A modest refresh for the 2016 model year means the A6 looks better than ever, With Quattro all-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic, even the entry-level four-cylinder A6 feels quick off the line and around town.
Out of the four engines Audi offers in the A6, the turbocharged four seems the least exciting. The supercharged V-6 is the Goldilocks motor, the turbocharged diesel the gas mileage champ (and thankfully, not part of the recent VW/Audi diesel fiasco), and the twin-turbo V-8 in the S6 is sweet thermonuclear overkill.
On the other hand, the 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-four is the same motor found in the smaller A4, the even smaller A3, and it’s similar to the engine found the Volkswagen GTI. It’s great in those little vehicles, but I was worried it wouldn’t have the guts to haul the A6 around.
The Audi ‘Drive Select’ system lets you flip the car from relaxed to sporty at the push of a button. Radar in the rear view mirrors keeps watch for cars in your blind spot, while sonar sensors let you know when your bumpers are closing in on other cars when parking. (The incessant beeping they make was my friends’ sole quibble with the car. The sensors are too sensitive for a typically tight New York City parking space, so snaking the A6 into a spot sets off a ton of high-pitched squealing.)
Serving up a smorgasbord of style, comfort and technology, the Audi A6 offers a great package for anyone looking to buy a solid all-around luxury sedan. Sure, the 2.0T badge on the back may not be as prestigious as one that says “V6” or “V8.”
Sport mode keeps the transmission in a lower gear, so the power is always right there when you need it, even at the expense of some MPGs.
A smaller engine doesn’t mean a compromised luxury car
Turns out, that little four-cylinder is more than enough to scoot around roughly two tons of luxury sedan. Granted, 252-horsepower may not sound sexy in an era when Audi has five cars in their lineup making more than 500 horses. But for everyday life, it’s more than adequate. Besides, as sexy as horsepower numbers might be, it’s the 273 lb.-ft. of torque that give the A6 real-world scoot, delivering a belt of acceleration right off the line.
The Quattro all-wheel-drive helps get the power down evenly, in wet or dry weather. Yet it’s the eight-speed automatic transmission that does the most to help the engine, picking and choosing the best gears for zipping through the city.