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2018 Audi A6

$49,700 - $58,000
Price Range (MSRP)
Audi A6

2018 Audi A6 Review

by Roger Biermann

The 2018 Audi A6 has been with us for quite some time, and should technically be considered a geriatric, but there's no denying that the A6 remains a comfortable and competent midsize luxury sedan. One of the big reasons why the A6 hasn't completely disappeared off the face of the planet, despite much newer offerings from its competitors like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, is the fact that it still provides the four tenets of midsize luxury motoring; luxury, performance, tech, and lots of room. The A6 might be aging in the styling department, but even there, Audi's conservative approach lends itself well to future-proofing their cars. The current A6 will soon find itself up for replacement, so you now get a whole bunch of features as standard on the 2018 model. The infotainment system is slightly out of date, but it still gets the job done, and rival automakers do provide a few more tech features, but the A6 continues to impress with great balance and all-around capability.

2018 Audi A6 Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 A6?

Audi has packed a lot of optional extras into the 2018 A6 as standard, which is always a sign that something new is about to come, and at the same time that's a good thing if you're in the market right now. New standard issue features include a larger infotainment display with navigation, LED headlights on the Premium Plus and keyless entry. The mighty 3.0-liter V6 that gives the A6 that autobahn crushing power now gets a bump up to 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The A6 is also available in Competition Package spec, which adds larger wheels, sporty suspension, a trick differential, and race-inspired interior trimmings, including a flat bottomed steering wheel.

Pros and Cons

  • Premium interior
  • Below the radar styling
  • Potent performance
  • Good gas mileage despite all-wheel-drive
  • Comfortable ride and handling balance
  • It's getting on in years
  • Latest Audi tech doesn't feature
  • Bigger wheels impact ride quality
  • Lacks the dynamic edge of sportier rivals

A6 Exterior

In an age where bigger is better, and the flashier the design, the more modern the car, Audi has kept the A6 looking refreshingly understated. Some minor exterior updates have taken place over the years, but in essence, the A6 has kept the same brawny look, with its large front grill and slanting headlights. Premium Plus models now get LED headlights as standard. Standard wheels are 18-inches on all but the Sport trim which gets standard 19's. For 2018, the optional competition package gets you massive 20-inch wheels, red brake calipers and some painted wing-mirrors amongst other trimmings, that gives the A6 a real German muscle car look.

2018 Audi A6 Front View
2018 Audi A6 Front View
2018 Audi A6 Front View Driving
See All 2018 Audi A6 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 2018 A6 is a true midsize luxury sedan, and its sheer size is one of its biggest selling points. The outside measurements make this clear; it's 194-inches long and has a wheelbase of 114.6 inches. It's 73.8 inches wide and stands 57.8 inches off the ground. It weighs a respectable 4,023 pounds. Not too bad for an all-wheel-drive midsize sedan. In comparison, the 2018 Mercedes E300 4Matic is half an inch shorter, but is exactly as high and wide, and weighs 132 pounds less. Expect the new A6 to be bigger and lighter than its predecessor.

Exterior Colors

The A6 is an understated car, to say the least, and its exterior color options match that persona perfectly. No matter what color you go for, the A6 will still cruise under the radar on its way to the Catalina Wine Mixer. New owners will get to choose from nine exterior colors, being Brilliant Black, Florett Silver Metallic, Glacier White, Ibis White, Java Brown, Matador Red, Moonlight Blue, Mythos Black, and Tornado Gray. The 3.0 Prestige and Premium Plus models also get Misano Red, Nardo Gray, Daytona Gray Pearl, and Sepang Blue Pearl as optional premium colors.

  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Java Brown Metallic
  • Matador Red Metallic, Build Out:12/06/2017
  • Moonlight Blue Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Tornado Gray Metallic
  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect
  • Misano Red Pearl Effect
  • Sepang Blue Pearl Effect, Build Out:12/06/2017
  • Brilliant Black
  • Ibis White
  • Nardo Gray

A6 Performance

The A6 does what it says on the label: it delivers strong performance and competent handling capability for a midsize sedan, but it doesn't try to impress with outright speed or apex cutting handling. For 2018 Audi has improved the power rating on the big V6 up to and 325 lb-ft of torque, enough to get you up to the highway speed limit in no time. Paired with all-wheel-drive, Audi's signature Quattro system, the newly uprated 3.0T breaches 60 mph from a standstill in just over five seconds. Audi has even included a sport-tuned suspension package. All of these tweaks have made the A6 perform better than ever, and it does an exceptional job of hiding its size and weight when being pushed. Despite its age, the A6 still manages to handle well, offer a comfortable ride, push you back in your seat and stop on a dime. If more performance is what you're after, there's always the even hotter S6.

2018 Audi A6 Front View Driving
2018 Audi A6 Rear View Driving
2018 Audi A6 3.0L V6 Engine

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 A6 is available with two engine choices as well as two drive modes. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 252 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque, and carries the A6's weight without issue, but suffers from a slight case of turbo lag lower down in the rev range. The mighty 3.0-liter V6 steps up its power rating for 2018 and now makes 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque thanks to a big old supercharger. The 3.0-liter engine delivers blistering performance and launches the A6 to a low five-second 0-60 time, partly thanks to its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The four-cylinder engine is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic. While the V6 gets an eight-speed automatic. Audi's dual-clutch auto does a great job of moving the A6 along, while the eight-speed is slick and smooth. In full auto mode, the car feels relaxed, and the next gear is never too far away. Going into manual mode wakes the gearbox up, but it still feels inclined to choose comfort over split-second response times.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    7-Speed Automatic, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Key to the A6's appeal is the fact that it does so many things rather well, and handling is one of them. Whether you choose the front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive version, the A6 turns in with vigor and can be pointed with precision. The Quattro version is the best handling; it hunkers down under hard corner exit acceleration and keeps things nice and tidy when you're pushing, while base FWD models tend to run out of grip at the limit, availing themselves to good old fashioned understeer.

The A6 gives you the feeling that you're driving something much smaller, and even though driving dynamics aren't the main focus of this car, it still delivers the type of driving prowess that other, newer rivals in its class cannot match. The A6 brakes are up to class standards and keep the 4,000-pound car straight and stable under emergency braking. The steering feel can be a bit vague, and whilst a light feeling is fine for slow speeds, it doesn't exactly weight up when traveling at higher speeds. The newer BMW 5 Series is a better drivers car, as is the venerable Jaguar XF, but neither feel as well rounded as the A6.

A6 Gas Mileage

The A6's gas mileage varies, thanks to a selection of two engines as well as two drivetrain options. The most fuel-efficient pairing will be the 2.0-liter, front-wheel drive, that delivers an EPA-rated fuel economy numbers of 25/34/30 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. The four-cylinder Quattro is slightly thirstier at 22/31/27 mpg. The big surprise is the supercharged V6, that despite all its gut-wrenching torque and pulling power still manages to get 20/29/25 mpg. The all-wheel-drive Mercedes E300 4Matic is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine producing 240 hp and around 270 lb-ft of torque, and returns fuel consumption figures of 21/29/25 mpg, right on par with Audi's far more powerful V6. The A6 has a fuel tank capacity of 19.8 gallons, giving it an effective range of between 495 and 595 miles engine and drivetrain dependant.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.8 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/31 mpg
* 2018 Audi A6 2.0T Premium Plus quattro AWD

A6 Interior

Audi enjoys a well-deserved reputation for building some of the nicest interiors on the market. From its baby A3 all the way through to the R8 supercar, the fit and finish and general feeling of care goes a long way, and Audi has been successful at using that selling point to its advantage. Inside the A6 you're greeted with peerless quality, and every bit that will receive regular human contact feels solid and well-built. Where the A6 starts to lose out, however, is in the fact that the interior layout hasn't really changed all that much over the last iteration, and its competitors have moved on to feature more glamorous and eventful interior spaces that make the A6's interior feel rather subdued. Still classy, but it's feeling its age, now, largely due to the old MMI interface at its core.

2018 Audi A6 Dashboard
2018 Audi A6 Dashboard Layout
2018 Audi A6 Dashboard
See All 2018 Audi A6 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The A6 will seat five adults in comfort, and a sense of roominess prevails on the inside. The front seats are generously proportioned and comfortable but steer away from feeling like lounge chairs, and still manage to offer good support. Both front and rear seats are available with heating. Front armrests are well proportioned and dashboard buttons are laid out in a logical order. The understated design that dominates the A6's interior helps to make space seem even bigger. Forward visibility is slightly handicapped due to the A6's broad roof pillars, and limited visibility out of the rear window makes using the rearview camera a necessity. Front passengers can enjoy 41 inches of legroom and 37 inches of headroom. In the back, passengers are granted 38 inches of headroom and 37 inches of legroom - more than enough for most tall adults. The A6 is so spacious that it's starting to trespass on A8 territory, and puts it near the top of its own class.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The choice of interior colors and materials on offer compliments the A6's upmarket luxury persona. There are five color options for the leather-clad seats; Atlas Beige, Black, Flint Gray, Lunar Silver, and Nougat Brown, and you can choose between aluminum or metal look interior accents, genuine wood panels, or aluminum instrument panel inserts as well as wood or metal look console and door inserts. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob come as standard on all models. The Competition package will add piano black inserts, black leather, and sporty aluminum touches.

A6 Trunk and Cargo Space

Cargo space on the A6 is class middling. The trunk space measures 14.1 cubic feet, smaller than the BMW 5 Series' 14.5 cubic-feet. The trunk lid opens up to wide and deep cargo space with a low liftover height which makes it good for loading large and unwieldy pieces of luggage. The rear seats do fold, but only suit longer items rather than larger items overall, and you'd need to be careful not to damage the leather with long, sharp objects.

Inside the A6, passengers get two seatback storage pockets as well as rear door bins. Front passengers get a full floor console with refrigerated bin storage and front under seat storage trays as well as an Illuminated glove box. And don't worry, there are cup holders scattered throughout the interior.

2018 Audi A6 Rear Passenger Seats
2018 Audi A6 Rear View
2018 Audi A6 Front View
  • Trunk Volume
    14.1 ft³

A6 Infotainment and Features

Features

Audi has made sure that the A6 lives up to the luxury sedan nametag when they decided on the spec list for 2018. Some of the latest infotainment features aren't present, but what it gets works well, and you'll find that a lot of the tech that now comes standard on the A6 is still optional fare for other carmakers. Automatic climate control, power front seats, and leather upholstery are standard across the range. LED headlights are now standard on Premium Plus models as is a blindspot warning system and a sweet sounding Bose audio system. The Prestige trim model gets a heads up display, ventilated seats, and adjustable lumbar support amongst others, and of course the standard option of a sunroof is present as well.

Infotainment

Audi's MMI display interface is reused in the A6 and although the navigation mechanism and display quality are starting to show their age, the system remains competitive and is easy to use. An eight-inch display size looks rather diminutive in relation to the rest of the dashboard, but it's the tech features that save the day. All A6 models get full navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G hotspot capability and a ten-speaker audio system with Bluetooth capability and auxiliary input. Premium Plus and Prestige models come standard with an upgraded Bose sound system that sounds fantastic inside the cocoon-like interior of the A6.

A6 Problems and Reliability

The Audi A6 has had one recall, affecting the 2013-2018 Audi S6 and S7, 2012-2018 A7 and A6 Sedan and 2014-2018 RS7. The recall was due to a sensor located at the base of the passenger seat malfunctioning. The sensor tells whether or not a person is seated in the front passenger seat, and due to the malfunction, the airbag system would not pick up the passenger, and would, therefore, fail to deploy the passenger side airbag. The recall began on November 29, 2018. Despite the recent recall, the A6 has proven to be a reliable car and scored a high 81 on the J.D. Power reliability scale. Audi backs the 2018 A6 with a four year/50,000-mile warranty, a one year/10,000mile service warranty and covers the powertrain and accessories for four years or 50,000 miles.

A6 Safety

The Audi A6 is a safe car by any measure, and the IIHS gave it best available scores of Good in all tests, with the exception of the headlights category where the available full LED system found on the Premium Plus and Prestige only performed Moderately. The NHTSA gave the 2018 Audi A6 a full five out of five on its overall safety rating scale.

Key Safety Features

Audi hasn't skipped out on safety tech for the 2018 A6. You'll find a total of eight airbags inside, and each car comes standard with Audi pre-sense basic forward collision warning, front passenger airbag occupancy sensor, brake assist, ABS and traction control as well as a reverse camera. Premium Plus and Prestige trims get added safety features that include Audi's pre-sense front that acts as a frontal collision warning system, semi-autonomous cruise control with stop and go functionality, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assistance and an automatic high/low beam function.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Audi A6 a good car?

The A6 remains at the top of its class in many aspects, which says a lot seeing as the new A6 is around the corner. The A6 cannot be beaten in terms of interior build quality and luxury, and the same goes for its impeccably balanced ride comfort and road-holding abilities. The A6 handles like a smaller car, partly thanks to the legendary Quattro system, accelerates like a sports car and sips fuel at a surprisingly low rate. Despite its well-balanced nature, there is no denying the fact that the A6 is starting to show its age, especially inside, where the infotainment system deserves an update. Its German rivals are newer and feature some more advanced tech, but all fail to find the same balance as the A6. With the current generation nearing its demise, proven reliability and the certainty of some great deals mean it's now a better time than ever before to buy an A6.

What's the Price of the 2018 Audi A6?

In base front-wheel-drive specification, the 2.0T Premium starts at an MSRP of $49,700. From there, the 2.0T Premium Plus costs $51,900, while the 2.0T Sport is priced the same. Adding Quattro to either of these adds another $1,500 to the price tag. The cheapest 3.0T model, the Premium, starts at a price of $56,500, while the Premium Plus carries a base MSRP of $58,700. The 3.0T Sport costs $58,000, while the range-topping 3.0T Prestige costs $61,400. Prices exclude $975 destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. You'll find some good deals now that the A6 is due for replacement. Happy hunting!

2018 Audi A6 Models

The US market A6 gets seven trim levels, effectively four but with a choice of engine adding the extra three: 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, 2.0T Sport, 3.0T Premium, 3.0T Premium Plus, 3.0T Sport, and 3.0T Prestige.

Premium gets more tech as standard for 2018, and key features include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, and leather interior, as well as power adjustable seats, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. The Premium also comes standard with Audi's basic pre-collision technology, including lane keep assistance and adaptive cruise control. The MMI infotainment system includes full navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability and a 10-speaker sound system.

Premium Plus gets full LED headlights as standard, along with four-zone climate control, rear collision prevention, and an upgraded Bose sound system.

Based on the Premium, Sport was added to the roster in order to bolster the value proposition, adding Sport suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, the Black Optic appearance package, blind spot warning, Pre Sense Rear, auto-dimming side mirrors, and a sports steering wheel with piano black trim on the 2.0T and carbon fiber trim on the 3.0T.

The top-spec Prestige is limited to the 3.0T engine, and gets all the features of the Prestige and Prestige Plus, but adds a top-view camera system that gives you front and rear video angles, a heads-up display, ventilated front seats with adjustable lumbar support, and rear sunshades.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$49,700
2.0T Premium Plus
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$49,700
2.0T Sport
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$51,200
3.0T Premium
3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$56,500
3.0T Premium Plus
3.0-liter Supercharged V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$56,500
See All 2018 Audi A6 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

If you're looking to make your already luxurious A6 even more competent, Audi has developed a series of optional packages that help add even more practicality, safety or sportiness to your car, depending on the need. The Driver Assistance package adds a trick top view camera system with front and rear corner vision, lane departure warning and frontal collision avoidance tech including automatic braking. If you're after some extra comfort, the Comfort seating package is for you; it adds ventilation, power memory and even a massage function to the front seats. For those who want their A6 to look and feel more sporty, Audi has developed what it calls a Competition Package. This package comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, stiffer and lower suspension, a trick rear diff pinched from the Audi S6 and a generous splattering of sporty interior touches.

What Audi A6 Model Should I Buy?

Now packed with more standard features than ever, you can't really make a wrong decision when it comes to buying a 2018 Audi A6. If your only requirements are space and luxury, a Premium Plus 2.0T will do the job, and you can even make it more user-friendly with the optional Driver assistance package. For the best balance between price, performance, and luxury, the Premium Plus 3.0 V6 Quattro will be the pick. It features that powerful supercharged V6 engine and Audi's famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It comes with standard LED headlights, added safety tech, and an upgraded sound system. The Prestige might offer the most bells and whistles, but most of them seem a bit superfluous and do not warrant the extra money.

2018 Audi A6 Comparisons

2018 Audi A6
2018 Audi A6

2018 Audi A6 vs BMW 5 Series Sedan

The BMW 5 Series is world renowned for its driving capability and premium build quality, and in its current iteration, is almost four years younger than the outgoing A6, and it shows. The BMW matches the Audi for ride comfort, and its interior is a more special place to sit in. Despite all the modern advantages the BMW holds over the Audi, you simply cannot get over the fact that you can get a fully loaded A6 in all its supercharged, Quattro-endowed fury for the same price as a less-powerful base model 540i xDrive. The BMW only manages to outgun the Audi in the tech department, but everywhere else the Audi is as good as the newer 5 Series.

See BMW 5 Series Sedan Review

2018 Audi A6 vs Genesis G80

The Genesis G80 is a relatively new kid on the block, but it takes the fight right up to the stalwarts of the luxury sedan segment. The Genesis offers a great load of luxury, performance, and safety at a price point that the German automaker can't compete with. The G80 also comes with a wider range of engine choices and scored higher than the Audi on the J.D Power score index. The Genesis has a roomier interior, but can't exactly match the Audi for build quality. Both come with a good amount of standard features, and the choice between the two will eventually boil down to a choice between premium brand recognition and price.

See Genesis G80 Review

Audi A6 Popular Comparisons

2018 Audi A6 Video Reviews