The Audi A6 and S6 have been updated for model year 2016. Freshened styling, and updated Audi MMI and revised gasoline engines highlight the changes to the 2016 Audi A6 and 2016 Audi S6.
New to the entire 2016 A6 and S6 lineup are redesigned LED headlamps, a revised grille, new taillights, restyled bumpers, and new tailpipes. There are new gray and brown interior colors, and the available HUD (head-up display) integrates into the dash more smoothly on 2016 models.
The 2016 A6 2.0T gets a revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that now makes 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 32 hp and 15 lb-ft; a huge increase, for such a small engine. A6 2.0T comes standard with front-wheel drive and a new seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission, replacing the previous CVT. Quattro all-wheel drive can be added, pared with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic.
The 2016 A6 3.0T that uses a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 gets a boost to 333 horsepower, 23 more than 2015, with 325 lb-ft of torque. Quattro and Tiptronic are standard.
The A6 3.0 TDI clean diesel continues with its fuel-efficient 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel that makes 240 horsepower and a beastly 428 pound-feet of torque, while getting an EPA-estimated 29 mpg Combined city and highway. It uses the eight-speed Tiptronic, too.
The 2016 S6 features an upgraded 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 boosted horsepower to 450 and torque to 406 pound-feet. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro are standard.
MMI, what Audi calls its man-machine-interface infotainment system, is upgraded for model year 2016, with a fast Nvidia quad-core Tegra 30 processor for quicker delivery of information and graphics; Bluetooth, Siri, and social media functions are included.
The 2016 A6 earned five stars in government crash testing.
The 2016 Audi A6 2.0T ($46,200) comes standard with front-wheel drive or with quattro all-wheel drive ($2400). The 2016 A6 3.0T quattro ($57,400) and A6 3.0 TDI turbodiesel Quattro ($59,500) come standard with all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery and a sunroof. Premium package and premium plus packages add electronic goodies. There’s also a cold weather package and sport package with 19-inch all-season tires. The best option is an awesome 15-speaker, 1300-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with rising tweeters.
The Audi A6 is average length for a midsize sedan, but because of its styling, a longer nose and shorter trunk lid, it offers less space inside. There’s room to stretch your legs in front but not so much room to spread your knees, because of a wide center tunnel. Headroom in front is good but in the rear it’s snug on account of the roofline. The trunk holds 14.1 cubic feet, which is enough if not ample, and the cargo floor is rather high.
Heated front seats are standard, and they’re very comfortable on long trips, with relaxing headrests. The rear seats fold but not flat. Like other German sedans, there isn’t a lot of small storage space; small cupholders but doors with niches for water bottles. There’s a smallish glovebox and shallow bin in the center console under the armrest.
The dash and instrument panel are low and slim, with a popup 6.5-inch standard LCD display in the center. The interior is trimmed and finished attractively, with high-quality panel fit.
We drove the A6 in Europe, models with European specs. We found the acceleration of the 2.0T, its passing ability on two-lane roads, to be satisfactory. The new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is quick and smooth, although no more so than the Tiptronic automatic. It’s used in the 2.0T mostly because it’s more fuel efficient, but still not a lot. The 2016 fuel mileage hasn’t been rated yet; it will be interesting to compare it to the 28 mpg combined that the 2015 got, with its CVT transmission.
We dove the supercharged 3.0T as well, and we can say that you can definitely feel the difference between 310 and 333 horsepower, passing on European two-lane roads. We can also say that, in the TDI, you can most definitely feel the rush that comes from the kick in the pants of its 428 pound-feet of torque when accelerating onto the freeway or past another car on a two-lane.
The 2.0T handling might be called unobjectionable, while being free of passion. The 3.0T is more engaging but still uninspired.
Meanwhile, the available active safety systems are getting more inspired all the time. A new feature for 2016 is called Side Assist and Active Lane Assist, which basically gently grabs your steering wheel if some cross-eyed camera tells some computer with invisible hands that you’re moving into a lane with a car in your blind spot. Countless times we have seen these blind spot warnings be incorrect, going off at guardrails and raindrops, if not cars that are way way back there. So now we wonder, with this option, if control of your A6 will be taken over by some phantom robot who makes a lot more mistakes than you do.
The 2016 Audi S6 is capable of accelerating 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. The S6 handles well, with an adaptive suspension that balances ride quality and chassis control. Different modes are available for throttle and transmission. The 2016 S6 gets and EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined.
The A6 is expensive for a midsize sedan class that doesn’t top its class in looks, interior space, or performance. But Audi quality is hard to deny, the 2.0T engine is golden, and Quattro all-wheel-drive is unbeatable.