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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

2021 Audi A6 Review



Overview


Comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped, the 2021 Audi A6 checks the critical boxes for a mid-size luxury car. Its cabin is lined with quality materials and fit and finish ranks among the best the premium automobile marketplace has to offer. 

The A6 also woos tech-savvy buyers with a plethora of displays, cameras, driver-assistance features, and convenience items sprinkled throughout the interior. What's missing here is the crisp and tossable handling dynamics that shine so brightly in the smaller A4 sedan and its two-door A5 siblings. 

Buyers will choose from either a turbocharged four-cylinder engine (those models are denoted with a "45" badge) and a turbocharged V-6 (called "55"); both power-trains receive a boost from a hybrid system and come standard with all-wheel drive. 

The A6 is a handsomely styled—if somewhat bland—mid-size four-door that easily hangs with rivals such as the BMW 5-series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class, but is better suited for commuting duty than tackling twisty back roads.


2021 Audi A6


What's New for 2021?


Audi has given the A6 updates that are similar to other 2021 Audis. The base Premium trim now comes with 19-inch wheels, keyless entry, and an integrated toll-road payment module; this model's available Convenience package now includes a 360-degree camera system and in-dash navigation with a 10.1-inch infotainment display. 

Mid-range Premium Plus models get adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist as standard and the top-spec Prestige adds standard rear-window sunshades. A new Black Optics Sport appearance package joins the roster of options and adds black exterior trim, unique 20-inch wheels, and a sport suspension.

We'd recommend the mid-range Premium Plus 55 trim level with its standard turbocharged V-6 engine. Besides the smooth strong engine, this model includes a lot of features that luxury buyers will find tempting, such as the digital gauge display, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a larger 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 360-degree exterior-camera system. On top of that, we'd suggest the Executive package, which includes a power trunk lid, multi-color ambient interior lighting, four-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, and ventilated front seats.


2021 Audi A6
 
Engine, Transmission, and Performance


The A6's two powertrains—a 248-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 335-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6—are both more than enough to haul this mid-size sedan around town. 

Both powertrains employ hybrid technology with a 12- or 48-volt starter/alternator that runs the engine's stop-start system and other ancillary equipment. 

A seven-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive are both standard. The V-6 delivers plenty of thrust for merging and passing on the highway. At our test track, it charged from zero to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. Despite this quick result, it's not quite enough to outrun its key rivals, the BMW 540i xDrive and the Mercedes-Benz E450 4Matic. 

The 540i managed a 4.5-second run, while the Benz did it in 4.6. Despite its impressive cornering ability and steady ride, the A6 performs better as a luxury sedan than a sports sedan. We enjoyed its balanced handling and precise steering but never felt totally engaged when attacking twisty sections of road.


2021 Audi A6

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The A6 earned decent fuel-economy estimates from the EPA, and opting for the V-6 versus the turbo four-cylinder isn't much of a compromise in the efficiency department. 

The four-cylinder A6 received a 32-mpg highway rating, which is only three more than the V-6. However, our V-6–powered test vehicle managed an impressive 32 mpg during the course of our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test. 

That result puts it ahead of the Benz (30 mpg) and the BMW (31 mpg) but behind the ├╝ber-efficient Lexus ES350, which managed an incredible 39 mpg in the same test.

2021 Audi A6


Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The A6's interior design is sleek, modern, and nicely put together from excellent-quality materials. Soft leather adorns the seats and armrests, rich-looking wood and nickel-finished metal trim is tastefully applied to the dash and doors, and the majority of the A6's secondary controls—climate, drive mode, etc.—are handled by a large touch-sensitive panel underneath the main infotainment display. 

A similar system is used in the A8 luxury sedan and the Q8 crossover, and despite our usual griping about the takeover of touchscreen controls, it works well and provides satisfying haptic feedback. 

A large trunk and easy-to-fold rear seatbacks make the A6 great for hauling cargo. We fit six of our carry-on suitcases in the trunk, which ties both the E450 and the 540i. The Audi offered far more space than either of those two with the rear seats folded, managing to hold 20 cases; the Benz held 18 and the BMW 16.


2021 Audi A6

Infotainment and Connectivity

Audi's familiar MMI infotainment interface gets a big revamp in this iteration of the A6. It no longer uses a click-wheel controller on the center console but offers reconfigurable menus so users can customize the layout of the home screen to suit their tastes. 

An 8.8-inch display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and onboard Wi-Fi are all standard, but Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display and the larger 10.1-inch infotainment display are optional. 

A 10-speaker audio system is standard, but we'd recommend the 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen setup that comes standard on the Premium Plus and Prestige models.

2021 Audi A6


Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The A6 has earned five stars for crash-test safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also reported strong results for the new A6 in 2019 and named it a Top Safety Pick+ for the 2019 and 2020 model years. 

Audi also offers quite a few standard and optional driver-assistance features, including a system that watches out for traffic to save you from stepping out of the car and into the path of a moving vehicle. Key safety features include:

 Standard automated emergency braking

 Standard lane departure warning

 Available adaptive cruise control

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    Audi offers an average standard warranty that, when compared with other premium brands, looks pretty basic. Jaguar offers more value here, with longer warranties and five years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

    •  Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
    •  Power-train warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
    •  Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles

    • 2021 Audi A6

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