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- Supreme interior
- Very good base transmission
- A6 Competition model is interesting
- S-line exterior is standard
- Safety has been a strong suit
- Can be pricey when fully equipped
- Rear space can be tight
- A7 is just too good-looking
- Incremental upgrades
The 2017 Audi A6 is a stellar mid-size luxury sedan; it's a bit sedate, but still good enough to compete with some flagship vehicles from other brands.
The Audi A6 is a mid-size luxury sedan that competes against a slew of challengers from all over the globe, but manages to stay at—or very near—the top. Few sedans under six figures offer the same available features and refined drive as the A6—and those pricier sedans don't have the A6's verified record of world-class safety.
The A6's overall rating of 8.0 confirms its dominance. It aced the features test we threw at it; only styling and performance drop the average. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Audi A6 styling and performance
The 2017 Audi A6 hasn't significantly changed since last year. A slightly more potent A6 Competition model offers a mild horsepower boost and better seats, while the rest of the range receives the S-line exterior treatment as standard this year. The A6 was slightly updated last year to include a few corporate Audi features such as the large "Singleframe" grille design. A a sedan, the A6 is subtle and reserved, a stark contrast from its A7 cousin.
The A6 offers two powertrain options, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 or a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. The former can be fitted with a 7-speed automatic and front-drive or an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The latter only comes with the 8-speed and all-wheel drive, which Audi calls "quattro." For 2017, Audi offers a slightly more potent version of the 3.0-liter V-6, which produces 340 horsepower, in the A6 Competition sedan. (The more potent S6 sport sedan is covered separately. )
Audi A6 quality, safety, and features
The Audi A6's cabin space hasn't changed much over the past decade. The wart on its nose is its tight back-seat leg room. In front, a wide range of body sizes and types will fit, but the rear seat is more snug. The coupe-like, swept-back roofline is the likely culprit. With 14.1 cubic feet of space in the trunk, there's decent, if not plentiful, cargo space, too.
We haven't seen crash scores for 2017 yet, but based on last year's ratings, the Audi A6 is one of the safest sedans on the market, regardless of price.
Last year Audi pulled the diesel-powered A6 from sale, which was the former efficiency leader, but the A6 still manages to be fuel-efficient. Gas mileage reaches a high of 35 mpg highway, or 28 mpg combined.
Inside, the A6 is awash in leather and technology and keeps pace with full-size models that are considered flagship sedans for other brands. The 2017 Audi A6 can be equipped with the latest and some of the best technology, infotainment, and convenience features available today, including Google Earth maps, in-car high-speed data, and Bluetooth audio streaming.
That refined presentation may get lost in the A6's conservative exterior, however. And it also presents an existential problem for A6 shoppers: The A7 is similarly styled on the inside, and gorgeous on the outside, so why not go there instead?