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2015 Audi A6 Overview

Life is hard for the A6. Without the sporting chops of the A5 or the aesthetic novelty and extra utility of the A7, it must face a personality crisis: What am I for? The engines all seem to hint at some sport intentions, what with a turbo 2.0-liter and your choice of supercharged or turbodiesel V6, but with a CVT or an 8-speed automatic, you’ll never fully satisfy the desire to drive. The design is gorgeous and classic, but does little to distinguish itself from other Audis, especially in the shadow of the A5’s tighter styling or the A7’s dramatic rear. And yes, it offers actual 4-adult seating as opposed to the show of it the A4 puts on, but they’d still better not be actual tall adults you throw into the back. There’s more headroom than in the sloping A7, but not enough to brag.

So what’s a midsize executive saloon to do in order to distinguish itself? Being one of Audi’s best-selling models seems a good way, and the A6 manages that despite the logical drawbacks. Let’s be fair, the manual may be the driver’s choice, but a good automatic is by far the buyer’s, especially when offered with some slick paddle shifters. Plus, looking confusingly similar to one of the most attractive cars on the road is hardly a drawback.

So what do you get if you go for the A6? Sadly, it’s one of the few Audis not ready to go in its base form. The entry-level Premium A6 gets you front-wheel drive, a sluggish and soulless CVT and the turbocharged 2.0 that is a little overmatched by the heft of the A6. It’s not slow by any means, but 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque feel better suited to the much more svelte A4/A5. Move up to the Premium Plus trim, and you’ll lose the CVT and gain all-wheel drive (AWD), but that addition is just more strain on the 2.0, even with the 8-speed transmission. And even though you’re getting features, such as power leather seats with memory, 17-inch alloys, Audi Drive Select and MMI, they're not enough to make the 2.0 any less overwhelmed.

Best to move up to the Premium 3.0 with its supercharged, 310-hp V6 delivering 325 lb-ft of torque. There’s no lack of motivation here, and you don’t have to worry about the CVT, either—every 3.0 comes with AWD and the 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. Kudos to Audi for not forcing customers to pay for the Premium Plus or Prestige trim levels in order to get this engine.

Of course, if torque is the poison you pick, there’s another engine for you, and it’s the most efficient of the bunch. While the turbodiesel V6 delivers only 240 hp from its 3.0 liters, there are 428 lb-ft of torque ready to rip you to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds—nearly equal to the supercharged V6’s 5.4-second time and a full 2 seconds faster than the 2.0-liter when saddled with the CVT. More than that, the turbodiesel will return 24 mpg city/38 highway.

For features like the upgraded Audi MMI with touch and Audi connect, LED daytime running lights with Xenon headlights, parking assistance and voice-activated navigation, you’ll have to go for the Premium Plus trim, although some features like the LED lights are individual options as well. If you go with either of the 3.0-liter engines, you’ll also get the S-line exterior trim, while the Prestige adds ventilated seats, 4-zone automatic climate controls, full LED headlights and the top-tier, 630-watt Bose stereo.

It’s not a showboat, it’s not a speed demon, and it’s not the best-looking car in the lineup. However, if you like the A4 but still want 6 cylinders under the hood, the A6 is a really great option.


A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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Audi A6 Questions

2015 Audi A6 Needs Oil Every 500 Miles

My Audi needs oil every 500 miles...I add some oil and it runs fine...any thoughts?

Audi A6 Dashboard Symbols

On the dashboard of my 2015 audi a6, there is a symbol by the side of the time ( bit like an umbrella on its side). I cant find this symbol in my book or on any website. Any ideas anyone