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- Slightly revised looks carry forward understated charm
- Improved power adds more confident passing
- New S tronic dual-clutch base transmission is crisp
- More potent S6 performance
- Can be rather expensive fully configured
- Rear seat space is a bit tight
- Still not clear why you should pick A6 instead of A7
The 2016 Audi A6 builds on an already impressive set of features, abilities, and styling to yield a safe, fun, high-tech luxury sedan.
The Audi A6 already was a very good car, but the 2016 model year takes the brand’s refinements, improvements, iterate theory and applies it yet again. The net result is a car that’s simply better in most of the ways that matter.
Small visual updates give cues to the mechanical and technological updates found elsewhere. And the front and rear ends, slight changes in the shape of the "Singleframe" grille and details of the bumpers and trim mark the A6 and S6 as well as S line vehicles; a new LED headlight design is also visible at the nose. At the rear, new trapezoidal tailpipes are found on A6 models. New interior colors like Flint gray and Cedar brown are available, while the S6 gets optional Arras red leather and carbon fiber inserts with red thread accents.
Inside the 2016 Audi A6’s cabin, you’ll find essentially the same amount of space and comfort found in previous models is present, meaning there’s ample room in the front seats for a range of heights and body types, while the rear seat is perhaps a bit more snug than in some of the competition, owing to its swept-back, almost coupe-like roof line. With 14.1 cubic feet of trunk space, there’s enough—if not ample—cargo space, too.
Options and equipment even at the base level remain impressive in the 2016 Audi A6, though as with any luxury brand, it’s toward the top of the spectrum that you’ll find the most compelling configurations. Of course, you’ll also pay for high-tech extras like Google Earth maps and mobile 4G LTE with wi-fi hotspot access.
Under the hood, the 2016 Audi A6 sees several important updates, with 2.0T and 3.0T variants offered in addition to the high-performance S6. The 2.0T model now gets a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Front-drive is standard in the 2.0T, with a new 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission; quattro all-wheel-drive is optional and is exclusively paired with the familiar 8-speed Tiptronic transmission.
Upgrading to the more potent 3.0T model brings a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine rated at 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and increase of 23 hp from the previous version. A Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive are standard on the 3.0T.
The A6 TDI had been certified with 3.0-liter, 240-hp, 428-lb-ft diesel engine with quattro all-wheel-drive and an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, unchanged from last year’s version.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted diesel engines in this model illegally cheated federal tests and polluted beyond allowable limits. As part of unprecedented settlements with federal and state governments, Volkswagen agreed to buyback from owners diesel-equipped models of this vehicle. To determine eligibility for all affected Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi models, Volkswagen set up VWDieselInfo.com for owners. (Owners of affected vehicles can enter their VIN numbers to see if their cars are eligible for buyback.)
The high-performance Audi S6 also gets upgraded, with a 30-hp rise to 450 hp output. Quattro all-wheel-drive and an S tronic transmission are also standard on S6 models.
Driving the new A6 in early European specification, the improved power in the base model and 3.0T is immediately apparent. Passing power, even in the front-drive 2.0T version, is ample for all but the most aggressive drivers and situations. The new dual-clutch transmission is likewise quick to respond and smooth in its shift behavior. Though the new S tronic dual-clutch isn’t markedly improved over the Tiptronic automatic it replaces in the base model, it’s expected to be somewhat more efficient.
Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have carried over the A6's excellent crash-test scores for 2016. It's scored five stars in NHTSA testing and top marks of “Good” in all categories tested by the IIHS, including the tough small-overlap impact test. It's not only one of the safest sedans in its class, it's also one of the safest sedans on the road—period.
A new set of technologies further improve the experience behind the wheel and in the cabin of the 2016 Audi A6, including new driver assistance feature and an upgraded MMI infotainment system. The new driver assistance features include revised Side Assist and Active Lane Assist to help avoid collisions when a vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot by providing steering input. Secondary Collision Assist can apply the brakes on its own to avoid secondary collisions (collisions after an initial accident). A night vision system now recognizes more types of animals; and an available head-up display has been redesigned for better integration into the dash.
The improvements to the MMI infotainment system include a new Nvidia quad-core Tegra 30 processor, capable of much faster information and graphics processing. Other features include Audi music interface, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Siri Eyes Free integration, Facebook and Twitter alerts, and more.
The 2.0T base model is rated 24 mpg city, 35 highway, 28 combined. With quattro, four-cylinder versions are rated at 22/32/26 mpg, 20/30/24 mpg with the supercharged V-6.