By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
Audi has long been considered one of the world's great luxury car names, but up until recently, the company seemed content not making waves when it came to rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Those days are gone as Audi is now aggressively gunning for BMW and MB's customer base. Audi's strategy is clearly evident in the 2014 A6, a sedan that masterfully blends performance and luxury into a single, well-heeled machine admired as much for its efficiency as its opulence. A choice of turbocharged and supercharged gasoline engines and a new TDI clean diesel model help Audi further expand its reach, as does the 420-horsepower high-performance S6.
If you love the performance feel of the BMW 5 Series, but not the firm ride and somewhat sterile interior, you'll likely be drawn to the 2014 Audi A6. Cutting-edge audio and electronics along with quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) make the A6 nearly irresistible, as does its impressive fuel economy.
Although the S6 certainly can run with the best BMW has to offer, the base A6 can't make the same claim. Pulled by its front wheels and equipped with a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT), the A6 is no match for the rear-drive 5 Series, which also features an 8-speed automatic.
Horsepower on the 2.0T increases to 220, and a new TDI clean-diesel engine is added to the lineup. The A6 2.0T gains standard heated front seats, while the Prestige trim gains Audi Side Assist blind-spot monitoring. A number of new exterior trim and wheel upgrade packages are also offered.
Driving Impressions Audi's A6 for 2014 is designed to be soft over harsh city streets, yet adeptly athletic when the road unwinds. A nice compromise between the performance-oriented 5 Series and the...Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the A6 is designed to please the vast majority of owners who want a sophisticated driving experience but not at the expense of comfort or quiet. Although we wish the electric power steering delivered better feedback, it's not a deal breaker. Audi's supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine is marvelously responsive and the 8-speed automatic never feels as if it's shortchanging the engine's abilities. Audi's quattro AWD is biased towards the rear wheels but will favor all four equally when the pavement becomes slick enough to merit engagement. The new TDI diesel model offers impressive acceleration, thanks in part to its generous torque, and returns an even more impressive 38 mpg on the highway. The sport-oriented S6 changes the equilibrium, with its lusty 420-horsepower turbo V8 and firmer suspension.
3.0-LITER TDI CLEAN DIESEL ENGINE
With 240 horsepower, 428 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of just 5.5 seconds, the Audi A6 TDI for 2014 delivers V8-like performance while returning an estimated 24 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
STOP & GO CRUISE CONTROL
Using video cameras plus short- and long-distance radar sensors, the 2014 Audi A6 will gas and brake itself along in stop-and-go traffic. All you have to do is stay awake and steer.
The 2014 Audi A6 boasts not only our favorite interior in the segment, but one of the finest passenger cabins money can buy: an unmatched mix of contemporary design, high-quality materials and impeccable build quality. The A6 is also the choice in the segment for tech-lovers, offering dedicated Internet access that enables Google-powered maps and location information, and turns the car into a Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight personal devices. The center console-mounted volume knob, placed conveniently adjacent to the main MMI (Multi Media Interface) control, remains a favorite small touch.Exterior
The 2014 Audi A6's outer skin remains clean and uncluttered, a look highly sought after by Audi's clientele. The profile of the car is remarkably similar to its A4 and A8 stablemates, but it still looks fresh, athletic and purposeful. A number of exterior trim and wheel packages help buyers personalize their A6. Bright, crisp LED lighting options perfectly complement the modern aesthetic. Audi claims a remarkably low 0.26 drag coefficient for the A6, which helps the car slide through the air efficiently. Befitting its brawny, sporting role, the powerful S6 has identifying lower-body aero aids and a distinctive face.
Although the 2014 A6 2.0T Premium boasts one of the lowest starting prices in the category, there's not a single glaring omission from its standard-equipment set. It includes all the luxuries you'd expect in the segment – leather, heated front seats, sunroof, automatic headlights, seat memory, etc. – plus many of the newer niceties like keyless start (but not keyless entry), Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity and iPod/iPhone integration. Outstanding EPA fuel-economy ratings (25/33 mpg city/highway with front-drive) make the entry-priced A6 one of the best values going in the luxury class.
Audi's 2014 A6 offers an impressive array of comfort, convenience and safety technologies. In addition to all the benefits of dedicated Internet access, the A6 offers adaptive cruise control that can stop-and-go the sedan through a traffic jam. Audi Night Vision Assistant can detect nearby pedestrians on dark roads. A color head-up display projects speed and navigation information onto the windshield, close to your field of vision. Audi Pre Sense Plus monitors the road ahead and can warn of a potential collision. For this year, the parking assist system gets new top- and corner-view cameras.
Audi's supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is one of our favorite engines. With 310 horsepower and the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic in the A6, Audi says it runs 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The new 3.0-liter TDI diesel V6 with 240 horsepower produces nearly identical acceleration figures as the supercharged 3.0-liter while delivering class-leading fuel economy. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) attached to the 2.0T in FWD applications remains an acquired taste: functional and calibrated for good fuel efficiency but not the stuff of enthusiasts' dreams. The 8-speed Tiptronic automatic accompanies all quattro AWD applications, with both engines. Speaking of dreams, the 420-horsepower 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 in the S6 launches the 4400-pound car to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (CVT automatic, FWD), 20/29 mpg (8-speed automatic, AWD)
3.0-liter supercharged V6
310 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,500-3,750 rpm
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/38 mpg
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
420 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 mpg
The 2014 Audi A6 starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $44,000 and tops out near $75,000 when fully loaded. The S6 sports sedan runs from just under $74,500 to over $90,000. The 2014 Audi A6 has a starting price advantage compared to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans, but when comparably equipped they're all playing in the same ballpark. If you want more features for your money, check out Asian competitors like the Acura TL, Infiniti M (renamed the Q70 for 2014) and Hyundai Genesis sedans. Before going to a dealer, be sure to arm yourself with Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price, which reflects what others are paying. As for resale value, we expect the 2014 Audi A6 to perform on par with the category average.
By JB (MA) on Friday, November 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, comfort, and interior technology."
Cons: "Cup holders in front are small."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own the 3.0 Prestige, and, simply stated, it is an incredible vehicle. I am a former BMW owner - also former owner of two older Audi A4s - and have driven a variety of other luxury models - this is hands down my favorite. Most of the other reviews address performance and styling - which I agree are excellent and were the primary reason I bought this car. But the one thing I've discovered about this car that truly stands out from the rest of the pack is the AudiConnect feature (which turns the interior cabin into a Wi-Fi hot spot). Passengers can connect to the web with ease - and the navigation overlays Google Earth onto it's map display, which is very cool. But - BEST OF ALL - the Wifi feature allows for streaming music playback unparalelled by any other car maker. Sure, most new cars nowadays allow for an iphone or ipod connection - but the AudiConnect provides the bandwith to stream music from the Cloud or from the internet (3G or 4G cannot do this without choppy interruptions). Add this feature with the Bluetooth Audio playback - and it is truly mind blowing. I am able access my entire music library via the Cloud and stream the music through the car stereo. No wires, no fuss, no choppy/interrupted playback. It's awesome. And, honestly, the cup holders in front are a bit small - but if the only negative about this car I can think of is that - I'd say that's pretty good."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Drillman (TX) on Thursday, October 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great accelaration and handling"
Cons: "No touch screen on Nav and radio"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Excellent performance and handling. Very good gas mileage, particularly for a high performance vehicle"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By mdifanis (IL) on Friday, October 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "high performance, unbelievable fuel efficiency."
Cons: "Expensive, lacks sports car steering feel."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"By way of context, I also own a 2009 BMW 335d, which at that time was the most fuel efficient vehicle that BMW had ever imported to the U.S. The 2014 A6 TDI is larger, slightly faster, heavier, and has all-wheel drive (the 335d was **only** available with rear-wheel drive), yet the A6 TDI gets 10% to 20% better fuel economy! In addition to still owning a last-gen 3 series with sport package, I have driven hundreds of miles in the current generation 3 Series, as well as having test driven the new BMW 535d—the A6 TDI's most direct competitor. The A6, equipped with 20" wheels, summer tires, and various factory sport options is a hands-down winner over the 3 Series and 535d models I've driven. My 335d with sport package is unquestionably a better pure driver's car than the A6; however, this is due in part to its hydraulic steering. Since virtually all new cars in the A6's class now have more fuel efficient electrically assisted power steering, there is an unavoidable loss of feedback. This is true for the A6. It doesn't mean the steering is imprecise or bad, just less communicative. Even with S-Line trim and sport options—and with the steering feel set to "dynamic," the steering is still very light at low speeds, but it gets a bit heavier at speed, which is a good thing. Audi's sport steering wheel is elegant looking as well as a delight to hold. Interior aesthetics are stunningly beautiful throughout the cabin. All materials look and feel top notch. The front seats are comfortable and very adjustable, but still not as good as BMW sport seats, or as good as the seats in my old Audi S8 from 12 models years ago. The seats are **very** good, though. Cabin lighting is gorgeous, appearing to have been borrowed from NASA. Virtually everything one could want illuminated is softly and tastefully illuminated. My biggest gripe about the interior is that the MMI screen opens and pops up every time the car starts, and it retracts every time the car turns off. I have a very hard time believing that won't break at some point--and be very expensive to repair. I do, however appreciate the clean appearance that the interior has when the screen disappears into the dash. Exterior appearance is typical Audi: generally conservatively styled (except for the snout) with beautiful lines. The LED tail lights and daytime running lights have a futuristic and aggressive look about them. My particular car was equipped with full LED headlamps, which I don't think I would have ordered for the extra $1,400 or so price premium for that option, but it was on the car I liked on the dealer lot. The full LEDs add to the futuristic appearance, and they function well. They should also last for a very long time without noticeable dimming. My vehicle is black with S-Line trim. I wasn't looking specifically for a black car, but the large black grill work on the snout--in my opinion--works better when the body color is also dark. The optional 20" wheels--much to my surprise--don't make the ride choppy, excessively firm, or excessively noisy. Again, I would have steered clear of that option if I were ordering the car, for fear that the 35-series tires would offer too little cushion and protection for the wheels. But the car is still incredibly comfortable and civilized, and the 20" wheels--which are slightly smoky in color--look gorgeous and sporty, filling the wheel wells beautifully. Driving performance is excellent. The all-wheel drive makes the power delivery very subtle and low drama. It is far less dramatic than winding a high-revving gasser up to its redline, but the diesel feels like it accomplishes its work effortlessly, starting just off idle after a brief turbo lag. In real life, this diesel feels quicker and more responsive in the rev range where normal people do their normal driving. Yet it still manages to be incredibly fun--and sweet sounding--when wound up. Fuel economy has exceeded expectations. In my first 1,000 miles, I have averaged 32 MPG in mixed driving. With just a little care (i.e., not a bunch of crazy hyper-miling techniques), I can generally achieve 30 mpg in city driving. I have not observed 38 MPG highway yet, but that is because I have spent much of my highway driving in stop-and-go traffic, or cruising at seriously extra-legal speeds. Staying below 80 MPH should make the EPA claimed 38 MPG within easy reach. Finally, on the subject of fuel efficiency, keep in mind that the value proposition here goes beyond just saving money at the pump (which, by the way would take some years to pay back the initial price premium for the diesel). The ultra long range means you will be wasting less time getting fuel. Depending on the value of your time, this may pay for the cost differential faster than the fuel savings would! This car is an all-around excellent combination of comfortable size for four adults, good storage space, an amazing interior, excellent power and performance, and fuel economy that seems totally impossibly awesome!"
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By DCSea (WA) on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It's a beautiful car which will turn your and other's heads. Audi designs and produces the best car interiors in the industry hands down and the A6's is no exception. The car has amazing acceleration and great handling with a good balance between muting the bumps in the road and still hugging the corners. All this plus incredible gas mileage for such a large and heavy car. I easily get the EPA est. 28/34 but generally get higher on the freeway, even getting 40 on one short trip and 37 on a long road trip north. The only time you hear the diesel is if you are stopped, the radio is off, and your window is down. Oh and if you punch it you hear a little diesel rumble. The auto start/stop feature takes some getting used to. The auto start you don't really notice and it's instantaneous when you take your foot off the brake and before you can reach the accelerator, but occasionally the auto stop can cause the car to shudder slightly. If it really bothers you, there is a button to turn this feature off on the dash. I wish there wasn't such a high markup in the price over the 3.0 gas model. Hopefully this will be made up in fuel savings over the long haul."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By NB (IL) on Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, ride, comfort, winter driving and heat"
Cons: "headlights too dim"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I wish I had the heated side mirrors,front camera and passenger electric seat; that would be the best car EVER! Winter heating is fast but windshield tends to fog up...so did my 2002 A6"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Jungleer (VA) on Monday, July 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Corners like a ducati"
Cons: "No automatic truck closure like the A8"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my first sedan in 15 years so I drove them all, the A6 is the clear winner for me. Zero recalls so far and only regular scheduled maintenance visits. The MMI takes a few days to get used to but all the options are great. The system instantly recognizes new devices whether its a phone or ipod etc."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful