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2014 Audi A6 Overview
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Audi expands the A6 luxury sedan lineup for 2014 with the addition of a new diesel-powered A6 TDI trim, which delivers impressive torque as well as class-leading fuel economy numbers of up to 38 mpg. The A6 TDI joins existing A6 2.0T and 3.0T trims, which are available at Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige levels. For 2014, Audi also gooses power from the 2.0T's turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to 220 hp and adds heated front seats as a standard feature for all 2.0T trims. In addition, the automaker adds power folding side mirrors and a new side-assist blind-spot monitor as standard features on Prestige trims and introduces a few new options packages for the A6, including a new Driver Assistance Plus package and a Black Optic package with 20-inch titanium wheels.
Last revamped in 2012 at the beginning of its 4th generation, the Audi A6 successfully straddles the line between luxury and sport sedan. In previous generations, the A6 lost ground to competitors like the BMW 5 Series and the Jaguar XF sport sedan, but it upped its game with the 2012 redesign, which was met with generally positive reviews. Now, testers say, the A6 delivers a high level of luxury and strong performance, especially from the 3.0T trims, which are powered by a supercharged V6. With the addition of the new A6 TDI trim, the 2014 A6 has achieved an ideal trifecta of comfort, power and fuel efficiency. Add in snazzy exterior styling and a well-equipped high-tech interior, and the A6 has a lot to offer discriminating buyers.
Three different engines power the 2014 A6. The entry-level 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TFSI turbocharged engine, which powers the A6 2.0T trims as well as Audi A4 sedans and A5 coupes, now generates 220 hp, up from 211 hp the previous year. Torque remains at 258 lb-ft. In 2.0T trims with front-wheel drive (FWD), the 4-cylinder engine links to a Multitronic CVT continuously variable transmission. In trims equipped with Audi's optional Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the transmission upgrades to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic with Sport and manual-shift modes. When equipped with the CVT transmission, the 2.0T FWD trims make the jaunt from 0-60 in 7.4 seconds, which drops to 6.6 seconds when the Tiptronic transmission and quattro AWD system are added. CVT FWD trims post good fuel economy numbers of 25 mpg city/33 highway, while the Tiptronic Quattro trims manage numbers of 20/29.
Stepping up a notch in performance, the A6 3.0T trims continue into 2014 with a 3.0-liter supercharged TFSI V6 powerplant with direct injection. The V6 generates 310 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and mates to the 8-speed Tiptronic transmission in all 3.0T trims. Audi's Quattro AWD system also comes standard in the more powerful trims, ensuring good road grip and traction on all types of road surfaces. The V6 drives the 3.0T trims from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, while fuel economy numbers drop to a still relatively decent 18/27.
The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbocharged clean diesel engine powering the new A6 TDI trim develops 240 hp and an impressive 428 lb-ft of torque. That's good enough to drive the A6 TDI from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. At the same time, the diesel engine achieves notable fuel economy numbers of 24/38. Like the V6, the diesel engine links to the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, and the quattro AWD system comes standard. In addition, Audi equips the A6 TDI and 3.0T trims with a start/stop system, which helps improve fuel efficiency by shutting off the engine when the driver steps on the brake pedal and starting it up again instantly when the driver releases the brakes. The automaker limits top speed for all A6 trims to 130 mph.
Like a number of other vehicles in Audi's stable, including the A4 and A5, the A6 provides a good balance of performance, handling, luxury and fuel economy. Around town the A6 is well-behaved and easy to drive, but it opens up nicely on the open road and under aggressive driving, giving competitors like the BMW 5 Series a run for their money. The 3.0T trims with the gas V6 prove to be particularly fast, reviewers say, and the 8-speed Tiptronic provides smooth shifts. The A6's capable suspension features a 5-link configuration in the front and a trapezoidal-link setup in the rear. It easily smooths out rougher road surfaces and keeps the vehicle flat in tight curves. Owners can add an optional sport suspension, which comes standard on Prestige trims. The electromechanical power steering system with Servotronic speed-sensitive capability has a light feel at times, testers say, but remains precise and responsive. The 2.0T trims ride on 17-inch 10-spoke wheels, while the 3.0T and TDI trims get 18-inch wheels with a 5-V-spoke design. A number of 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel designs are available. All-season tires are standard all around.
Outside, the A6 carries forth Audi's clean, minimalist lines, which create a streamlined yet sporty look. Lightweight aluminum body panels help to reduce weight and improve efficiency, while a long nose, short overhangs, a high sideline and a lowered roofline create a sporty, windswept appearance. Premium trims come standard with automatic halogen headlights, daytime running lights, LED taillights and rear foglights, while Premium Plus trims get HID headlights and LED daytime running lights. Prestige trims add adaptive HID headlights.
Audi's signature Singleframe grille remains standard on all A6 trims, along with such exterior features as heated side mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles, aluminum window trim and dual exhaust pipes with chrome tips. The Premium Plus trims add auto-dimming exterior side mirrors with memory, while Prestige trims also get an S line exterior appearance package, which includes Brilliant Black exterior moldings and trim, a black rear diffuser and 19-inch wheels with a titanium finish. For 2014, Audi debuts a new optional package for 2.0T Premium trims, which includes HID headlights and 18-inch wheels, while a new Black Optic exterior appearance package for 3.0T and TDI trims adds a black optic grille with high-gloss surrounds on the grille and windows, as well as 20-inch wheels with a titanium finish.
While the 2.0T trims are available at Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige levels, the 3.0T and TDI trims skip the Premium level and start at the Premium Plus level, ensuring an upgraded feature list for the higher-powered trims. Premium trims get new heated front seats for 2014, as well as such standard features as leather upholstery, a 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel, 3-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, keyless start and aluminum decorative inlays. The front seats feature 8-way power adjustment with 4-way power lumbar for the driver, and the rear seatbacks split 50/50 and fold. The Premium trims also include a 10-speaker, 180-watt Audi MMI audio system with a CD player, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth, an iPod port and speed-dependent volume.
The 3.0T and TDI Premium Plus trims add an Audi MMI navigation system with a 7-inch color display, HD radio and Audi's Connect system, which provides in-vehicle wi-fi and localized weather and information. The navigation system also includes a rear-view camera and a new Side Assist system, which monitors blind-spot areas and alerts drivers of approaching vehicles. At the top of the heap, the Prestige trims add such features as perforated leather upholstery, 12-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, 4-zone automatic climate control and a 14-speaker, 630-watt Bose audio system with AutoPilot noise compensation.
The A6 comes equipped with 8 standard airbags, including knee and thorax side airbags, as well as electronic stability control, traction control and antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Audi also offers a new Driver Assistance Plus package for 2014, which includes adaptive cruise control, a top-view camera and Audi's Pre Sense Plus system, which detects rear-end collisions and closes windows and the sunroof in the event of an impending accident to minimize damage.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.