The new 2019 Audi A6 is a technological tour de force and could be quite rightly called a mini-A8 such is the level of detail Audi has put into this car. It needs to be good since it’s up against the likes of BMW’s 5 Series, the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90, and I think Audi has delivered. Like most new versions of cars it’s bigger than the car it replaces, by 7mm in length, 12mm in width and 2mm in height, small amounts but they add up.
Then there’s the design , it’s evolution not revolution so the car is unmistakably an A6 and boy does it look good, even standing still, I think A6 is a handsome thing. There are a some new creases and bulges on its fenders and the rear 3/4 view looks especially A8, good job so far.
Audi offers 2 engine choices this side of the pond, a 2.0 liter turbo four making 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. The other option is the one I had in my tester, a delightful 3.0 turbo V-6, making 335 hp @ 6,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft @ 1,370 rpm through the same dual clutch transmission. Audi claims o-60 in 6.1 seconds for the 2.0 and we launched our tester from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, which is pretty quick considering that it doesn’t have an S badge.
Switching from the previous supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 with 333 hp has only added a couple of extra horsepower but the single turbocharger sitting between the cylinders has given an additional 44 lb-ft of torque for a total of 369, which is available at close to idle (1,370 rpm). The higher peak torque is noticeable too, at least once the turbo gets a spooled up, I did notice mashing the throttle from a standstill there’s as slight lag before it gets going. I found that giving it half throttle and then mashing the pedal gave me the quickest launches when the traction control is on. The engine is smooth and remarkably quiet at all times but when needed it will provide plenty of power.
Fast sweepers are this car’s friend and even if the corner gets tight there are no surprises and mid corner undulations are never an issue. Too fast into a tight turn, however, and the body does lean a little and you are made aware that this is not one of Audi’s S models, but it all very safe and secure thanks to the dynamic 4 wheel steering. There are several drive modes to choose from including Comfort, Dynamic and Individual settings, giving you precise control of steering, transmission, suspension etc. I spent almost all my time in Individual mode with everything set to 10 except the Steering which I preferred in Normal mode.
As for stopping power Audi has plenty with 13.3″ ventilated front discs at the front and 13.0″ ventilated rear disc brakes and my tester’s optional 21” 10-Y-spoke design silver wheels
with 255/35 R21 summer tires. These made for quick spin free launches and extremely good lateral grip. Another cool factor is how quite it is especially on those huge low profile tires. A lot of the quiet factor is the lightweight hybrid system, which allows the engine to shut down for a few minutes at a time at highway speeds. I can’t say I noticed it which is the whole point. Even though it take premium fuel I didn’t suffer too much at the pump averaging 19.0 mpg for the week. Tread lightly when not wearing motoring journalist shoes and you can get 29 mpg on the highway.
Audi always does interiors very well indeed and this one is no exception, it’s wonderful place to be. Virtual cockpit gauges greet you once you start up the car, and my Prestige tester also came with standard with four-zone climate control, and let’s not forget about rear seat occupants, they get yet another touch screen located on the back of the front center console to manage temperature and airflow adjustments.
The front seats are very comfortable with 8 way power and driver memory and have good bolstering for your fast turns. Quality of the materials is second to none and my tester had the $3200 Individual Contour Seating package, with its massaging front seats, upgraded leather, and very cool birch wood trim.
The Prestige package does add $8,200 to the base price and brings features such as dual-pane sound-insulating glass, soft-close doors, 30 selectable colors for each of two ambient lighting zones, and a head-up display. There are a number of passive and active safety features in the $2750 Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, lane-keep assist, and Audi’s intersection assistant). The Audi Pre-sense low speed collision alert is standard and can be configured in the menu to be less or more aggressive.
New MMI System
I love the new Multimedia Interface (MMI), which is also available in the 2019 A7 and 2019 A8. It uses two touch-screen monitors, a 10.1” panel up top and an 8.6” screen below for the climate controls. This is Audi’s first touch-screen display, and it responds to touches with haptic feedback (with a slight vibration) and a click from the speakers. The screens mimic a Smartphone in that you can pinch, scroll, swipe and the system gives you hints at how to make things easier.
You can configure the screens and save your favorites, it’s all very Apple like. You can also write out letters or entire words on the lower screen if you need to program the navigation for example. It’s leaps and bounds better than Audi’s old touch-pad.
You could almost call the 2019 Audi a sports sedan but it really isn’t, leave that up the S and RS models, instead it’s a beautifully crafted, luxury vehicle that just happens to be a really good and fast drive. I’m sad my tester has gone, a week is simply not long enough.
2019 Audi A6 3.0T Prestige Numbers
BASE PRICE: $58,900
AS TESTED PRICE: $77,290
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
ENGINE: 3.0 liter turbocharged and inter-cooled DOHC 24-valve V-6
POWER: 335 hp @ 6,400 rpm
TORQUE: 369 lb-ft @ 1,370 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT: 4,266 lb
0-60 MPH: 4.8 sec
EPA COMB/ CITY/HWY: 25/22/29 mpg
OUR OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY: 19.1 MPG
PROS: Beautiful interior, faster than expected, superb ride and handling
CONS: Options get pricey