For 2012, the Audi A6 returns as an impressive, large, luxury car that sits right at the top of its class. The changes for the new model year are, on the outside at least, subtle, but under the hood and in the cabin, the refresh is more substantial. Selling in an MSRP range of $41,700 to $49,900, the A6 is an excellent choice for a big, beautiful, well-appointed sedan with a strong safety and reliability profile.
The major competitors for the Audi A6 are the BMW 528i and the Infiniti M37x. The BMW will set buyers back another $3,300 up from the A6 base, but the BMW does have better power. The Infiniti is comparably priced, but reviewers give it higher marks for cabin quality and comfort. Frankly, these three cars are so close, it may well boil down to driver preference. All are worthy of your purchasing dollars, and each one outpaces the other in some way. In this class, the competition is tough, and these cars are the best of the best.
The A6 is available in five trims with an option for two engines: a turbo-charged four-cylinder for the front-wheel drive 2.0T and a super-charged V6 on the AWD 3.0T. Predictably, reviewers are in love with the super-charged powerplant, which is paired to an eight-speed transmission, but the 2.0T returns the best fuel economy. The EPA says the four-cylinder gets 25/33, while the 3.0T returns 19/28.
The A6's exterior is conservative, with sophisticated minimalism. The short overhangs create a lithe, well-proportioned profile. Open the door, and you'll slide into a premium interior with standard leather-trimmed seats. The cabin is both well-crafted and beautiful, with options for aluminum or wood trim to offset the lovely soft-touch materials. Noise dampening is pretty much perfect. In the trunk, there is a disappointing 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space, considerably less than the competition. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class for instance has 15.9 and the Infiniti M 14.9.
The standard front seats adjust eight ways, with the driver also enjoying four-level, power lumbar adjustment. On the 2.0T Premium and Premium Plus trims, heated seats are optional; they're standard on all 3.0T trims. Heated rear seats are also available. One stand-out feature on the Premium trims is MMI Navigation with Audi Connect, which turns the A6 into a wireless hotspot capable of supporting eight wireless devices. The nav system relies on the Internet connection to give the driver Google Earth views. A six-month complimentary data package is included.
The 2012 Audi A6 has not been tested by either the federal government or the insurance industry. The 2011 scores aren't really a good benchmark due to the re-design, but suffice to say Audi has a sterling reputation for making safe automobiles. There's a full compliment of standard and optional safety features including active systems to adjust airbag deployment, forward collision warning, and night vision.
The 2012 Audi A6 is an excellent choice in the large, luxury care segment. The understated, but elegant exterior will appeal to more conservative drivers and the cabin is well-crafted and the tech options are both useful and intriguing. Add in Audi's long-standing record for producing excellent, high-performing vehicles, and it would be hard to go wrong driving this one off the dealer lot.