The 2013 Audi A6 and S6 are good-looking mid-size sport sedans, with a handsome profile, nicely contoured sheetmetal, and crisp details. But all this said, if you've seen its more stylish A7 hatchback counterpart, you might end up feeling a bit ambivalent about the A6's look.
In an era when other German luxury marques--and luxury brands in general--have been moving away from scaling up a similar design throughout their lineups, Audi has headed in quite the opposite direction. It's given its A4, A6 and A8 sedans similar proportions and a common design language, yet the A6 is neither as attainable as the A4 or the social-climber device that's the A8. Compounding the fizzle for this mid-sizer is that the character line that swipes up its side into its rear fenders-the so-called "tornado" line-is now in the standard design playbook and seen even on inexpensive vehicles such as the Hyundai Elantra.
Audi had up until a few model years ago distinguished itself with more delicate details, but the immense ground-to-nose grille in the latest A6 and others doesn't entice us--it goads you into staring it down. All told, the A6's sheetmetal speaks more to its global mission as more of an everyman's sedan than to its U.S. mission as a zingy alternative to the Mercedes-Benz E Class, Infiniti M, and BMW 5-Series.
The styling is far more successful inside, where the instrument panel is low and slim. An available navigation system displays on a screen that rotates out of the dash. The shape of the dash is sleek without being too extravagant, and the carved-out dash and door panels give the impression of slightly more interior space.
The car's cockpit is composed of lots of trim pieces and at times the combination of metallic trim, wood, leather, and all those seems can give the impression of a busy workplace. One styling mismatch we've noted is the red interior lighting, which simply does not work with some of the wood trims.