2013 Audi S6 Review
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
What's New for 2013
Audi is on a tear, with striking new models generating record sales. The 2013 Audi A6 sedan, redesigned last year, exemplifies Audi's strategy of going after BMW and Mercedes-Benz by confidently sticking to its own path. While the BMW 5 Series has long been the obvious choice for enthusiasts, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the preferred ride for those seeking more traditional luxury, Audi's A6 strikes a unique balance: technology and design, performance and efficiency. Its engines – a 2.0 turbocharged four and a 3.0 supercharged six – are strong and efficient, its sheetmetal is crisp and distinctive, and its interior is as good as modern automotive cabins get. For a stronger bias toward speed, the family also includes the 420-horsepower S6 sports sedan.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you find the Mercedes-Benz E-Class too stodgy and the BMW 5 Series too sterile, you might fall in love with the 2013 Audi A6. Its design is rich but contemporary, tech options are category-leading and it strikes an impressive balance of around-town ease and at-the-limits poise.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2013 Audi A6 sedan is not an easy sell for hard-core performance fans. While a base BMW 5 Series offers an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, the entry-level A6 features front-wheel drive (FWD) with a "gearless" continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
All-new last year, the Audi A6 is little changed for 2013. Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) is now available with the base 2.0 turbo engine, an economizing stop/start feature is added to the 3.0 supercharged engine and top- and corner-view cameras are available for the parking-assist system.
Driving the S6
The 2013 Audi A6 requires a lighter touch around town than a BMW 5 Series sedan. At the same time, it feels more athletic than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But more...
than a meet-in-the-middle compromise, the Audi A6 satisfies on both the comfort and performance fronts. The available supercharged 3.0-liter engine is delightfully responsive throughout its rev range. The 8-speed automatic transmission is smooth and flexible. The rear-biased quattro AWD system effortlessly puts power to pavement. No matter the situation, driving the A6 is an exercise in ease. Wheeling into a tight parking space or charging a favorite onramp, this Audi never asks too much and always returns much more. If we could change one thing, we'd like better road feel and response from the fuel-saving but quirky electric power steering. Obviously, the sport-oriented S6 changes the equilibrium, with its lusty 420-horsepower turbo V8 and firmer suspension.
DEDICATED INTERNET ACCESS
For $25-$30 per month through T-Mobile, the 2013 Audi A6 gets its own connection to the Internet, providing access to Google maps and location data, traffic and weather information, and the ability to connect up to eight Wi-Fi devices, like computers, iPads and smartphones.
STOP & GO CRUISE CONTROL
Using video cameras plus short- and long-distance radar sensors, the 2013 Audi A6 will gas and brake itself along in stop-and-go traffic. All you have to do is stay awake and steer.
2013 Audi S6 Details
The 2013 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.
The sheetmetal of the Audi A6 sedan, completely redesigned last year, is clean and restrained, and very familiarly Audi. The profile of the car is remarkably similar to that of its predecessor and its A4 and A8 stablemates, but it still looks fresh, athletic and purposeful. 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 2013 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, 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.
The 2013 Audi 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.
Under the Hood
Audi's supercharged 3.0 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 2.0T standard engine delivers flexible thrust that will satisfy most drivers, though obviously, it's working harder in this car than it does in the smaller A4. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) attached to the 2.0 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-horspower 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
211 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (CVT automatic, FWD), 20/30 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: 19/28 mpg
4.0-liter turbocharged V8
420 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 mpg
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