2018 Audi S6 Expert Review

4.6 Overall Score
Performance 4.5 Comfort 4.4 Styling 4.3 Value 4.3

Editor's Overview

The 2018 A6 is Audi's midsize sedan, a Goldilocks of a luxury car that splits the comfort/performance balance traditionally equated with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, all while imparting its own personality. The A6 offers a rewarding combination of premium amenities, technology and athleticism, while the high-powered S6 packs an impressive punch with its turbocharged V8.

You'll Like The 2018 Audi S6 If...

The Audi A6 sedan resides where luxury, performance, technology and sophistication meet. If that sounds like your sweet spot, start planning a test drive. If you're looking for a high-performance alternative to a V8-powered BMW M550i or Mercedes-AMG E43, the S6 packs a wallop.

You May Not Like The 2018 Audi S6 If...

If you want your car to have instant recognition and vehicular validation, the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are better known in this class. The Lexus GS, meanwhile, is predicted to have slightly higher resale value.

What's New

For 2018, the Audi A6 comes standard with MMI Navigation and Audi's advanced key (keyless entry and ignition). Mid-trim Premium Plus models get LED headlights and full LED interior lighting, while Prestige models now include a top-view camera. Models with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 gain seven horsepower, for a total of 340.

Interior Features

Audi interiors have long been among our favorites. Like these cars themselves, they're classy, comfortable and tech-forward. Along with supple leather upholstery and intricate trims, the 2018 A6 sedan includes Audi’s MMI infotainment and navigational system that continues to dazzle with some help from Google Maps and Audi’s smartphone interface. While the A6 has yet to receive Audi's Virtual Cockpit, a fully configurable digital dashboard, a screen between the gauges has the ability to relay similar content, including maps. The rear seat is accommodating even for taller adults and offers excellent outward visibility. At over 14 cubic feet, the trunk is well-sized.

Exterior Features

The A6’s exterior features some bold elements, such as the recently upgraded headlights, grille, front bumper and LED taillights, but overall the shape and styling remain typically Audi conservative. Viewed from behind, the taillights have a sleek profile and are easy to pick out whenever you’re behind one, day or night. The new Competition Package, available on Premium Plus and Prestige trims, brings a more aggressive tone with black exterior mirror housings, red brake calipers and 20-inch, 5-double-spoke Titanium-matte wheels with summer tires. The 2018 Audi S6 performance sedan looks much like an A6 except for its quad exhaust outlets.

Driving Impressions

It's safe to say that all A6 models are swift, with even base 4-cylinder versions hitting the 0-60-mph benchmark in 6.7 seconds. This isn't as quick as a base BMW 5 Series or even an E-Class for that matter, but fast enough for most needs. The supercharged V6 in 3.0 models easily rectifies this, bringing that figure down to 5.1 seconds, while the S6 thrills with a 4.4-second mark. More impressive than outright acceleration is the A6's balance of dynamic handling and compliant manners. This is a car that feels at ease in almost any situation. Helping that factor is the A6's quattro all-wheel-drive system, which we recommend in lieu of the front-drive setup on the least expensive models. If you're not quite up for the high-performance S6, the A6 Competition promises better handling with its stiffer suspension and sport differential.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Audi S6 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $50,675, including destination. That's a $2,100 increase over last year's base price, but the 2018 model carries more content. A base AWD A6 is now $52,875, while an A6 3.0T with the supercharged V6 begins at $57,475. All in, a 2018 A6 can pass the $70,000 mark. The potent Audi S6 starts at $72,875 in Premium Plus trim and over $75,000 as a Prestige model. For comparison, the 5 Series and E-Class start slightly higher, at around $52,000 and $53,000, respectively. Cadillac's potential rivals begin higher (CT6) and lower (CTS). Also starting lower are the Jaguar XF, Lexus GS and Volvo S90. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Audi. The A6's resale value is expected to hold up well, though not quite at Lexus' level.

Notable Equipment

The 2018 Audi A6 comes in three main trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. For 2018, the base Premium model comes even better equipped, highlighted by the standard inclusion of Audi's MMI navigation and advance key. Other notable standard features include leather interior, parking sensors and rearview camera, tri-zone climate control, sunroof, heated front seats and 60/40-split folding rear seats. In addition to navigation, the standard infotainment system includes AM/FM/CD audio system and smartphone integration that's CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. Premium Plus trims add blind-spot monitoring, 4-zone climate control, Bose audio system, LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors and power-adjustable steering column.

Notable Options

The top-trim A6 Prestige model includes a standard V6 engine, power-operated trunk, head-up display, the newly standard top-view camera, and rear-window sunshades. Options, many of which are packaged, include driver-assist and safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. In addition to interior and exterior touches, the Competition Package brings sport suspension and sport rear differential for improved handling. The high-performance Audi S6 includes a V8 engine, upgraded brakes, adaptive air suspension and 12-way-adjustable front seats.

Favorite Features

2018 AUDI S6

If the A6 flies beneath the radar, the S6 dives further still, making this a serious wolf in sheep's clothing. Few will know that under this sedan's stately and conservative exterior is a pulsating 450-horsepower V8 and performance hardware to match.


COMFORT SEATING PACKAGE

If you want superior coddling behind the wheel, check this option box. In addition to having plusher front seats overall, they'll also feature ventilation (a lifesaver in hot and humid weather) and a massaging feature. We call that "Ahhh"-inspiring.


Under the Hood

Two engines are available for the A6: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder good for 252 horsepower or a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that, for 2018, makes the 340 horsepower formerly reserved for Competition models. Base 2018 A6 models are front-wheel drive (FWD) and use a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. We've found that transmission a bit unrefined in other Audi models, all the more reason to spend a little more and get a model with the quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, which provides smoother shifts. The 2018 S6 packs a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that is linked to a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch, but with all-wheel drive.


2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (2.0T)

252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm

273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (7-speed S tronic automatic, FWD), 22/31 mpg (8-speed automatic, AWD)


3.0-liter supercharged V6 (3.0T)

340 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm

325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-5,300 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg


4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (S6)

450 horsepower @ 5,800-6,400 rpm

406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-5,700 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg

Editors' Notes

The 2018 A6 is Audi's midsize sedan, a Goldilocks of a luxury car that splits the comfort/performance balance of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series, all while imparting its own personality. Don't let the A6's understated attitude fool you: Underneath that contemporary skin is an executive sedan that's rewarding to drive and technologically advanced. Audi's famed quattro all-wheel-drive system provides excellent traction, and three powertrains -- turbocharged 4-cylinder, supercharged V6 or the twin-turbo V8 in the S6 -- provide good, great or hold-on-to-your-hat performance. In addition to its German rivals, the A6 faces competition ranging from the Lexus GS and Jaguar XF to the Cadillac CT6. While the A6 may fly lower on the radar, it merits a spot on yours.

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