By on March 27, 2020

2020 Audi A6

2019 Audi A6 55 TFSI Prestige S Fast Facts

3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (335 horsepower @ 5000 rpm, 369 lb-ft 1370 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

22 city / 29 highway / 25 (EPA Estimated Rating, MPG)

26-27 (observed mileage, MPG)

10.9 city, 8.2 highway, 9.7 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $58,900 (U.S) / $70,300 (Canada)

As Tested: $76,295 (U.S.) / $84,050 (Canada)

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $2,195 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Once upon a time, if you were shopping for a luxury vehicle that drove like a sports car, you’d get a BMW or, in some cases, a Jaguar. If you wanted one strictly for its comfort and opulence, you’d get a Mercedes-Benz or a Lexus. If you wanted a sort of ‘tweener, then you’d consider an Audi, particularly since it was one of the few in its segment to offer all-wheel drive. But these days, the German (and Japanese, and British) luxury giants have become so competitive with each other, they’re no longer separated by the unique characteristics that once defined them.

When it comes to the midsize-luxury-sedan trifecta, this trend couldn’t have been any more apparent. The BMW 5 Series seemingly gave up some of its enthusiast-minded “ultimate driving machine” superiority to focus on technology innovation while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class lost its allure for over-engineered excellence during its mix-up with the DaimlerChrysler merger of equals. Meanwhile, Audi took the lead with the A6, dethroning its direct competitors from their winning pedestals in numerous class comparisons over the years just by ticking all of the boxes incredibly well.

Does the story remain the same with the new fifth-generation model, which recently launched in our market?

Ever since the A6’s second “C5 Type 4B” generation from 1997 to 2004, Ingolstadt’s bread-and-butter midsize sedan always maintained an aesthetic edge over its crosstown competitors with future-proof and bold yet refined exterior and interior styling. As Audi’s design language matured over the years, it became more evolutionary rather than revolutionary, especially when compared to the bulbously proportioned 5 Series and the stodgy and angular E-Class.

[Get new and used Audi A6 pricing here!]

Such is the case with the new A6. It’s hardly a groundbreaking new design, appearing more like a chiseled and updated version of the rather mundane-looking outgoing fourth-generation model. But in the world of humdrum executive midsize luxury sedans, mundane sells in spades and big sales numbers is the name of the game.

2020 Audi A6

But somehow, the new A6 manages to retain a very mature and contemporary curbside appearance that edges on the side of flashy, especially in our tester’s fully-loaded 55 TFSI Prestige S model with its beautiful 21-inch 10-Y-spoke silver-painted sport wheels. The only drawback that I could find with the new A6’s exterior appearance is that its grille is a bit blingy, not from just growing to ungodly proportions, but because of the amount of chrome that fills it. As large grilles have become a defining staple in automotive design as of recent years — a trend ironically pioneered by Audi with its models in the mid-2000s — the A6 certainly raises the bar, but not necessarily in a good way.

The same modern theme carries over inside. Audi has certainly earned a strong reputation for impeccable build quality, beautifully crafted interiors, and immaculate attention to detail; and the latest A6 carries these superlatives without compromise. Not only was I unable to find any surface or material that felt like Audi’s engineers had a budget in mind, but it exuded the theme, ambiance, and feel that’s perfectly befitting for a thoroughly modern mid-size luxury sedan designed, engineered, and built for the 21st century — and then some.

2020 Audi A6

The doors open and close with a solid, resounding, tank-like thud. The leather seats provide both comfort and support in spades. All the plastics and touchable surfaces feel like they belong in a machine that costs thousands more. And despite being a complete tech-fest, all of the gizmos and gadgetry are neatly hidden away in an array of massive, high-definition, and colorful digital screens — three in total to be exact.

The tri-screen MMI and Audi Connect interface comes from the larger, full-size A8 sibling, replacing the traditional analog gauge cluster while two additional screens serve duty for the infotainment and HVAC systems on the center console. But what I love most is that all of the screens are properly integrated into the driver-oriented console, rather than featuring the protruding “tablet-like” design found on some of its competitors.

Despite the tech-laden interior, all the interfaces were relatively easy to use, thanks to the two main center-console units featuring quick and very responsive touch capabilities. Every time you click or select a screen item, a soft and light audible tick emanates from the system, like the screen-touch noise a top-shelf smartphone would make. The only downsides were that all the digital displays produce a considerable amount of glare during nighttime driving, prompting the driver to lower their brightness settings all the way to their darkest. And all the piano-black finished plastic surfaces, including the screens, are absolute fingerprint magnets.

Thankfully, although the majority of the car’s interior functions are digitized, some are still managed with analog buttons, such as the radio’s power and volume controls. One thing’s for sure: as new vehicles begin to feature more tech-heavy features, interior designers and engineers should borrow from Audi’s playbook to learn how to ergonomically structure and properly layout a near-fully digitized interior.

2020 Audi A6

Base A6 sedans in 45 TFSI form come with a 2.0-liter gasoline TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque and a factory-claimed 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds. But my fully-loaded tester came in the next and only upgrade option short of the S6, the 55 TFSI variant, featuring a 3.0-liter TFSI single-turbocharged gasoline V6 with 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft, dropping the 60 sprint to just 5.1 seconds (again, factory-claimed). Both come with an eight-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive.

Diehard power-hungry enthusiasts might detest the lack of a non-S V8 model, but because of how seamlessly smooth the six-cylinder is and how quietly it operates, one could be easily convinced that there’s a much larger powerplant under the hood. Even with only one snail, turbo lag is essentially imperceptible, and power is on demand, no matter the gear or speed. It makes one really question why anyone would need to opt for the S6.

But if you really want that extra power, the S6 is available with a far more powerful 2.9-liter biturbo gasoline V6 with 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, which Audi claims will hit 60 in just 4.4 seconds.

2020 Audi A6

Our tester came with the $1,050 Sport Package, which not only reduces the car’s ride height for a lower center of gravity, but adds a sport-tuned suspension. Despite not being a full-fledged S-model, the fully-loaded A6 still managed its own weight impeccably well with extraordinary body control and neutrally balanced handling, virtually free of any loss of grip at either axle in nearly every condition that I had the chance to properly “push it” in. And yet, it did so without any real compromise with ride quality and smoothness. Simply put, the A6 is stunning all-around.

The light steering does leave a little left to be desired in the feel and weight department, but this is to be expected from an all-wheel-drive luxury sedan.

The 2019 Audi A6 sedan proves that it’s very much worth of carrying its status as the king of midsize luxury sedans. Not only is it beautifully designed, engineered, impeccably built, and excellent to drive, but as previously noted, it simply ticks all the boxes seemingly without compromise. And for its price-as-tested of $77,090 large, it better.

[Images © 2020 Chris Chin/TTAC]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

54 Comments on “2019 Audi A6 Review – Simply Stunning...”


  • avatar
    R Henry

    Sign of the times: Two photos of the touch screens, zero pictures of the engine compartment.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      There’s probably nothing to see under there anyway. More and more engines are getting hidden under plastic shrouds.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      What would you learn from a picture of the engine compartment? It’s a hot-vee turbo V6 under a plastic shroud with a few fluid caps.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        What do we learn from looking at a picture of a video screen?

        I like engines. I like to look at them. I like to play with them. I am fascinated by their design, their technology. I like everything about engines.

        Video screens, not so much.

        • 0 avatar
          Chris Chin

          Sorry for not providing a picture of the engine bay but it is reflective of the times. Hardly anyone buying this car will even know how to pull the hood release to pop the hood. And even if they do, it’s all plastic covering, hence why I didn’t snap one.

          There’s not much to appreciate in technically just by looking at it. It’s not like in the 1970s when you could pop the hood of a Mercedes-Benz and appreciate their engineering prowess compared to a Chevy Chevette.

          I’ll be sure to include one in the pool next time.

          – C

          • 0 avatar
            R Henry

            Thanks very much for the response.

            My comment was not created as a complaint. Instead, it was intended to reflect the reality you describe—that what is in the engine compartment is of far less interest to motorists than it once was.

            To you and your colleagues, thank you VERY much for your efforts toward creating such compelling content here. I look forward to visiting every day!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      HA! This.
      When I look at car reviews and road tests, I skip right past the write ups on the stereo system, the connectivity features, and pay the most attention to powertrain, and driving characteristics and some attention to the execution of the interior and utility.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Another lease only lux vehicle. I’m sure it’s really nice, but with all of the new tech in this, owning this or any of it’s new competitors out of warranty seems like a terrible idea.

    Seems like you really need to want something like this for it be worth it. $800-900/mo for a lease of a nice sedan seems pretty rich to me.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Not just the tech – also all the stuff under the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      My thoughts exactly. $76k – for this??? And its not even an S6? Ugh. Nobody with half a brain would pay that much for an A6. These will end up being lease queens with a residual value of $28k once the 3 years has passed. Get one at CarMax and do the MaxCare warranty.

      One would have to be high to spend $76k on ANY sedan nowadays. They just arent selling and residuals are terrible. And if someone has the money to burn, they would get something more unique anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yep, if you’re looking for a used luxury *sedan*, this is a freakin’ golden era. But it won’t last. The three-year-old stuff that’s on lots now was made when CUVs weren’t the all-conquering sales gorilla they are now. As the model years went on, fewer sedans were produced, so supply will inevitably dry up.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Yep. IMO the best luxury deal in any segment at the moment is 2013-15 Lexus LS460s. You can get one in immaculate shape for the price of a new Accord, and expect it to last about as long (although when you do need to do maintenance or repair, it will cost more).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Holy crap, those are good deals! With low miles and AWD, you’re looking at high-30s, so it’s a bit more than “Accord money,” but wow…that’s a great ride for that kind of money, and it’s probably a good reliability bet.

            The Infiniti Q70 is another great used-lux deal.

          • 0 avatar

            Never buy a Q70, it’s not great at being a large sedan, nor is it good at being sporty or luxurious. It’s 2008 in there.

      • 0 avatar
        gasser

        Well said. The greatest cost of owning an auto is the depreciation……..except maybe for an older German auto, then its the repair bills.

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          There is a lot of money to be saved by purchasing a 100k mile preowned car. For about 25-35% of new cost, you receive about 50% of the cars useful life. Heck of a deal!

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        in a decade or so the $30k Accord will be worth more than the Audi and in 20 years the Accord will still be running and the Audi will have been junked

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Yes, so many of us agree with what you say about “lux” vehicles from Europe.

      Then, there is Lexus. A lux car with Toyota’s legendary reliability. Truly, Lexus created a whole new class of car–Lux with longevity!

  • avatar
    Jon

    Put this on the list of cars i want to drive daily but sadly never will.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    So many words, so little content. This puff piece reads like a sponsored article.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Audi has certainly earned a strong reputation for impeccable build quality, beautifully crafted interiors, and immaculate attention to detail; and the latest A6 carries these superlatives without compromise.”

      No doubt this line will appear in an Audi ad soon, or perhaps it came from one.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Keep in mind this writer usually reviews the some mind numbingly dull $30,000 RAV4/CR-V clone, so when something truly nice drops, it’s probably a bit of a revelation.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        True, freed. I don’t mind a positive review, but this one felt like fawning.

        Heck, I drive H/Ks. Maybe I’d be blown away by an A6, too.

        • 0 avatar
          EGSE

          I would expect a vehicle at that price level to have an above-average interior and fit and finish. His calibration point seemed like it *was* a $30k CUV; his wide-eyed gushing over what should be expected at this cars level is a loss of perspective. Instead of “impeccable” it should be “appropriate” or “as expected”.

          There are 17 paragraphs in the article. Only 3 contain any evidence of how it drives and even that content is minimal. A far cry from what TTAC used to offer (reference: Alex Dykes).

        • 0 avatar
          EGSE

          My sister drives a 2010 Elantra she bought new for ~$16K. Last I looked over a year ago it had something over 100K miles on it. It has never let her down. The feature content is amazing for what she paid and everything still works. Unscheduled maintenance over those 10 years? One oxygen sensor replaced for $200. It’s a “simply stunning” luxury of another type to not have the car be a shop queen. Completely changed my perception of Hyundai.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @ESGE: Yes, a lowly 2001 Elantra sold me on the brand, and we’re on our 6th H/K product in the family. All have proven to be durable and cheap to maintain.

            The interior of my 19 Ioniq EV is a very pleasant place to be. I don’t think I’d be any happier in an Audi.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’ve driven an A6 like the one in this story – I don’t like the touchscreen nonsense, but otherwise, it’s a no-s**t great car, so I can’t blame him fawning a bit. My daily driver is a (lesser) Audi, and I was ready to fawn too. Personally, I like the A5/S5 Sportback better, but he’s not wrong about how the A6 is.

          Now that I think about it, though, aren’t most cars in this class pretty awesome? They are (as long as you stay away from the 2.0T versions, which make zero sense). Awesome cars are pretty easy to fawn over, you know?

          • 0 avatar
            Chris Chin

            I’ve driven and critiqued (for various U.S.-based A-List pubs) many kinds of cars, Mercedes-Maybachs, V12 Ferraris, BMW Ms, Porsches, Lambos…to even your basic Prius C and Corolla sedans, all of which are all excellent in their respective classes. To be honest, I prefer critiquing the sub-$50k category because they’re the attainable cars that most people care about. I’m not swayed by high-dollar vehicles often (and in all honesty, my love goes for things older than my 30-year-old self).

            Audi has always had a leg up on BMW interiors and even Mercedes-Benz interiors, especially after the DaimlerChrysler merger of equals. I thought most agreed on this and the story remains the same. It’s all relative.

            – C

  • avatar
    dwford

    So I am supposed to look way down low on the center console and stab at that screen to work the climate control system? Seems safe.

  • avatar
    make_light

    I own a previous-gen A4, but recently had one of these as a rental. While the interior is shiny and impressive-looking, I would take my car any day. Even though the old Audi MMI with the knob wasn’t celebrated, living with it daily is FAR easier than one of these touch screen interfaces.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      A3 owner here, and I agree 100%. It took all of about four days for MMI to become second nature for me, and I love the screen that slides in and out of the dash. That doesn’t just look cool – it solves the “tacked on screen” complaint you hear so often around here, and it puts complex functions right at eye level, which is a better ergonomic approach.

      These touchscreens are all below eye level, and they will distract the driver. I think it’s a step back.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Correction:
    the A6’s second “C5 Type 4B” generation from 1997 to 2004

    The second gen started in 1998 in North America. As my oft told lamentations of owning a 1997 A6 as my only foray into the European car world. Lessons learned at that time and while I’m sure this is a fine car, it’s not for me.

    Also, I wouldn’t expect any A6 to have a V8 in 2020. I probably wouldn’t expect it in the A8 anymore either.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    An example of a truly refined automobile….Inside and out you can trace its roots back decades into Audi’s history.

    A stark contrast to some other manufacturers who’ve resorted to plastic and plagiarism to make the spreadsheet numbers work.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Audi grilles are still ugly. While I do have my beefs with BMW, the 5 series just does things better.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’ll take an S5 Sportback instead – it’s dead sexy, and I wouldn’t be able to put up with all the silly touchscreens in this car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Interesting you cite the C5. Immediately before pandemic stopped me from ever going outside, I happened to see a very clean C5 4.2 while walking on the street. Those cars have aged better than pretty much anything from their era. All of them have so much presence, but especially the widebody 4.2 and S versions.

    We won’t know for another decade whether this one stands up to time so well.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Style-wise, I don’t think you can really go wrong with any A6 – Audi is really, really good at designing cars that look good years later. Honda used to be great at this as well…until they decided to go all “exuberant” on their more recent designs.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris Chin

        The C5 still looks great today! Those designers were definitely ahead of their time when they penned that car. If I had greater wealth I’d pickup a C5 RS6 in a heart beat.

        – C

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Those rimz will look great right up until the first pothole.

    Sophisticated electronics continue to befuddle European auto engineers. This car is a mass of malfunctions waiting to happen. When the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    AdamOfAus

    Boring cars and feminist ads. No thanks

  • avatar
    probert

    I think all the good designers went to KIA.

  • avatar
    AccordStu

    I like EVs. I’ll buy one as soon as I can drive it 400 miles summer or winter and charge it in 15 minutes at a convenience store.

  • avatar
    ShellofTTAC

    This review reads like the breathless passages in a rag magazines — the very magazines that drove us to sites like TTAC in the first place so many years ago.

    The author even uses the same phrases I see so often in the magazines: “The light steering does leave a little left to be desired.” Yeah, just a “little” right? Every car I’ve driven, made in the last 15+ years, feels a half step removed from a video game. Did the industry change overnight?

    Mr. Chin, reset your expectations and drive something with real steering feel. Admittedly, you’ll have to reach back a decade or so.

    And the grill is just a “bit” blingy? Subjective of course, but again, this is advertiser- and manufacturer-safe criticism.

    Also, I’m supposed to believe the ride quality was good? With 21-inch wheels and a sports suspension package. Did you leave the parking lot?

    There’s very little real criticism here beyond the superficial. And the fawning detracts from the credibility of the review.

    This site used to cut through the usual PR chaff and nonsense, yet here we are.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Chin

      I’ve been daily driving a 44-year-old Mercedes (W116 450SEL) with a freshly rebuilt front-end (that I did myself) and a newly rebuilt hydraulically assisted recirculating-ball type box for the past 4 years. That time is exchanged with an ’87 560SEL.

      My other daily is a ’11 Honda Accord V6 Manual Coupe with hydraulic assist. I grew up with E46, E38, E60 BMWs in my family. I spent over 600 miles in a ’64 E-Type OTS with no power assist. I once had an ’02 XJ-Sport with hydraulic speed-adaptive steering, which was better than any E38 I’ve driven.

      Is it that hard to believe that this car was hard to fault, after decades and decades of R&D that should mean a new car of this caliber can be just right? Also, if you can see, I live outside NYC and frequented Manhattan and Brooklyn when critiquing. Yes, large wheels is possible with the right tires and suspension tuning. Few get it right. Audi has. 10 years of doing this and yes, the A6 is hard to fault, and only a few get EPS (electric power steering right), few being Mazda (Miata), Alfa Romeo (Giulia sedan), Ferrari, Porsche.

      – C

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Overall very nice car but would skip the 21 inch wheels given harsher ride and pot hole magnets. Can lighten the options which will bring price into imid 60’s.

  • avatar

    Okay, maybe I missed something.

    Why are 2019 models still being reviewed?

    Aren’t we well into the 2020 model year?

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Chin

      This was all that was available in the fleet at the time. Audi representatives reassured me that there are negligible differences between the 2019MY and 2020MY. They’re essentially the same car.

      – C

  • avatar
    cprescott

    If the market for electric vehicles were so vast as to make the absence in Big Three portfolios seem foolish, then Tesla would be building gag-gag factories all over the place. Apparently a tent and a factory is all they need to offer their expensive luxury golf carts built with AMC level of quality control.

    And who is to say that electric as we have it right now is going to be the answer? It seems like we are in a transition stage where “electric” might be a solid state battery or hydrogen fuel cell. I don’t see where expensive and hard to charge Teslas is the answer. And where exactly do you charge your Tesla when you live in an apartment? There is your volume limiter right there – cost and charging ability.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jetcal: Haven’t seen one in years. I actually looked at the SER, the kicker was the dealers marking ’em...
  • DrivingEnthusiast.net: That’s exactly it: decent suspension, symmetrical AWD, 6-speed manual, and another...
  • DrivingEnthusiast.net: CX30 compelling? Look under the back end for the same beam axle the CX-3 uses. Then crawl...
  • SilverCoupe: Remembering the 2008 Audis does not make you old, remembering the Edsels when they came out somewhat...
  • namesakeone: Wasn’t “the one with the Gatling gun headlamps” the Maxima, not the Altima?

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber