Concept Cars

Audi A6: 2019 Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalist

WE LIKE Class-leading interior, incredibly quiet cabin

WE DON’T LIKE Road noise from 21-inch tires, fake exhaust tips

The fifth-generation A6 moves to a new platform with a choice of suspensions that make for the best-riding A6 in a while, albeit one that’s a bit firm on uneven surfaces. Zach Gale said the A6’s excellence “sneaks up on you.”

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The 3.0-liter V-6 replaces a supercharger with a turbo and is now a mild hybrid with a standard 48-volt system. Judges called it quiet, smooth, and capable. The ride is crisp and sharp, Frank Markus noted, but it was still possible to get a slide going on the handling course. It rides the big curves like a bobsled on a steel track. The transitions from one corner to the next are wonderfully precise.

Kudos to the acoustics team—the cabin is almost unnervingly quiet. “Breathtakingly clean and elegant,” Angus MacKenzie said. Chris Theodore called it a revelation that re-establishes Audi as the interior design leader. The matte wood trim, supple leather, and Alcantara marry well with the three screens of the optional Virtual Cockpit while keeping a redundant volume button. There was appreciation for the large back-seat area.

The exterior drew mixed reviews. It left Theodore cold, but others felt the conservative styling and surfacing were elegant and upscale—except for the fake exhaust tips.

The A6 is loaded with technology, including a lane centering system that was hit or miss. And there was love-hate (mostly hate) for its cruise control’s traffic-sign recognition, which lawfully follows the speed limit to the point of slamming on the brakes in a transition zone.

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