The Audi A6 is an executive mid-size luxury sedan made by the German luxury car heavyweight Audi. The A6 was first introduced back in 1994 as a refreshed version of the Audi 100. The A6 comes in three different variants, a sedan, an estate, or a special off-road friendly A6 Allroad.
Since the inception of the model, the A6 has always been available as either a FWD car or an AWD Quattro car. Engine sizes start from 4-cylinder engines, 6-cylinder engines, and 8-10 cylinder engines for the most powerful and dynamic Audi A6 models.
The first A6 was also dubbed as the C4 generation and was in production between 1994-1997. The C5 A6 was introduced in 1998 and was in production until 2004. The third generation C6 Audi was in production between 2004-2011. The last two A6 generations are the two modern picks of the bunch with the C7 being in production between 2011 and 2018 when it was replaced by the current C8 generation in 2019.
Throughout the years, the A6 has always been one of the most popular choices for people who want a luxurious mid-size luxury sedan, but are not too keen on cars from either Munich or Stuttgart. Many people thought the A6 was is not on the same level as the E-Class and the 5-Series, but that is simply not the case for more than 10 years now.
Audi A6 – Powertrain
The C4 Audi A6 is soon going to be 30 years old and is not necessarily the car most people are interested in. The C5 A6 is still being used across the world and the most popular C5 A6 engines are the 2.7L TFSI 6-cylinder engine with 230hp or the 4.2L V8 with 300hp. The most popular C6 A6 engines are the 2.4L naturally aspirated V6 with 177hp and the Lamborghini-derived 5.2L V10 for the RS6.
The most popular and well-known C7 Audi engines are the 2.0L TFSI 4-cylinder engine with 252hp and the 3.0L V6 TFSI engine with 333hp. The best Audi C8 A6 engine is the 55TFSI 3.0L V6 with 333hp. The C5 A6 is available with either a sequential gearbox or a manual gearbox. The C6 introduced the Tiptronic gearbox while the C7 the DCT S-Tronic gearbox.
Depending on the engine you go for, you can either get a FWD A6, or an AWD Quattro A6 which means that Audi never offered the A6 with a RDW setup. The A6 has always been tuned towards comfort and effortless power, especially if equipped with either a 6-cylinder or an 8-cylinder engine.
Audi A6 – Design and chassis
The C5 Audi A6 might be the most controversial-looking, especially because the C5 was the only A6 that was designed with a more rounded approach. The C6 is considered by many as a good-looking car, but it’s safe to say that the majority of people prefer the way the C7 looks.
The C7 post-facelift model might as well be the best-looking Audi A6 because it brought the A6 into the modern era. The estate cars look more or less the same, bar the estate cargo area while the Allroad model looks like a more utilitarian and adventurous version of the A6 Avant.
The new C8 looks the newest, but many people are still not sold on the way the car looks, especially when compared to a well-equipped C7. Interior-wise, it’s more or less the same story as the C5 looks the worst, the C6 looks better, the C7 looks even better, but the crown goes to the brand new C8.
The chassis and suspension of all the A6 models are mostly tailored towards a comfortable drive which is more or less the same as the powertrain.
Audi A6 reliability and common issues
The most reliable Audi A6 generation is the C5 (2005-2011), especially the post-facelift models. The second most reliable Audi A6 generation is the C7 (2011-2018), while the new C8 takes third place. These ratings seem to be more or less the same across multiple different online reliability platforms.
The most common Audi A6 problems are associated with the gearbox, the turbocharger, excessive oil use, the timing chain, or the electronics. Many people deem the A6 to be unreliable, but the reality is that most people are unaware that these need constant and proper maintenance.
How much does an Audi A6 cost?
The C5 Audi A6 costs somewhere between $3,000 for the older higher mileage models up to $7,000 for the most desirable newer models with fewer miles on the clock. The C6 A6 average price is between $4,500-$15,000. The C7 prices are somewhere between $10,000 and $40,000 while the average C8 retail price is somewhere between $40,000 and $70,000.
These do not include high-end Audi RS6 and S6 models which tend to cost a lot more when compared to more regular models.
Is the Audi A6 a practical car?
All Audi A6 generations are indeed practical and spacious, especially the newer generations. The C7 A6 is a lot more practical than the C6, but the C7 is not all that much more practical than the C7. All in all, you are likely going to be satisfied with both of these.
The Cargo area is also more than decent with all A6 models, especially the newer ones. All-around visibility is great because the A6 utilizes a classic boxy mid-size luxury sedan silhouette. The A6 is also full of storage spaces which means that it is also a great family car.
Why is the Audi RS6 so special?
The Audi RS6 has always been the range-topping Audi A6 model with a powerful engine, AWD, and a fast-shifting gearbox. The RS6 comes loaded with everything you can get on an A6, and then some. The RS6 is characterized by a strong front facia, large wheels, dual large exhaust pipes, and the classic Audi Avant shape.
Many believe that the RS6 is the best car you can buy these days because it ticks all the boxes. It is a great family car, a great cruiser, a luxury car, a practical car, a fast car, and a good-looking car. The RS6 is indeed the king of the fast estate group.