2021 Audi A6

2021 Audi A6 Review: Luxury Leader

by Deiondre van der Merwe

Trying to find deal-breaking flaws for the Audi A6 is a difficult task as the sprawling sedan is an overachiever in many respects. Nothing is perfect though, and when your competition includes the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, you have to work that much harder to gain the attention of shoppers in the USA with a taste for the finer things in life. Luckily, attention is something that comes easily to the A6. It's an undeniably gorgeous lump of metal that will allow you to choose between a 261-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo or a 335-hp V6 to get four wheels turning. Aside from a steady power supply, the stunning interior of the A6 is as plush as you'd expect and houses all of the modern tech you could possibly need. Is it a luxury car worth considering? Absolutely.

2021 Audi A6 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 A6?

There are a number of changes that have been made to the A6 lineup for 2021. The most noticeable on the spec sheet is an increase in power for the base 45-badged derivatives which now eke out 261 hp from a 2.0T four-pot instead of 248 hp as per the 2020 Audi A6. Elsewhere, most of the updates are related to standard and driver-assist features. The base model now comes with keyless entry and 19-inch wheels as standard when equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo and the Premium Plus welcomes adaptive cruise control and active lane assist to its standard suite of driver-assists. For the Prestige, power rear sunshades are newly standard. The Black Optic sport package is also available on all trims, adding 20-inch wheels and sport suspension to the mix. Lastly, the Convenience Package for the Premium now includes a top-view camera system and navigation.

Pros and Cons

  • Different engine options, each as accomplished as the last
  • Frugal fuel economy from base engine
  • Immaculate interior
  • Plush ride quality
  • Driving experience isn't overly thrilling
  • Trunk could be bigger
  • Not a lot of in-cabin storage

Best Deals on A6

2021 Audi A6 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Premium 45 TFSI quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$54,900
Premium Plus 45 TFSI quattro
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$54,900
Premium 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$59,800
Premium Plus 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$59,800
Prestige 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$59,800

A6 Exterior

The Audi A6 sedan is refined power, clad in a perfectly tailored suit. Images of businessmen and foreign spies immediately pop into our heads when we look at it. Its urbane demeanor is attributable to a front end dominated by a large, chrome-slatted grille flanked by sharply designed LED headlights. It's a similar situation at the rear where two LED taillights are joined by a chrome band and two geometric exhaust openings poke out from either side of the diffuser. All trim levels rest on a set of 19-inch wheels, but soft-closing doors and a power trunk are reserved for the top-level spec. Notably, opting for the 55 TFSI engine on any trim automatically adds S line exterior styling. All things considered, the Audi A6 is a car that manages to pull off a mix of elegance and authority perfectly. The A6 is sold strictly as a sedan in the US, but fans of the wagon body style can get a variant of it in the form of the A6 Allroad, reviewed separately.

2021 Audi A6 Front View Audi
2021 Audi A6 Rear View Driving Audi
2021 Audi A6 Front Angle View Audi
See All 2021 Audi A6 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 2021 Audi A6 is infinitesimally smaller than the facelifted Mercedes E-Class in terms of its exterior dimensions, but the 5 Series is the largest of the three. The A6 measures 194.4 inches from snout to trunk and has a 115.1-inch wheelbase. The width is measured at 83.1 inches including the mirrors, while it stands just 57.4 inches tall, giving it the impression of being lower and wider than it actually is. Still, the 4.2-inch ground clearance is decent enough to avoid panic on less-than-ideally-kept roads. The length and curvaceous disposition add up though, the 45 TFSI weighs in at 4,101 pounds while the 55 TFSI has a slightly heavier weight of 4,266 lbs.

  • Length 194.4 in
  • Wheelbase 115.1 in
  • Height 57.4 in
  • Max Width 74.3 in
  • Front Width 64.2 in
  • Rear Width 63.7 in
  • Curb Weight 4,101.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

There are a total of 10 exterior hues to choose from for the 2021 A6 sedan, two of which are available at no extra cost. Brilliant Black and Ibis White are the standard colors, while any one of eight metallic hues can be had for $595. Elegant shades include Carat Beige, Florett Silver, Glacier White, and Vesuvius Gray. If you tend to err on the bolder side of things, Avalon Green, Firmament Blue, Seville Red, and Mythos Black are the more adventurous options.

  • Carat Beige Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Soho Brown Metallic
  • Seville Red Metallic
  • Avalon Green Metallic
  • Vesuvius Gray Metallic
  • Firmament Blue Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Typhoon Gray Metallic
  • Navarra Blue Metallic
  • Tango Red Metallic
  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect
  • Ibis White
  • Brilliant Black

Audi A6 Quattro Performance

Fine-tuned for comfort and refined power, the A6 sedan is not a true firebreather. That being said, it's eager to get the wheels turning regardless of engine choice. Of course, the difference between the 2.0-liter turbo and the V6 is quite noticeable from behind the wheel. The former makes the run from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds while the latter cuts the feat down to just 5.1. Rivals provide similar performance, but the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class have trump cards in the availability of a rear-wheel drivetrain option. The Audi is sold exclusively with the brand's "quattro all-wheel drive with ultra technology", which is Audi-speak for saying it's a part-time AWD system that disengages the rear axle for improved gas mileage when additional traction isn't necessary. Both motors deliver instant power when the need arises and they never feel unrefined, making the entire process from start to finish a smooth one.

2021 Audi A6 Front View Driving Audi
2021 Audi A6 Rear View Driving 1 Audi
2021 Audi A6 Engine Audi

Engine and Transmission

The 2021 A6 Sedan range boasts two available engines. The standard 45 TFSI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot that produces 261 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The base engine in the BMW 5 Series punches out slightly less power and torque but provides comparable performance thanks to RWD. The standard engine is aided by 12-volt mild-hybrid tech and comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The more powerful V6 is hooked up to the same 'box.

Ruling the roost is the 55 TFSI that's driven by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that pushes out 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This not only provides a more inspiring soundtrack, but also more impressive performance. It's not quite up to the levels of the S6, but for the buyer who prefers comfort over outright pace, the V6 option provides all the performance you'll ever really need.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

A glance at the A6's significant dimensions may lead you to assume that it's not agile, but you'd be wrong. Could it feature in the 147th Fast and Furious installment as the main player in an elaborate highway heist? Probably not. But what it can do is approach a corner with enough stability to inspire confidence in its pilot. The sharp, responsive steering allows for quick changes of direction and the sedan feels buttoned-down through twists and turns. The Audi A6's quattro system is responsible for added eagerness off the line and allows for excellent capability in wetter weather. That being said, the A6 offers the same amount of connection with the driver as a spouse does after 20 years of marriage. It wasn't built to be a sports car but rather a smooth cruiser, and it does well at being the latter. Even on uneven surfaces, the A6 maintains its composure. It's on longer journeys that it really shines, though, with exemplary comfort that leaves you feeling more relaxed at arrival than you were at departure.

A6 Gas Mileage

Performance isn't the only thing the A6 does politely; it sips lightly on the gas, too. The 2.0-liter turbo returns EPA estimates of 23/31/26 mpg, just about on par with the BMW 5 Series with the equivalent engine. The V6's 22/29/24 mpg figures sacrifice gas mileage for the sake of performance, but in the process are beaten by 2 mpg by both Mercedes and BMW equivalents. When the 19.3-gallon tank is full, the 45 TFSI will allow for 521 miles of range and the 55 TFSI will manage around 463 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/31 mpg
* 2021 Audi A6 Premium 45 TFSI quattro

Audi A6 Interior

Audi is known for putting together some truly gorgeous interiors, and the cabin of the A6 once again proves this. The Audi A6's cabin is immaculately assembled and shows that less can truly be more sometimes. It's easy for luxury automakers to get carried away trying to fit the latest and greatest tech into small spaces, but Audi has managed to strike the perfect balance between enough tech and a simply laid-out design. The cabin is draped in top-tier material from the headliner down to the mats and it's a difficult task to try and find a real flaw on the inside of this sedan. Appearance aside, all trims are appropriately laden with standard-fit features.

2021 Audi A6 Dashboard Audi
2021 Audi A6 Steering Wheel Audi
2021 Audi A6 Air Vents Audi
See All 2021 Audi A6 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

A mid-size luxury sedan is often bought with the intention of carrying the elite around to their engagement in ultimate comfort. This means the inside has to be spacious enough for the rear passenger to stretch his legs while he counts his money. Luckily, the A6 does this well, offering 37.4 inches of legroom in the rear. Six-footers aren't likely to be uncomfortable in the front either, with 41.3 inches of legroom available. Both front and rear occupants get at least 38 inches of headroom, too. Eight-way power-adjustable front seats with four-way lumbar support are standard on the first two trims, but the Prestige adds heated and ventilated 12-way power-adjustable front seats. Visibility is good, ingress and egress hassle-free, and overall levels of comfort are sublime.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.3 in
  • Front Head Room 38.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 37.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.1 in

Interior Colors and Materials

There are a variety of upholstery options to choose from in the A6 lineup, though some are trim-specific. The Premium and Premium Plus come standard with leather upholstery available in combinations of Black with Rock Gray stitching, Okapi Brown with Steel Gray stitching, and Pearl Beige with Agate Gray stitching. Available trim inserts include Dark Brown Walnut wood and Fine Grain Ash Brown wood, but these are only available with selected leather colors. As standard, the headliner is black cloth, but with lighter upholstery options, this is swapped out for a Moon Silver item instead.

The Prestige adds the option for Valcona/Milano leather upholstery in Black with Rock Gray stitching, Pearl Beige with Agate Gray stitching, and Sarder Brown with Rock Gray stitching. Also available on this is an Agate Gray Fine Birch trim inlay that the other trims aren't privy to.

Audi A6 Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

The A6 manages to beat the E-Class in terms of practicality, boasting a 13.7 cubic-foot trunk in comparison to the Merc's 13.1 cubes. Unfortunately, both of these autos are put to shame by the 5 Series that offers a notable 14 cubes of junk in the trunk. Still, the A6's trunk is definitely manageable and will easily accommodate two sets of golf clubs or a few briefcases. The 40/20/40 rear seats can also be folded to make even more space available if necessary.

In-cabin storage is decent enough thanks to a large bin in the center console for storage and door pockets that will willingly fit a water bottle or two. The glove compartment isn't as impressive, but you can't have it all.

2021 Audi A6 Front Seats Audi
2021 Audi A6 Rear Passenger Seats Audi
2021 Audi A6 Trunk Space Audi
  • Trunk Volume
    13.7 ft³

A6 Infotainment and Features

Features

When you get into a car that has a price in excess of $50k, you'll expect a whole lot of luxury. The Audi A6 doesn't disappoint in this regard, even the entry-level spec is well stocked. The Premium model boasts keyless entry, push-button start, three-zone climate control, eight-way power-adjustable seats with heating and ambient lighting. Added to the Premium Plus is a heated steering wheel and Audi virtual cockpit, but the Prestige is by far the most decadent. The top spec welcomes four-zone climate control, upgraded ambient lighting, dual-pane acoustic glass, a power trunk lid, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a head-up display.

On the driver-assist side of things, the Premium comes standard with forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, park distance control and cruise control. The Premium Plus adds adaptive cruise assist with active lane assist, lane exit warning and rear cross-traffic alert. A top-view camera system is also standard for this model. Active lane assist with emergency assist is reserved for the Prestige trim along with traffic jam assist, intersection assist and traffic sign recognition.

Infotainment

We've mentioned before that the tech in the A6 is incredibly well laid out, and there's an abundance of it. The Premium comes with two screens, the upper one being an 8.8-inch MMI touch interface and the lower being 8.6 inches. The system enables full smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and also allows for Amazon Alexa integration. HD Radio and SiriusXM join the list along with Bluetooth streaming and audio is pushed out of a 10-speaker sound system as standard. The Premium Plus vastly improves the infotainment set-up with the addition of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a bigger 10.1-inch upper infotainment screen. The sound system is also upgraded to a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen set-up. Wireless device charging is also standard on the top two specs.

A6 Problems and Reliability

At the time of this writing, the A6 sedan has been recalled three times for issues ranging from rear axle lock nuts being brittle to passenger-side airbags deploying incorrectly. A faulty side-impact crash detector in the front doos could also delay the deployment of certain safety systems. If reliability is a concern, the Audi A6 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic and drivetrain warranty, 12 years of protection against corrosion, and 24-hour roadside assist for four years.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

A6 Sedan Safety

The NHTSA's review of the A6 sedan resulted in a five-out-of-five rating, but that's not where the safety accolades end. The IIHS praised the A6 highly with top scores across the board resulting in a 2021 Top Safety Pick + award being bestowed upon it.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

Predictably well-stocked with both traditional safety features and modern driver assists, you're not likely to feel unsafe in the sedan. All A6 models come with an eight-airbag setup as standard including front knee airbags, but through the options list, rear-seat side airbags can also be specced. The Premium comes with lane departure warning, park distance control, forward collision warning, and cruise control. The Premium Plus adds adaptive cruise assist with active lane assist and lane exit warning, a top-view camera, and rear cross-traffic alert. Active lane assist with emergency assist is reserved for the Prestige trim along with a head-up display, traffic jam assist, intersection assist and traffic sign recognition.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Audi A6 a car worth buying?

You'd be doing yourself an injustice by not giving the A6 the attention it deserves. It's an excellent car that has way more merits than it does flaws and it deserves to be in your top three options on your shortlist. Both engines do a fine job of getting the large sedan going and it will never feel jerky or unrefined. The base engine is highly fuel-efficient and the available V6 deploys more than enough performance than most buyers will ever need. It's immediately noticeable that the A6 was meant for hauling the well-to-do around in comfort, but if the exterior design doesn't give this away, the well-appointed cabin certainly will.

Premium materials swathe every component of the cabin and there's a screen nearly everywhere you look. Despite all of the tech in a small space, the interior doesn't come off as too busy. Beyond appearances, the A6 is a genuinely comfortable car to drive. We've mentioned before that it doesn't provide a strong connection between car and driver, but that is really just a small flaw. If you're looking for something relaxing, classy, and safe, they don't get much better than the A6.

🚘What's the Price of 2021 Audi A6?

The price of the Audi A6 isn't particularly affordable, but shoppers aren't in this segment because they're interested in saving as much money as possible. If you are a penny-pincher, it'd be best if you look at a drama-free compact hatchback. The Premium has a starting MSRP of $54,900 with the 2.0-liter turbo equipped, while the 3.0-liter V6 will up the sticker price to $59,800. The Premium Plus will cost $58,800 with the base engine and $63,700 with the V6. If you're after the pinnacle spec, the Prestige, which is exclusively available with the V6, will set you back $69,500. The aforementioned cost of the Audi A6 excludes a $1,045 destination fee.

2021 Audi A6 Models

Audi avails five A6 configurations for sale in 2021, split between powertrain and specification level. The three specification levels are Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, with further differentiation provided by the 45 TFSI and 55 TFSI badges. The former denotes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which is only available on Premium and Premium Plus spec levels, while a 3.0-liter turbo V6 is available across the range to accompany the 55 TFSI badge.

The Premium comes standard with keyless entry, push-button start, three-zone climate control, eight-way power-adjustable seats with heating and ambient lighting. As for infotainment, it comes with a two-screen setup, one is 8.8 inches on is 8.6 inches. The combination is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Amazon Alexa integration. HD Radio, SiriusXM, and Bluetooth streaming are included and a 10-speaker sound system is standard. Driver-assist features include forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, park distance control and cruise control.

The Premium Plus adds a heated steering wheel to its convenience features but it's the infotainment that gets the most improvement with the addition of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch upper infotainment screen, and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Driver assists are also upgraded with adaptive cruise assist with active lane assist, lane exit warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a top-view camera system.

The Prestige adds a few notable improvements including four-zone climate control, upgraded ambient lighting, and dual pane acoustic glass as well as heated and ventilated 12-way power-adjustable seats. The driver-assist suite is further improved by the addition of active lane assist with emergency assist, traffic jam assist, intersection assist, traffic sign recognition, and a head-up display.

55 TFSI models also include standard S line styling elements.

See All 2021 Audi A6 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Audi offers a host of additional packages for the A6 lineup, though some apply to specific trims only. The Sport Package is available on all trims and adds a sport suspension, 20-inch wheels, and all-season tires for $1,050. The Convenience package for the Premium costs $1,500 and adds the Audi Phone Box with wireless charging and signal boosting, a heated steering wheel, Audi side assist and pre sense rear, the virtual cockpit, and MMI Navigation plus with a 10.2-inch upper screen and 8.6-inch lower screen. Lastly, this package adds a 360-degree camera system with a virtual reality 360-degree view.

On the Premium Plus, opting for the Executive Package equips four-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a power trunk for $2,250. The Luxury Package is reserved for the Prestige trim and adds Valcona leather upholstery to the mix as well as heated and ventilated 18-way power-adjustable front seats with massage functions and some extra leather upholstery for the upper instrument panel and center console. This package costs $2,850. Lastly, all 55 TFSI models can be equipped with the $1,800 Black Optic Sport Package with a 20mm suspension drop, Black Optic exterior styling trim, and 20-inch five-arm bicolor wheels.

🚗What 2021 Audi A6 Model Should I Buy?

With luxury lineups, it's almost always best to go for the mid-level trim and add a few extras. This is especially true for the A6 because the top-tier trim is vastly more expensive. We'd opt for the Premium Plus with the 55 TFSI because the added power is a major improvement over the base engine. We'd also opt for the Executive Package for the added luxury, resulting in a total price payable of $66,995 including destination, still $3,000 shy of the top-spec Prestige with almost all the same equipment.

Check out other Audi A6 Styles

2021 Audi A6 Comparisons

Audi A4 Sedan Audi
BMW 5 Series Sedan CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi A6248 hp23/31 mpg$54,900
Audi A4 Sedan 201 hp24/31 mpg$39,100
BMW 5 Series Sedan 248 hp25/33 mpg$53,900

2021 Audi A6 vs Audi A4 Sedan

The two sedans share a few similarities, which is no surprise as they come from the same family. The A6 is the bigger of the two and while you'll technically be able to fit the same amount of people into both, the A6 provides far more interior room. The trunk of the A4 is also slightly smaller. For many, though, the small factor of there being a more than $10,000 discrepancy between these two in terms of price will also impact the decision. The A6 is more luxurious inside and offers far more standard convenience, along with the option of a V6 absent from the base A4 range. That being said, the A6 is a lot harder to park and maneuver thanks to its larger proportions. The A4 will likely appeal to those who simply want a practical luxury sedan to get around with, while the A6 is for those who appreciate the finer things in life and the added comfort a vehicle of this size brings to the table.

See Audi A4 Sedan Review

2021 Audi A6 vs BMW 5 Series Sedan

The competition between these two Germans is fierce and that's because they are both vying for the attention of exactly the same shoppers. They are also closely matched in terms of performance, but the BMW does more with less power, being more frugal and yet more dynamically talented. It's also available as a RWD model for those who like sharper handling dynamics. The A6 is arguably not as fun to drive as the 5 Series and the BMW's transmission is also a little smoother. The Audi does provide supreme levels of comfort though. Both sedans boast excellent interiors, but we feel the Audi pulls off the luxury sedan impression better, while the BMW's feels a little staid by comparison. Overall, it's a close call, but the BMW is a little more practical and dynamically gifted, which makes it our choice. However, if you value comfort over dynamic prowess, the A6 is stellar.

See BMW 5 Series Sedan Review

Audi A6 Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Audi A6:

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