German automakers are famed for their styling philosophy for sedans: one shape, three lengths. It can be a sore point for cars like the Audi A6, which looks a lot like its smaller A4 stablemate, while skipping the ultrafabulous curves of its A7 sibling.
The A6 is good-looking, no question. The sheetmetal's nicely contoured, the details are crisp, the profile is handsome. It's just a bit more ambivalent than those other Audis. With the A7, you get a styling statement; with the A4, you're co-opting more expensive cars. You're also getting a massive grille that looks out of place, and a signature curve in the side that's aped by a slew of inexpensive compact cars.
Inside, the A6 has Audi's singular style. The buttons and switches are many, but Audi subdues them all with a blend of wood and leather and metallic trim. Concave door panels and a carved-out dash give the impression of greater interior space, and the overarching interior theme is pleasing.
That said, the myriad panels, pieces, trim bits and buttons in the A6 cabin can get a little busy. Clarity of layout helps keep it in check. The dash sits low and is slim, so concessions have to be made. The pop-up screen for infotainment is one. We're also not totally on board with the A6's red interior lighting; it's a touch too Top Gun for silken treatments like Audi's gorgeous layered-oak trim.