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2017 Audi A6 Overview
The Audi A6 is now in its fourth generation, but the current model, along with the related A7, was introduced six years ago and is due for a comprehensive refresh. That will have to wait until 2018, though, when a new A6 and S6 will be introduced as 2019 models. The 2017 model is therefore limited to mid-cycle tweaks that Audi hopes will keep the A6 competitive with newer cars like the Cadillac CTS, Jaguar XF, Maserati Ghibli, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, as well as similarly older designs like the Lexus GS and BMW 5 Series.
For 2017, new trim options are joined by new exterior colors and wheel choices, and the bodywork has been tweaked as well. The front fascia, side sills, rear diffuser, and rear bumper are all new for 2017, but the sticker price remains the same. Inside, changes include LED ambient lighting and updates to the infotainment system. These changes also apply to the sportier S6 model, as well as the A7 and S7.
Under the hood, base A6 models get a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The cheapest A6 is front-wheel-drive (FWD) and comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox. Many buyers, however, will opt for the quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which comes with an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox. A 3.0T trim is also available, equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 rated at 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. V6 cars can only be had with quattro AWD. Sporty drivers will obviously prefer the step up to the S6, but even the base FWD trim has more than enough performance for most.
The base trim is rated at 24 mpg city/35 highway/28 combined. Adding AWD reduces that number by 2 mpg, while the supercharged V6 gets a significantly lower but still respectable 22/32/26.
For those who value trunk space, the A7 is a better choice, as the 14.1 cubic feet in the A6 is fairly small for such a big sedan. Fit and finish are excellent, though, and have a premium feel that helps justify the A6’s large price tag. Audi’s MMI infotainment system comes standard and has been further improved for the 2017 model year. Top-shelf Prestige trims get a 7-inch display touchscreen, while other trims have a touch pad on the console for secondary input. The Prestige also gets a standard 14-speaker Bose sound system, as well as 4-zone climate control and a power-adjustable tilt steering column.
Standard on all trims are power front seats, cruise control, a sunroof, keyless ignition, heated front seats, a Bluetooth hands-free interface, and leather seating. The mid-range Premium Plus trim adds HD Radio, real-time traffic data via Google Earth, front and rear parking sensors, and a 7-inch color display. A 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with tweeters that raise up on their own when the car starts is a standalone option, and available option packages include a Sport package with 19-inch 5-spoke wheels, a Xenon headlight package, and a Black Optic package that adds gloss-black trim and 20-inch wheels.
The A6 is one of the safest sedans on the road, and the 2016 model received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it 5 out of 5 stars overall. Available safety features include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, night vision, a head-up display, and a rear-view camera, while a Driver Assistance package comes with adaptive cruise control and a cornering-camera system.
While the design of the current A6 is a bit long in the tooth, Audi as a whole has been consistently outperforming its rivals at BMW and Mercedes-Benz in reliability ratings, so cars like the A6 are ideal for someone who may not need the latest and greatest but still wants a premium German luxury vehicle that won't have to constantly go back to the dealership for repairs. Reliability aside, however, the 2017 A6 has enough tweaks to keep it relevant, and it’s still the luxury status symbol it always has been.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a 1969 Lynx Formula Vee. After receiving two degrees in history, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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