No scoffing at my 2.0T badge!
It only takes a block of driving to know: this Audi is a time machine.
It takes us into a future of downsized, forced-induction engines that hold their own beside V8s. And cruise onward while others take the exit ramp to refuel.
Power, speed, efficiency and value come standard on the 2016 A6 2.0T. There are a few option boxes omitted on the test car that we think you will enjoy, however. And one bombshell performance secret to why the 32-MPG A6 quattro is a *must* over the 35-MPG A6 2.0T in its $46k, front-drive guise.
The A6 was a revolution right in our driveway the other week, and we have some good, great and wishlist items to detail in this HD Drive review.
100 or so new photos of the car we affectionately nicknamed Oh ‘Black Betty’ (ram-a-lamb), along with the normal section headings of Exterior, Interior, Performance, Pricing and Summary. Also included? A 20-minute HD video review highlights many of these elements — set to the soundtrack of the A6 on full throttle in Dynamic mode!
HD Drive Video – 2016 Audi A6 2.0T Quattro
Fact-checker’s notes on the above video:
— the A7 is the best up-level model to enjoy more back seat space; a fact we curiously forgot while shooting this.
— the USA A8 for 2016 does not come standard with the 2.0T engine. We were mistaken.
The new A6 is battling its own success on the appearance front. Yes, it instantly looks chic and classy on the roads. And yes, there are new elements to excite the eye around the flared sills and new-look rectangular exhaust finishers.
But there are times when a traditional-looking A6 spec can look worryingly stale. This happens most in the familar glasshouse and proportions.
But look further, and there is new and timeless beauty to discover. Check out the slim new lower bumper element, extending slightly forward from the grille and wearing a chic slice of chrome. Helps the car look wider and much pricier than before.
The new A6 is easiest to spot thanks to its split-arrow LED designs for the lighting. Those gorgeous LED headlights are actually optional, though, on all the 2.0T A6s. The standard look is also new, but employs bi-xenon projectors + LED DRLs. The new LED DRL in front for base-ish A6s is this thin and ultra-bright white LED strip along the top of the lamps. It is unique and sexy — but certainly less so than the Full LED lights that are a $1400 option.
These standard lamps are terrific in terms of light depth and consistency, so it feels a bit silly to recommend the optional LEDs right off the bat. But there is more to it than pure vanity.
We’d bummed to report that self-proclaimed LED leader Audi has regressed a bit in the name of easy entry prices. This is clear when you see the bulb blinkers in front.
Similarly, the new LED DRL look recalls the A3 more than the A8 W12-style chrome, horizontal grille details.
Forgiving many things is possible for the test car thanks to its tremendous value at $56k.
The new A6 look is sharper and more premium than ever — but the details (beyond the lights) are hard to spot at first.
That being said, the car is quite chic even in this nearly black Moonlight Blue example. The $800 19-inch alloys are a nice upgrade — but again stick with a very traditional appearance. These blade-sharp multispokes are painted an interesting bright silver — but are a far cry from the latest trend toward dark wheels and de-chromed body styles.
We also longed for the slightly lower and meaner look of the S-line bumpers and aerokit all around. Yes, the gloss-black and chrome standard face is chic and premium. But where are the RS-like intakes!? Where are the hot wheels?
They are just a $1600 option-box away, my friends.
The S-line A6 2.0T for 2016 is a secret-weapon of a car: looks and sporty stance that almost beg you to slap on a few S6 badges here and there. Or at least debadge the trunk…..
The cabin of the A6 is the first place you really ‘get’ why Audi’s sales have been on an upward trend for the last decade in a row. It is superb on first sitting: every element is high-quality and touchably tactile. The optional layered wood finishes are some of the most lovely and timeless from any make at any price. The ‘thwunk’ of the doors closing is industry-best stuff in terms of perceived quality.
The low dashboard design is also exceptionally modern and light-weight in its look. Gone are the days of domineering center stacks and pregnant-with-airbags dashboards. The new Audi cabin is all about feeling open, calm and serene — a feeling of space that is enhanced by the flatscreen MMI behind hidden when the car is turned off. Tap the ‘Start button, and it whirs out and into position in a satisfying way.
The somewhat simple controls and lack of buttons below the MMI screen help this sense of calm, modern luxury inside.
The A6 does take a tiny bit of learning to master is controls. There are nice dedicated climate and audio controls outside the MMI system, but certain functions are tricky. As mentioned in the video… the vent direction for the HVAC system mystified us. Until we just got into the ‘mode’ screen and just turned the knob. Poof, problem solved! But perhaps still overly complex for such a basic function.
The power reach/rake of the steering wheel offers a tremendous range of drive positions — extending out deep and low just like we prefer. This car lacked the 18-way adjustable thrones, sticking with normal ~10-way power controls for the driver’s seat. We felt comfortable 90-percent of the time. The other 10-percent, we were futzing with the headrest and 4-way lumbar support in hopes of a ‘goldilocks’ position. Could not really find it, unfortunately. We have a giant obese head, and would appreciate more neck support than the up/down headrest positions could deliver.
The new 2.0T engine range in the A6 is fairly revolutionary — it lets this wide and premium sedan do the impossible:
— more affordable — base prices from $46k
— still very rapid — a 5.8-second 0-60-mph run
— cruise highways with MPG economy comfortably in the 30s.
So the core logic and value proposition for the new turbo four is rock solid.
Gallery location: Angel Oaks near Beaufort, SC
But we get it. You are jaded and skeptical, just like we were when Audi announced that the refreshed 2016 A6’s base engine would be a turbo four.