Car of the Year

Audi A6: 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender

Audi’s Midsize Sedan Gets Updated

Audi’s Midsize Sedan Gets Updated

We Like: The subtle, sophisticated style and predictable handling.

We Don’t Like: Trying to figure out what’s new and different.

Audi‘s A6 line has been a consistent player in the luxury segment. For 2016, the extensive line gets a mild refresh, inside and out, as well as revised gas and diesel engines. Design advancement is minimal, which isn’t surprising given the strong yet sophisticated brand identity Audi spreads across its entire lineup. Our judges marveled at the minimal “dead cat space” (gap between tire and fender) on the S6, and Scott Burgess was smitten with the whole line: “But boy oh boy, those things are fun to drive.”

Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year contenders and finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other Car of the Year contenders at the links below. Check out the Car of the Year introduction HERE, and discover how our Of The Year awards have evolved HERE.

Surprisingly, the S6 was not the drivers’ favorite. “In Dynamic mode, it behaves very much like a RWD car up to a point,” road test editor Chris Walton said, “but Jason Cammisa is right when he says it takes a moment for the car to assess the situation then send power through the driveline to where it needs to be.”

More praise was heaped on the stately but expensive ‘bahn-burning TDI and lighter, lither-feeling 2.0T. But the real sweet spot of the line is the 3.0T. Its supercharged V-6 instantly responds to right-foot prodding, which highlights the pleasure and pain of Quattro all-wheel drive: In extreme cornering situations, the front wheels wash off line on throttle. Lift the gas and the car tucks back in line. With the right balance of gas and stability control you can just feel the balance point of the front wheels working to pull the rest of the car around corners. Fun, if frivolous.

The A6 remains safe, stylish, well-engineered, and funnish to drive. Jonny Lieberman notes, “The A6 represents a fine lineup of expensive, executive transportation devices.” To which MacKenzie adds, “In terms of exterior design the A6 offers superbly controlled surfaces and jewel-like detailing. The interior is still the benchmark in the segment, materials and forms put together with sophisticated showmanship.”

2016 Audi A6 2.0T Quattro 3.0T TDI S6
Base Price $49,325 $58,325 $60,425 $71,825
Price As Tested $55,800 $68,875 $67,500 $80,775
Vehicle Layout Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
Engine 2.0L/252-hp/273-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 3.0L/333-hp/325-lb-ft supercharged DOHC 24-valve V-6 3.0L/240-hp/428-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6 4.0L/450-hp/406-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8
Transmission 8-speed auto 8-speed auto 8-speed auto 7-speed twin-clutch auto
Length x Width x Height 194.2 x 73.8 x 57.8 in 194.2 x 73.8 x 57.8 in 194.2 x 73.8 x 57.8 in 194.4 x 73.8 x 56.8 in
Wheelbase 114.8 in 114.8 in 114.8 in 114.8 in
Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 3,986 lb (54/46%) 4,156 lb (55/45%) 4,242 lb (56/44%) 4,392 lb (57/43%)
Acceleration, 0-60 mph 6.0 sec 4.4 sec 5.6 sec 4.0 sec
Quarter Mile 14.6 sec @ 93.2 mph 13.0 sec @ 107.0 mph 14.3 sec @ 93.7 mph 12.4 sec @ 112.6 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 117 ft 110 ft 114 ft 112 ft
Lateral Acceleration 0.84 g (avg) 0.90 g (avg) 0.85 g (avg) 0.89 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 26.8 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) 25.3 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) 26.1 sec @ 0.69 g (avg) 25.0 sec @ 0.77 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb 22/32/26 mpg 20/30/24 mpg 25/38/29 mpg 18/27/21 mpg
Energy Consumption, City/Hwy 153/105 kW-hrs/100 miles 169/112 kW-hrs/100 miles 151/99 kW-hrs/100 mile 187/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 Emissions 0.76 lb/mile 0.82 lb/mile 0.75 lb/mile 0.92 lb/mile

2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contenders: