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2018 Audi A6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Audi A6 was new.


Performance: 9.2

The 2018 Audi A6 is ostensibly a luxury sedan, but it might be able to moonlight as a sports car. It offers three different powertrains, all of which have plenty of power (in some cases, you might even call it excessive), and the automatic transmissions all shift smoothly. That power isn’t just for straight-ahead driving, either. The A6 is agile and won’t hold you back if you want to enjoy a winding road. The ride is generally smooth as well.

  • "The 2017 Audi A6 is a fun car to drive, especially considering its size and heft. Not many midsize luxury sedans forge such a gratifying connection with the driver." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "If you liked the previous A6 and S6, you won't be disappointed. The A6 feels just as planted as ever. Acceleration is quick, the steering taut, the ride compliant. These cars have that confidence-instilling performance that will help you set fire to curvy roads." -- Motor Trend (2016)
  • "While many automakers isolate the driver, the A6 still provides engaging and enjoyable German driving dynamics without any serious compromises. And even though we would never make the A6 2.0 TFSI our first choice for a sprint around a race circuit, it would be near the top of our list for a pleasant high-speed tour through a country – especially Deutschland." -- Autoblog (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The A6’s base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 252 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission comes in front-wheel-drive models, while those with all-wheel drive get an eight-speed automatic. The A6 has ample power for all driving situations, even with this powertrain. The same cannot be said for every rival’s base engine. Both transmissions deliver smooth, timely shifts.

Of course, there are more-powerful options. Higher trims are available with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 340 horsepower. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s also the high-performance S6, which features a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 450 horsepower. The V6 is plenty fast, and the S6 will go from zero to 60 mph in under 4.5 seconds.

Fuel economy is another of the A6’s strong suits. With the base engine and FWD, this Audi gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those are good ratings for a luxury midsize car. With the available V6, gas mileage dips to 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

  • It's safe to say that all A6 models are swift, with even base 4-cylinder versions hitting the 0-60-mph benchmark in 6.7 seconds. This isn't as quick as a base BMW 5 Series or even an E-Class for that matter, but fast enough for most needs. The supercharged V6 in 3.0 models easily rectifies this, bringing that figure down to 5.1 seconds, while the S6 thrills with a 4.4-second mark." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With even more power for 2018, the A6's 3.0T V6 remains a standout in the segment. The standard 2.0T engine is also more than sufficient." -- Edmunds 
  • "The gain in horsepower allows the A6 to feel just a bit more nimble in traffic than its displacement figure could lead you to believe at first, … we caught ourselves repeatedly asking 'Is this the 2.0-liter version?' It was indeed, and with front-wheel drive the A6 felt more like a number of A4 sedans that we've recently driven." -- Autoweek (2016)

Handling and Braking

The A6 isn’t a sports car, but you might not know that from driving it. It handles like a smaller car, and it feels equally at home driving through the city or cutting up winding roads. The ride is a bit rougher than you might expect at times, though it’s far from uncomfortable. The A6 comes standard with front-wheel drive, but Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is available and delivers outstanding road grip.

  • "More impressive than outright acceleration is the A6's balance of dynamic handling and compliant manners. This is a car that feels at ease in almost any situation. Helping that factor is the A6's quattro all-wheel-drive system, which we recommend in lieu of the front-drive setup on the least expensive models. If you're not quite up for the high-performance S6, the A6 Competition promises better handling with its stiffer suspension and sport differential." -- 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 stiffer suspension tuning." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • Although the A6 uses a front-drive platform, its weight distribution has never been more balanced, and the all-wheel-drive system can send up to 60 percent of torque to the rear wheels for improved control. The result is a car that feels smaller and lighter than it really is, especially with one of the Sport packages. The ride isn't as smooth as in some other luxury sedans, though, so resist the temptation to order those gorgeous 20-in wheels." -- Autotrader (2016)

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