Review: Audi A6 (2018)

Rating:

Extremely comfortable and upmarket cabin. Lots of technology including mild hybrid system helping fuel economy.

Not the most daring styling, just more of the same. Unresponsive 8-speed torque converter auto with 3.0 V6 TDI.

Recently Added To This Review

11 April 2019 Audi S6 announced with 3.0 TDI diesel engine

Audi has announced that its S6 Saloon, S6 Avant and S7 Sportback models will be offered with a diesel engine for the first time. The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine works with an electric compressor to provide... Read more

16 August 2018 2.0-litre 204PS 40 TDI engine added to range

Initially front-wheel-drive, a four-wheel-drive version follows later in 2018 that will employ the latest, ultra-efficient quattro on demand technology capable of channelling drive to the rear wheels... Read more

28 February 2018 Audi A6 revealed

All engines in the new A6 feature new mild-hybrid technology. Here a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery, enabling the A6 to coast at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph... Read more

Audi A6 (2018): At A Glance

The new generation Audi A6 from 2018 strikes a balance of waftiness and driving dynamics just right, while technology (and a platform) shared with the A8 means the A6 has got plenty of gadgets to keep passengers entertained. As a comfortable, premium vehicle for covering high mileages, there's not much on the market that'll do the job quite as well. 

All engines - a four-cylinder diesel and a range of six-cylinder petrol and diesels - come with a mild-hybrid system allowing the car to coast under electric power in certain conditions. The most complimentary thing we can say about this system is that the majority of drivers won't notice it. The engine seamlessly drops out during coasting, improving refinement as well as giving fuel economy a boost.

No matter which engine you choose, the A6 is a relaxing car to drive. All models come with progressive steering, which makes the steering quicker the more you wind on lock, while all-wheel steering is available as an option. This turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front at low speeds to reduce the turning circle, while it does the opposite at high speeds in a bid to increase stability.

While the steering isn't the last word in feedback, the ride quality is very good - even on larger alloy wheels. There are no fewer than four different suspension options available, but all generally provide a soothing ride without being excessively floaty.

Where the A6 excels is its interior. It's not as flashy as an E-Class, but it's pleasingly modern with everything well laid out. All models come with a twin-screen infotainment system - the usual touchscreen display in the centre of the dash providing access to navigation, DAB radio and the like, with another one below it providing access to climate features. Both screens use haptic and acoustic feedback, so users hear and feel a click as soon as their finger triggers a function. Strange, but it adds to the premium ambience.

Audi's Virtual Cockpit is also available as part of the optional Technology Pack, replacing the conventional dials behind the steering wheel with a configurable display, allowing to prioritise navigation or the speedo and rev counter.

The biggest issue with the Audi A6 is its price. It may start in the region of £40,000, but you could easily spend £20,000 more by the time you've chosen a desirable engine and a few option packs. That said, you get what you pay for, and premium rivals are equally expensive. 

Audi A6 2018 Road Test

What does a Audi A6 (2018) cost?

List Price from £39,375
Buy new from £27,994
Contract hire from £285.76 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Audi A6 (2018): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4939 mm
Width 2110 mm
Height 1457 mm
Wheelbase 2925 mm

Full specifications

The Audi A6's interior might not have the homely feel of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but that doesn't make it any less premium. There are numerous screens - two in the centre of the dash, as well as the optional Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

Some might prefer BMW's approach of buttons scattered liberally across the dashboard, but we find the Audi A6's digital systems more than intuitive. There's an 8.6-inch screen located below the main infotainment display, providing access to the climate control. A bit like an iPad controlling your home's central heating, it's a bit unnecesary, but very nice nonetheless.

The standard 8.8-inch screen in the centre of the dash can be upgraded to the 10.1-inch, if required. Whichever size you opt for, Audi's media system is one of the best in the business. It's easy to use with fast responses and sharp menus, while the navigation is easy to follow. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted as standard across the range, should you wish to mirror some of your phone's features onto the dash.

Unfortunately, the displays are touchscreen only, which can make operation tricky on the move. A controller positioned near the gear lever would help when trying to input things like addresses into the navigation.

The seats are very comfortable with lots of adjustment, although you'll pay a fair bit extra for electric seats. There's more head and legroom than in the old A6, and enough space for three adult passengers in the rear (although it would be a bit tight and the transmission tunnel running along the length of the car doesn't help).

If you need more space, consider the Avant - although the saloon's boot is surprisingly spacious, with 530 litres of luggage space. Its boxy shape is useful, and the rear seats can be dropped 40:20:40 for more room. There are ISOFIX points fitted in the rear of the car, allowing you to easily fit two child seats if required.

Standard specification (from launch):

Audi A6 Sport features 18-inch alloy wheels, standard suspension, quattro all-wheel drive with self-locking centre differential (50 TDI), Audi Drive Select, progressive steering, LED front and rear lights, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, leather seats, heated front seats, split-folding rear seat bench, split-folding rear bench (40:20:40), LED ambient interior lighting, MMI navigation with 8.8-inch colour display (top screen) and 8.6-inch touchscreen (bottom screen), seven-inch driver infomation display, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Audi Pre-sense front, lane departure warning, cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera, keyless go, ISOFIX child seat mounting.

Audi A6 S line adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, Audi Matrix LED headlights, S line exterior styling, folding exterior door mirrors, front sports seats, electrically adjustable front seats, perforated leather steering wheel, stainless steels pedals.

Child seats that fit a Audi A6 (2018)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Audi A6 (2018) like to drive?

The 286PS V6 diesel is surprisingly quick. It'll thunder up the road like the proverbial scolded cat, if you hammer the accelerator pedal. Doing so won't help fuel economy, though - officially it'll return mid-40s mpg (depending on wheel size), but it's also very good at being a relaxed motorway cruiser returning impressive fuel economy.

One slight frustration is the eight-speed tiptronic gearbox, which can be caught out when you want to accelerate. If you're looking to overtake, for example, you'll need to get into the habit of prodding the accelerator a second before to encourage the gearbox to drop down a gear or two. You get used to it but it is a mild irritation on what otherwise is a near faultless driving experience. 

Fortunately, the 40 TDI and 55 TFSI petrol uses a seven-speed S tronic gearbox which is much eager to respond. The stop-start system is a little frustrating, taking a fraction too long to react when you need a quick getaway from standstill, but the gearbox is much more eager to drop down a gear.

Most buyers will opt for the 40 TDI, and it makes sense in a car like this. It's a quiet and refined engine, only giving the usual diesel rumble when you're heavy with the accelerator. If you do most of your driving around town, you'll find the 55 TFSI to be the best option until a plug-in hybrid version arrives late in 2019.

Whichever engine you choose, the steering isn't as communicative as that in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It's fine, though - the A6 is an effortless cruiser than can be hustled into making progress surprisingly easily. Indeed, the Quattro all-wheel-drive (standard on the six-cylinder models) provides an impressive amount of grip, while the optional four-wheel steer makes it feel surprisingly agile for a car of this size. It might sound peculiar, but you won't really notice the rear wheels steering.

Customers can choose from four set-ups, depending on trim level: the conventional steel spring suspension, sport suspension, suspension with damper control and the adaptive air suspension, also with controlled damping. As you'd expect, the sport suspension is on the firm side, but all set-ups we've tried provide a relatively compliant ride without being too wafty.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
40 TDI quattro S tronic - 8.1 s 116–119 g/km
40 TDI S tronic 63 mpg 8.1 s 117–123 g/km
45 TFSI quattro S tronic - - 149–154 g/km
50 TDI quattro 50 mpg 5.5 s 146 g/km
50 TDI quattro S tronic - 5.5 s 149 g/km
55 TFSI quattro S tronic - - 159–163 g/km

Real MPG average for a Audi A6 (2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

83%

Real MPG

50–55 mpg

MPGs submitted

8

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Audi A6 (2018)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What would you recommend as a new car under £40k that is quiet and comfortable on the motorway?

What would you recommend as a new car under £40k that is quiet and comfortable on the motorway?
Any premium car will be very quiet and refined on the motorway. A Volvo S90 starts at around £36,000 and would be a lovely choice for covering high miles. Also consider an Audi A6 - or look a size smaller at cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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