi Phone Box), a 10.1-inch upper touch screen, a hands-free trunk lid, Audi Side Assist, Audi Pre Sense Rear, vehicle exit warning, a surround-view parking camera system, and a heated steering wheel. Adding the V6 engine costs $4,900.

Audi A6 Premium Plus

The Premium Plus retails for $58,800. It gains the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, automatic high-beam headlights, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and the contents of the Convenience package. The V6 raises the price by $4,900.

The Executive package adds quad-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a power trunk lid. The Driver Assistance package adds traffic sign recognition and intersection assist. The Sport package adds a sport-tuned suspension and larger alloy wheels.

Audi A6 Prestige

The Prestige (MSRP: $64,900) comes with a head-up display, adaptive headlights, power soft-closing doors, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, and the contents of the Executive and Driver Assistance packages. In the Prestige, getting the V6 bumps up the price by $4,600.

The Sport package remains available. The Luxury package adds massaging front seats, 18-way power-adjustable front seats, a leather-covered dashboard and console, Valcona leather upholstery, and a power rear-window sunshade. Models with the V6 engine can be equipped with an adaptive damping suspension and all-wheel steering.

Audi S6

The Audi S6 has a starting price of $74,400. Other than a twin-turbo V6 engine, the S6 Premium Plus and S6 Prestige are comparably equipped to their A6 counterparts. However, the S6 is available with an S Sport package that adds a sport exhaust, red brake calipers, a Quattro rear differential, and all-wheel steering. Other options include a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and a night-vision camera.

Audi RS 6 Avant

The Audi RS 6 Avant wagon has a base MSRP of $109,000. In addition to performance upgrades such as a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, all-wheel steering, a performance-tuned suspension, and a Quattro rear sport differential, it has many of the Audi S6 Premium Plus’ standard equipment and options. Some RS-specific options are available too, such as carbon-ceramic brakes.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

See 2021 Audi A6 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Audi A6 is a top contender among luxury midsize cars. It has potent powertrain options and body styles that range from the S6 sedan to the RS 6 Avant wagon. Regardless, you’ll get a car with a punchy engine, a serene ride, and a handsome cabin. However, this is a highly competitive class. Before buying the Audi, it may be worth checking out its rivals from Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2021 Audi A6 is the German brand’s sophisticated player in the midsize luxury sedan segment, where it competes with the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Those rivals may outsell the A6, but this luxury sedan is highly attractive to executives seeking to stand out from the crowd." -- Autotrader
  • "While one-time rivals like the Lexus GS are being discontinued, the A6 still faces formidable competition in the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Those German competitors outsell the A6, but the Audi attracts with its excellent – and standard – quattro all-wheel-drive system. The 2021 Audi A6 also boasts innovative technology and excellent driving manners that split the difference between the sportiness of the BMW 5 Series and plushness of the Mercedes E-Class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped, the 2021 Audi A6 checks the critical boxes for a mid-size luxury car. Its cabin is lined with quality materials and fit and finish ranks among the best the premium automobile marketplace has to offer. The A6 also woos tech-savvy buyers with a plethora of displays, cameras, driver-assistance features, and convenience items sprinkled throughout the interior. What's missing here is the crisp and tossable handling dynamics that shine so brightly in the smaller A4 sedan and its two-door A5 siblings." -- Car and Driver

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 22, 2020

Cratering Sales: So far in 2020, sales of the Audi A6 are in the lower half of the luxury midsize car class, and have plummeted by 39 percent relative to the same timeframe in 2019. To make matters worse, the A6 is being outperformed by the class sales-leader, the Lexus ES, by almost 4 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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