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Audi A6 review from Edmunds
What’s new Completely redesigned for 2019 New infotainment system New V6 mild hybrid powertrain Part of the fifth A6 generation introduced for 2019 Pros Strong overall performance Attractive and refined interior High levels of comfort Lots of high-tech features Cons New infotainment interface can be distracting to use Engine sounds coarse at full throttle
Which A6 does Edmunds recommend?
Our pick is the midgrade Premium Plus trim for the items you get on top of the base Premium model. In particular, the larger infotainment screen makes operation just a little bit less distracting. On top of that, the Premium Plus trim is eligible for more options that include luxury seating and advanced safety features.
Edmunds’ Expert Review
The Audi A6 is all-new for 2019, representing the fifth generation of the midsize luxury sedan. In many ways, the 2019 A6 performs and behaves on the road just like its predecessor. And that’s just fine by us since both provide a good mix of sporty handling and comfort.
The big news is the amount of technology that brings the A6 up to date. Audi has given the powertrain a new 48-volt mild hybrid component that increases fuel economy by 2 mpg. There are also a lot of additions related to advanced safety features and infotainment. Unfortunately, the new MMI system is now based on a dual-touchscreen setup, and we’ve found it’s more distracting to use (taking the driver’s attention from the road ahead) than the old system.
Otherwise, the 2019 Audi A6 is a solid choice for a midsize luxury sedan. Compared to its main rivals, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, this A6 is pleasantly understated and packed with more tech-based features.
2019 Audi A6 configurations
The 2019 Audi A6 is available in three trim levels: the well-appointed base Premium, the Premium Plus, which comes with some tech upgrades, and the top-of-the-line Prestige trim. All models are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (335 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque) that is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A 48-volt mild hybrid system assists with automatic stop-start and allows the gasoline engine to shut off for brief highway periods. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard.
Standard features for the Premium trim include 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, keyless remote entry, selectable drive modes, frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory functions, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.
On the tech side, you also get an 8.8-inch main infotainment touchscreen, an 8.6-inch lower touchscreen, four USB ports, a universal garage door opener, Audi Connect Plus (emergency telematics, vehicle monitoring, advanced map functions, and a Wi-Fi hotspot), a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio.
The available Convenience package adds a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic and vehicle-exit alerts, keyless entry and ignition, a hands-free trunk release, power-folding mirrors, and a wireless charging pad with signal booster.
The Premium Plus trim includes all of the above, along with automatic high-beam headlights, a digital instrument panel, a larger 10.1-inch main touchscreen, a surround-view camera, enhanced voice controls, and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
To this, you can add the Warm Weather package that includes quad-zone automatic climate control, rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, and additional lumbar adjustments for the front passenger seat.
The range-topping Prestige model comes with the Warm Weather package, as well as upgraded headlights, soft-close doors, a head-up display, multicolor ambient interior lighting, manual rear passenger sunshades, and dual-pane acoustic glass.
All A6 trims are eligible for rear-seat side airbags and 20-inch wheels that also come with a sport-tuned suspension. There’s also a Cold Weather package with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
The Premium Plus and the Prestige can be further outfitted with the Individual Contour Seating package, which bundles premium leather upholstery and upgraded front seats with heating, ventilation and massage. There’s also the Driver Assistance package with lane keeping assist, side collision warning, a traffic sign reader, and adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam Assist. An adaptive suspension with rear-wheel steering, a 19-speaker Band & Olufsen premium audio system, and night vision are offered only on the Prestige trim.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the Audi A6 Prestige (turbo 3.0L V6 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).
The A6 performs very similar to its predecessor, and that’s a good thing. Overall performance will exceed expectations for the majority of drivers, yet it remains very easy to drive.
For the average driver, there’s a surplus of power that gets the A6 up to speed smoothly and with little effort. The engine auto stop-start has a new 48-volt supply, but it doesn’t seem any quicker to respond than before. The V6 sounds more like a four-cylinder than a V6 when pushed hard.
The pedal is appropriately firm for a luxury sedan like this and is easy to modulate. There’s plenty of power to get the A6 slowed down in a hurry, and the vehicle remains reassuringly controllable under aggressive braking.
The steering is responsive and has the right amount of effort in each particular drive mode. But there isn’t much feedback for the driver. The variable-ratio steering makes maneuvering in snug spaces easier, but in very tight turns the A6 tends to turn too sharply.
The A6 arcs around turns with ease. The well-tuned suspension and all-wheel drive supply enough grip to allow drivers to have fun on a twisty road. Dynamic mode stiffens up the dampers for added performance. It’s good enough that you might question whether it’s worth upgrading to a forthcoming S6 model.
The A6 is very easy to live with on a daily basis. Available driving assistants also alleviate some of the tedium of congested traffic. The dual-clutch automatic transmission has none of the low-speed awkwardness of other units and behaves just like a traditional automatic.
Comfort is the name of the game with any luxury sedan, and the A6 delivers. It’s as accommodating and refined as its BMW and Mercedes-Benz rivals in this manner.
The Contour Seating package is a welcome addition on a long road trip. The added adjustability ensures you’ll find your optimal position, while the ventilation and massage functions mean you’ll arrive just as fresh as when you left.
The A6 has sporty handling, but its ride quality doesn’t suffer as a result. In the default Comfort setting, the ride is glassy-smooth but never unsettling or floaty. Selecting the Dynamic mode stiffens up the available adaptive dampers, but not to objectionable levels.
Noise & vibration
The A6 gets high marks for its quiet cabin. Road and wind noise is blissfully absent on a variety of surfaces and at varying speeds. The Prestige trim’s dual-pane glass likely contributes to this. We do wish the engine was quieter or sounded better at full throttle, though.
The positioning and shape of the air vents deliver an efficient and diffuse flow. The heated and ventilated seats are also quick to respond and effective. Operating the climate control via the lower touchscreen is a bit too distracting, but voice control is a decent alternative.
The A6’s interior is modern and fashionable, but that look unfortunately comes at the expense of infotainment usability. Otherwise, the cabin is appealing, with top-notch materials, solid construction and adult-size space for all.
Ease of use
The primary driving controls are easy to find and use, but the new MMI infotainment interface is somewhat troublesome. The touchscreens are positioned low on the dash and demand too much of the driver’s attention to operate. The lack of physical shortcut buttons can also be frustrating.
Getting in/getting out
The front and rear doors are large enough to make seat access effortless, but not so large as to impede access in tight parking spots. The Prestige trim adds soft-close doors for slam-free silence. The interior door handles are now electric and require almost no effort.
The optional 18-way-adjustable driver’s seat ensures you’ll find your preferred position for a variety of body types. There’s enough range of adjustment for the steering column and seat height to please short and tall pilots alike.
The A6 is impressively spacious. The amount of lateral space makes it feel more like a slightly smaller A8 than a midsize sedan. The rear outboard seats have plenty of legroom and headroom for 6-foot passengers, and the large windows and panoramic sunroof provide an airy atmosphere.
The front roof pillars are about as thick as those on competing sedans, which means they don’t get in the way much when making turns. The mirrors and side windows enable a good outward view, too. The available surround-view cameras take all the guesswork out of backing into a tight space.
The materials quality is commendable in the Premium trim and suitably upscale in the Prestige. The added leather surfaces on the door panels, dash and center console class up the cabin appropriately for the cost. Audi continues to deliver high levels of refinement and attention to detail.
There are enough pockets and bins to hold your personal effects, but they’re not large enough to call generous. Trunk space is more than adequate thanks to its usable shape and easy access.
The cupholders can hold a variety of bottles, and they feature a small pocket between them for smaller items. The wireless charging pad is a welcome addition, and the signal booster further promotes use. The door pockets and center armrest bin are adequate but not particularly large.
With a cargo capacity of 13.7 cubic feet, the A6’s trunk is about average for the class. That said, the shape makes it more accommodating than that figure suggests. The trunk opening is low and wide, making it easier to load larger items.
There is a lot of technology packed into the A6, and the features all work as they should. The problem is that you have to control almost everything through the low-mounted dual touchscreens. It makes us miss the previous MMI system and dial controller.
Audio & navigation
Response from these systems is quick, and the graphics are thoroughly modern and sharp. Using the touchscreen is more distracting than we prefer, however. Consider using alternate methods such as voice commands or phone integration instead.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models, which is a very good thing. They are far easier to use and more familiar than the new MMI system. The wireless charging pad with a signal booster is a neat addition.
Audi’s tuning of driver assistants such as adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist is well-executed and encourages driver use, especially in dense traffic conditions. The Predictive Control system slows the car as you approach a bend in the road and accelerates out, just as a human driver would.
The voice control is a welcome alternative to the distracting touchscreens and operates more than just audio and navigation. You can say, “I’m cold,” and the system will ask what you’d like to change the temperature to. It’s almost as good as Mercedes’ MBUX system.
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