The completely redesigned, sophisticated, and beautiful Audi A6 sedan offers two models—one more fuel-efficient, the other more powerful—that will impress the most demanding luxury buyers and put Mercedes and BMW on notice.
The Audi A6 has been completely redesigned for 2012, and it’s a gem, with a beautiful interior and lots of high-tech options. The A6 now offers shoppers a clear choice. Those drivers who put a premium on fuel economy and a low price can opt for the 2.0T, which is turbocharged by a four-cylinder engine, gets 33 mpg on the highway, and starts at $42,525. Those who want more pizazz will go for the 3.0T, which starts at a bit over $50 grand but has a supercharged V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive and is very quick and sporty. Both A6 models cost less than a comparable BMW or Mercedes while offering similar or better performance and features.
The A6’s cabin is very stylish, with a curved dash, sculpted door panels, and cool ambient lighting. The rear seat is quite comfortable and surprisingly roomy for a car this size. The trunk is relatively small, but the rear seats fold down to create extra cargo capacity.
Under the hood in the A6 2.0T is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 211-horsepower, inline four-cylinder engine that generates 258 lb. ft. of torque. The 3.0T is powered by a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 rated at 310 hp and 325 lb. ft. of torque.
The 2.0T is available only with front-wheel drive and comes standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The 3.0T is available only with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic with a manual-shifting mode and paddle shifters.
Audi says the 3.0T accelerates from zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds, compared with 7.5 seconds for the 2.0T. Comparable times are 5.6 seconds for the BMW 535i xDrive and about 6.2 seconds for the new 528i. The Mercedes E350 4Matic does zero to 60 in about 6.6 seconds.
The fuel economy rating of the A6 2.0T is a segment leading 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway, for an average of 28 mpg. The rating for the 3.0T is 19/28/22.
The 2012 A6 doesn’t yet have government crash-test ratings. Standard equipment includes front-side, front knee-protecting, and head-protecting cabin-length side-curtain airbags. Options include rear-side airbags and a blind spot warning system.
The A6 3.0T starts at $50,775, which is $3,090 less than the Mercedes E350 Sport 4Matic and $4,650 less than the BMW 535xDrive. The 2.0T starts at $42,575, which is $5,000 less than the BMW 528i and $8,790 less than the Mercedes E350.