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2018 audi A6

The A6 is the volume model in Audi's mid-size luxury sedan range, which also includes the performance-focused S6. Now near the end of its fourth generation, the A6 provides an appealing blend of luxury, technology and responsive handling dynamics.

Recent Changes
For the latest model year, likely its last on the market the current-generation A6 gets an optional Competition Package.

The A6 embodies Audi's previous design language. It wears a large rendition of the company's ubiquitous singleframe grille that's flanked by narrow headlights. It also features a large greenhouse, which helps with outward visibility. It's one of the more discreet-looking models in its competitive set, which includes the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series, and the Cadillac CTS.

Look under the car and you'll notice there's a paneled underfloor, which helps reduce the sedan's drag coefficient to a very low 0.26 in spite of an upright front fascia designed to meet European pedestrian safety standards. The extensive use of lightweight materials like aluminum helps keep weight in check.

Like you'd rightfully expect from an Audi, the A6 features a well-finished cabin complete with beautiful wood inlays and a user-friendly layout. The wrap-around dashboard is canted towards the driver, and all models come standard with Audi's latest infotainment system.

Under the Hood
The entry-level A6 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It makes 252 horsepower between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm.

The engine sends its power to the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, though selecting the optional quattro all-wheel drive system also brings an eight-speed automatic.

The four-cylinder A6 hits 60 mph from a stop in 6.7 seconds and it goes on to a top speed of 130 mph. Fuel economy checks in at 25 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg in a combined cycle.

Next up is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 340 horsepower between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque from 2,900 to 5,300 rpm. It's exclusively offered with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The additional cylinders and, of course, the supercharger lower the A6's zero-to-60-mph time to 5.1 seconds. Fuel economy checks in at 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg in a combined cycle.

Trim Level Breakdown
Audi breaks down the A6 line-up into four trim levels called Premium, Sport, Premium Plus, and Prestige, respectively. The first three trims are offered with either four or six cylinders, while the range-topping is V6-only.

Selecting the base Premium model yields a generous list of standard features. Highlights include navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a HomeLink transceiver, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, automatic wipers and headlights, parking sensors on both ends, leather upholstery, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, a sunroof, walnut wood inlays, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Xenon headlights, and LED headlights.

The Sport model gains 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black mirror caps, the Black Optic package, carbon atlas inlays, and a sport suspension.

The Premium Plus model builds on Sport with full LED headlights, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, Audi's side assist technology, four-zone climate control, a 630-watt Bose sound system with 14 speakers, and "supercharged" emblems on models with the six-cylinder.

Finally, the V6-only gains eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a head-up display, sunshades for the rear windows, a power-operated trunk lid, and a top-view camera system.

The list of standalone options includes special paint colors from Audi Exclusive, rear side airbags, and different alloy wheel designs. Buyers can also choose from several option packages, including the Cold Weather package which bundles heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

Prestige Plus and Premium buyers can order the optional Competition Package. While it doesn't turn the A6 into a race car, it adds black mirror caps, red brake calipers, 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped by summer tires, a sport suspension, and a quattro sport differential. Inside, there are sport seats with diamond stitching, brushed aluminum trim, a black headliner, and a three-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Occupant Safety
All A6 models come equipped with dual front airbags, driver and passenger head airbags, "Sideguard" head curtain airbags for both rows of seats, driver and front passenger knee air bags and side thorax airbags. Rear-passenger thorax side airbags are optional.

Other standard safety features include traction and stability control systems, ABS with electronic brake-pressure distribution and a tire-monitoring system.

Key Competitors
Shopping for an A6? You can also look at the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Cadillac CTS, the Jaguar XF, the Lexus GS, and the BMW 5 Series.