Saturday, May 14, 2016

German Luxury

If the 2016 Audi A6 were a baseball player, it would be a player molded in the likes of Derek Jeter, the type of celebrity athlete who does everything but sell the food and beer. Indeed, with it's expertly crafted cabin, roomy interior, athletic handling, and strong yet fuel-friendly engine line-up, this Audi treats its occupants rather well, and looks sharp while doing it.

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      The overall sense of refinement is perhaps the A6's most notable trait. Underway, the engines are smooth, and provide performance stronger than their respectable numbers would suggest.

      The 2016 Audi A6 is a midsize luxury sedan offered in 6 trim levels; 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, 3.0T Premium Plus, 3.0T Prestige, TDI Premium Plus, and TDI Prestige. The 2.0T, 3.0T and TDI designations denote the engine equipped, like the 2.0T Premium is equipped with a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. The S6 will hopefully be reviewed at a later time.

      Standard equipment for the 2.0T Premium includes 18-inch wheels, Audi Drive Select, automatic xenon headlamps, LED running lights and tail lamps, automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, sunroof, tri-zone auto a/c, heated 8-way power front seats, driver memory settings, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, Audi MMI, a 6.5 inch display screen, and a 10 speaker audio system.

     Going with the 2.0T Premium Plus gives you front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, blind spot monitoring system, Pre-Sense Rear, power folding exterior mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, an 8-inch display screen, a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth, an upgraded MMI with enhanced controller, and Audi Connect.

      The 3.0T Premium Plus is equipped much like the 2.0T version, but adds chrome exterior bits, a stop-start system for the engine, and a power adjustable steering wheel.

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      Going with the 3.0T Prestige gets you adaptive LED head lamps, ambient LED cabin lighting, a power open and close trunk, head-up display, ventilated front seats, power lumber for the front passenger seat, a 14 speaker Bose audio system, and the Warm Weather Package.

      The TDI Premium Plus is equipped like the gas version, as does the TDI Prestige.

      The 2016 Audi A6 2.0T is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft of torque. Front wheel drive and a 7-speed automated manual are standard, but you can get it equipped with Quattro, or all-wheel drive, which comes with a conventional 8-speed auto. The EPA says you can expect 28 mpg with the front wheel drive version, and 26 mpg combined with the all wheel drive version.

      The Audi A6 3.0T gets a supercharged, 3.0 liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and 325 lb.ft of torque. The 8-speed auto and all wheel drive are standard, as is stop-start technology. EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 24 mpg combined.

      The Audi A6 TDI gets a turbocharged 3.0 liter diesel V6 that cranks out a whopping 240 horsepower and 428 lb.-ft of torque. Like the 3.0T, it is paired up with the 8-speed auto and all wheel drive. Fuel economy comes in at a very respectable 29 mpg combined.

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Standard safety equipment includes things like anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags, and full length curtain airbags. Rear side airbags, rear view and top view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and a night vision camera system are all optional. In government crash testing, the Audi A6 earned 5 stars for overall crash protection.

      The 2016 Audi A6 has one of the best cabins in its class, with an attractive dash layout, excellent materials quality as well as fit and finish. The familiar MMI system controls an astounding amount of functions using a pop up screen and a rotary controller as well as buttons on the center console. The system boasts logical menus and crisp graphics, and the MMI Plus upgrade includes USB integration and a touchpad that can recognize fingertip scrawls.

      The A6's front seats are supportive and comfortable, even on longer trips. The rather spacious back seat offers more real-world legroom than most other cars in the class. The A6's 14.1 cubic foot trunk is a little smaller than average, but the rear seat backs fold or offer a pass through when more space is needed.

      The 2016 Audi A6 is a fun car to drive, especially considering the size and weight of the car. It changes directions eagerly, with plenty of grip coming from all 4 corners. Not many midsize luxury sedans forge such a satisfying connection with the driver. One small demerit is the overall light and numb feeling of the steering, however that effort level firms up as you gain confidence in the car.

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      The 2.0T and 3.0T offer spirited acceleration as well as quick and unobtrusive shifts from either the 8-speed auto, or the new 7-speed automated manual in the front drive 2.0T. If cost wasn't an issue, the TDI would be the pick of the litter, as it provides a large mountain of torque, and by far the best fuel economy of the power plant options.

      Although the A6 has a composed ride that you might hardly ever consider harsh, it certainly is firm, and there are more rough jolts than you might like on rough pavement. For this reason alone, you might want to forgo the 20-inch wheels and the stiffer suspension offered with the Sport package. The regular A6 rides and handles just fine with the standard 18-inch wheels and all season tires.

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