Audi A6 saloon
Price £31,955 - £56,000
- Ultra version is extremely cheap to run
- Good-quality interior
- Grippy quattro four-wheel drive
- Not as much fun to drive as a BMW 5 Series
- Firm suspension on S line models
- Expensive optional extras
At a glance
"The Audi A6 is the brand's answer to the BMW 5 Series – and this version is the best yet."
Those wanting an alternative to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF need look no further than the Audi A6. It has one of the nicest interiors in its class and for 2014 has been restyled – reflecting other Audi models such as the new Audi TT – and given a new super-economical engine called the Ultra. Inside, there are new trim finishes to choose from and the car's infotainment system is now quicker to operate. As before, the A6 is available as the Audi A6 Avant estate, while the Audi S6 is currently the fastest model in the range. We’ve reviewed both separately.
While the Audi's three main rivals mentioned above are rear-wheel drive, basic versions of the Audi A6 are front-wheel drive, which makes for safe and predictable handling rather than sporty driving thrills. Buyers can also choose Audi's famous quattro four-wheel-drive system, which improves stability on wet and slippery roads, but adds little to the driving experience. All models come with Audi Drive Select, which lets owners adjust the steering, engine and gearbox to prioritise comfort, economy or handling, but it's a gimmick that you’re unlikely to still be bothering with after a couple of months’ ownership.
A frequently mentioned downside of the A6 is the stiff ride on cars fitted with sports suspension and large alloy wheels, but this problem has been resolved by Audi's decision to offer softer Dynamic suspension at no extra cost on higher-specification models.
Low running costs make the Ultra model the one to go for – it can return more than 60mpg and is very cheap to tax. Its frugality doesn’t come at the expense of performance – the economical Audi still has a top speed of more than double the legal limit and accelerates swiftly.
Trim levels include SE, S line, Black Edition and the performance-orientated S6. All models come with sat nav, alloy wheels, a leather interior, xenon headlights, LED rear lights, a powerful stereo and four-zone climate control, which allows all four occupants to adjust the air temperature and fan speed to their liking.
The Audi A6 Ultra features a fuel-sipping 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine that returns more than 67mpg
The Audi A6 is a fast and capable cruiser, but it’s not exactly inspiring to drive
Specify your Audi A6 with small wheels and Dynamic suspension to maximise comfort
The Audi A6 has a bigger boot than a BMW 5 Series and plenty of interior storage
The Audi A6 lives up to its reputation for superb build quality