Audi A6 saloon
Price £32,995 - £57,215
- Ultra version is extremely cheap to run
- Grippy quattro four-wheel drive
- High-quality interior
- Expensive optional extras
- Firm suspension on S line models
- Not as much fun to drive as a BMW 5 Series
At a glance
"The Audi A6 is the German brand's answer to the BMW 5 Series – and this version is the best yet."
The Audi A6 is a large executive car that competes with the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF. It's particularly popular with company car drivers, but it's also available as a practical estate – the standard A6 Avant, a high-performance RS6 Avant or a rugged A6 Allroad.
There's a wide range of diesel engines to choose from, as well as plenty of trims, so all buyers will be well catered for. Of particular note is the A6 Ultra, an efficient diesel version that will appeal to fleet buyers due to its low running costs. All models of the A6 are impressive, though – it's a great all-rounder.
We’ve already mentioned the 2.0 TDI Ultra, and it returns a claimed 67mpg and costs just £20 to tax for the year. If you want more power then you’ll have to go for a 3.0 TDI, available in two power outputs, and then there's the range-topping 3.0 BiTDI, which is a twin-turbo diesel with impressive performance on offer. All diesel engines are smooth, powerful and refined, so you won’t feel like you need extra power, even with the entry-level Ultra version.
The only petrol engine available in the A6 is a 4.0-litre unit reserved for the S6, but be prepared for high running costs if you want this engine. Audi's famous Quattro four-wheel drive system is available across the range, as is the choice of either a slick six-speed manual or smooth, responsive S tronic automatic gearbox for the A6 Ultra only.
On the move, the A6 isn’t as fun to drive as the BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF, but it still provides enough involvement, plus it's very comfortable and relaxed on a motorway cruise. You can change the way the car drives via the Drive Select system, which allows you tweak the steering, engine and gearbox to your personal preferences.
The inside is where the A6 feels special. There are three trim levels to choose from – SE Executive, S line and Black Edition – as well as the higher-performance S6 and RS6 trims. All trim levels come well equipped with four-zone climate control, cruise control, DAB radio, sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers and heated leather seats as standard, plus the dashboard looks and feels very high quality.
A criticism of Audis that we’ve had for a long time is that the suspension on higher-spec models can be too firm, however you can opt for the SE Executive's softer suspension at no extra cost. If you continue to raid the options list, though, you could end up spending an awful lot of money because it's comprehensive and pretty expensive.
The Audi A6 looks and feels like a solid car, and its reliability was rated highly in previous Driver Power surveys, however it's fallen to 81st place in the 2016 survey with some owners raising concerns about the car's reliability. The build quality is hard to fault, though, and it's a very safe car – it achieved five stars from Euro NCAP and has an extensive list of safety equipment as standard. You can add even more from the options list, too.
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