Audi’s fifth generation A6 Saloon offers a very vorsprung durch technik interpretation of what a large executive four-door model should be.
Audi really should be very good at making this kind of car by now. They have been making full-sized Executive saloons since 1968. All the while the German brand has been refining its approach, first with the ‘C5’-series model in 1997 and then with the more sophisticated ‘C6’-series design of 2004 and the ‘C7’-series model launched in 2012. The current C8 series on offer here was introduced in 2018.
The petrol and diesel engines used have become much more efficient thanks to ‘MHEV’ mild hybrid electrification and the new-era cabin is now completely touchscreen-orientated. In addition, the sleek exterior styling introduces a fresh design language for this model line and clothes a completely new and much stiffer aluminium-intensive MLB EVO body structure.
Inside, the cabin is based around the sleek black panel design that first featured on the larger A8. The gently curved upper display deals with the most important radio, media and telephone functions while the lower 8.6-inch monitor is reserved for more comfort-orientated mainly climate-related features. Both monitors interact with the optional 12.3-inch ‘Audi Virtual Cockpit’ instrument binnacle screen you view through the three-spoke wheel. Out back, there’s comfortable room for a couple of adults and there’s a decently sized 530 litre boot.
Vanarama customers can choose between four trim levels for this A5 Coupe – ‘Sport’, ‘S line’, ‘Black Edition’ and top ‘Vorsprung’. Plus there’s stand-alone S6 trim (which comes in standard and ‘Vorsprung’ forms); and the top RS 6 variant (which comes in standard, ‘Carbon Black’ or ‘Vorsprung’ guises).
All A6 derivatives are extremely well kitted out. Even entry-level ‘Sport’-spec delivers alloy wheels of at least 18-inches in size, plus there are full-LED headlights, the ‘Audi parking system plus’ set-up with a rear view camera, a high-resolution 7-inch colour driver information system and the brand’s ‘MMI navigation with MMI touch’ package.
Most A6 buyers want to make the step up to ‘S line’ trim, which gets you 19-inch ‘5-twin-spoke’-design contrasting grey alloy rims, Matrix LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators, ‘S line’ exterior and interior detailing, front sports seats with leather and alcantara upholstery, privacy glass and sports suspension. ‘Black Edition’-spec gets you 20-inch wheels and a body kit. And top ‘Vorsprung’ trim includes 21-inch wheels, Super Sports seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, HD matrix LED headlights, piercing ‘Audi beam’ headlights and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system.
The two most obvious rivals to this car are the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes E-Class, but you might also want to consider the Jaguar XF, the Volvo S90, the Volkswagen Arteon, the Kia Stinger and the Lexus ES.
The A6 is an option you can’t ignore if you’re seeking a classy premium-badged large segment Executive saloon. It’s very smart, very complete and very Audi.