Audi revised the A6 front structure to ace the small-overlap test, but only cars built after January carry the modified design.
The 2016 Audi A6 has received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but prudent buyers must check the assembly date.
The midsize luxury sedan already had 'good' ratings for the side, roof strength and moderate-overlap front crash tests, however the IIHS waited until Audi revised the front structure before putting the car through the more challenging small-overlap trial.
The revised A6 has not received a 'good' rating in the small-overlap scenario, with a maximum intrusion of four inches and well-controlled movement of the test dummy. Measurements taken from the dummy suggest there is low risk of significant injuries in a similar real-world crash.
"The good small overlap rating applies to A6s built after January," the IIHS report notes.
The organization achieved mixed results when testing the A6's optional front-crash prevention system. The braking intervention reduced the vehicle's speed by 10 mph in the lower-speed test, but only by 1 mph in the high-speed test.
Other Top Safety Pick Plus cars in IIHS' large luxury category include the Hyundai Genesis, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Infiniti Q70, Volvo S80, Lexus RC and Acura RLX. The BMW 5-Series and Lincoln MKS fell short, earning marginal or poor ratings in the small-overlap test.