2012 Audi A6

The number one contender for the middleweight crown.

Story Will Sabel Courtney

Model Tested: 3.0 Quattro Prestige

Rating 6 out of 6

Audi’s triumphant rise from luxury car also-ran to top-level auto brand has been a plus for both the company and car buyers. But once you’re on your A-game already, it sometimes becomes tempting to kick back, take it easy and coast on your achievements—which is usually when the competition blindsides you.

So to keep that from happening, Audi took no chances when it came to their latest edition of the A6. Almost identical under the skin to the fashionably sleek A7, the A6 may have been shoved into the role of staid sedan, but that doesn’t make it boring and ugly. In fact, the A6’s LED-rimmed cat’s-eye headlights give it a more aggressive expression than its sexy sibling. While the back end is less distinct, its biggest flaw is that it looks too much like the larger, pricier A8—a confusion that might make a few A8 owners unhappy but is all pluses for A6 drivers.

Long gone are the days when the A6 was an underpowered blob; the 2012 model’s combination of supercharged V6, eight-speed automatic and all wheel drive means it’ll rear back and take off whether you’re standing still or already movin’ at Ludacris speed. All that modern tech means this sport sedan sips gasoline so slowly, you’ll be double-checkin’ the owner’s manual to make sure there’s no hybrid mumbo-jumbo hiding under the hood. If you’re really worried about your fuel bills, though, there’s a turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 33 mpg on the highway—while still making 211 horses and 258 lb.-ft.

This being 2011 and all, selling cars in that thin air above $50,000 depends largely on offering high-tech features that either make your life easier or give you something to show off to your neighbors and haters. Take a stroll down the A6’s options list and you’ll see it’s not lacking in this department: radar-guided cruise control that can slow you all the way to a stop, a 630-watt Bose stereo or a 1,300-watt Bang & Olufsen system, LED daytime running lights and even night vision. Combine all those features with a good-looking body, a luxe interior and thrust guaranteed to stick a smile on your face, and you’ve got a formula for a great luxury car—which is exactly what the A6 is.

Specs:

Damage: $56,780

Power: 310hp, 325 lb.-ft.

0-60: 5.3 secs.

Gas Cash: 19 city, 28 hwy

Miles Driven: 240

Interior: When it comes to makin’ dope interiors, Audi rules the roost; extra credit for the ventilated seats that keep the sweat off your back.

Exterior: It’s pure Audi—which means while you won’t confuse it with any other brand’s cars, you might have trouble quickly telling the difference between it and the other sedans in their lineup.

Floss Factor: If the onboard wireless Internet doesn’t impress your guests, show ’em the touchpad that lets you enter nav-system addresses by drawing letters with your fingertip.

Flaw Factor: This Audi knows how to hustle, but you get the sense that fast ’n furious driving isn’t its favorite activity. Speed demons will be better served with next year’s 420hp S6.


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