The 2019 Audi A6 gets a stylish update to keep it competitive against rivals that include the BMW 5 Series, Genesis G80, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Audi has always balanced driving refinement and comfort in its mid-size luxury sedan, while also offering class-leading interior design. The new model builds on these strengths, but takes off in a new direction when it comes to the overall driving experience.
So, is the new A6 better than the old one? That’s more complicated to answer than you think. The exterior styling is a great first step; the A6 is a head-turning luxury car that doesn’t rely on outrageous details or faddish touches. From the moment you see it, there’s no doubt the A6 is a premium sedan — and one that comes with a premium price to match. With options and a destination fee included, our test vehicle came to more than $74,000.
The cabin is still filled with top-notch materials and some outstanding technology. But during our test drive, we discovered awkwardness from the engine and transmission, not to mention a few flaws with the visually stunning cabin. Beauty is only skin deep, and that rule aptly applies to automotive multimedia touchscreens.
If you’ve got the A6 as a “maybe” on your shopping list, be sure to follow the related link above to read our full review of the A6 by Cars.com’s Aaron Bragman. But for a quick-hit overview of how this luxury sedan stacks up against the competition, keep reading.
Here are seven things we like — and three we weren’t exactly enamored of — about the 2019 Audi A6:
Things We Like
1. Handsome Exterior
The Audi A6 has always been attractive, but the new model is downright visually arresting. From the elegant side profile to the subtle fender bulges and the attractive headlamps and taillights, there isn’t a bad angle to be found on the 2019 A6.
2. First-Rate Cabin Materials
Visual delights are found inside the A6, too. The interior is gorgeous; there are multiple touchscreens (too many, it turns out, but more on that later), lots of leather-covered surfaces, metal trim and matte-finish wood that all add to the cabin’s appeal.
3. All-Wheel Drive for All
While adding all-wheel drive costs extra on many rival luxury sedans, the all-weather-friendly Audi A6 includes all-wheel drive as standard.
4. Solid Fuel Economy
The A6 returns more than reasonable fuel economy, considering the power you have on tap. With its EPA-estimated 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined, the A6 bests competitors like the BMW 540i and Mercedes-Benz E450. Keep in mind, the A6 prefers to be fed a diet of premium fuel but, then again, so do competitors.
5. Excellent Safety Rating
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Audi A6 its highest rating of Top Safety Pick Plus. This factors in everything from physical crash tests to the effectiveness of a car’s headlights, and the performance of active safety features like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.
6. Loads of Legroom
It’s not just pretty to look at; the cabin is also a lovely and spacious place to spend your time. There is plenty of stretch-out room for anyone seated in the front or rear of the A6.
7. LED Light Show
It’s a silly little detail, but we love the visual dance the headlights and taillights perform every time you lock or unlock the A6 using the key fob. You’ll find yourself pressing the button multiple times simply to enjoy the show.
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Things We Don’t
1. Engine Power
While it sounds great in terms of sheer numbers — 335 horsepower, 369 pounds-feet of torque — the available twin-turbo V-6 engine doesn’t feel so mighty from behind the wheel. During our test drive, the engine and seven-speed automatic transmission felt “relaxed” and disinclined to participate in sporty driving — even in Sport mode. The V-6 initially was the only engine offered on the A6 for the 2019 model year, but a 248-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinderis now the entry-level powertrain and knocks $4,800 off the base price.
2. Firm Ride, Numb Steering
The ride also exhibited a tendency to feel too firm, even in Comfort mode, while the steering lacked any real feedback. Sure, it was accurate, and dialing in the available Sport mode added at least some extra heft to the helm, but once again, the 2019 A6 seems engineered to be softer and more comfort-oriented than the previous model.
3. A Touch Too Much
Here’s 2 cents’ worth of free advice for every automaker: Don’t fill an otherwise classy cabin with more touchscreens than you find in the average Apple store. While they look sleek and minimize dash clutter, having to rely on the A6’s touchscreen controls can be distracting and dangerous. We found ourselves having to push the screens multiple times for the simplest things, like changing radio stations or adjusting the cabin temperature.
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