Audi is a brand that is rightfully associated with luxury, but it is also one that is centered on performance. The new 2021 Audi A6 is definitive proof of Audi's focus on balancing creature comforts with a powerful performance. Spacious, cozy, and loaded to the brim with standard infotainment and safety features, the A6 is a mid-size luxury sedan that gets almost everything right.
This sedan is not necessarily geared toward entry-level tech users though. The multiple screens and lack of physical controls will present a massive learning curve to those buyers. But, if you are of the more tech-savvy nature, you might appreciate how next-gen the A6's tech feels. In fact, we'd say that Audi is setting the bar really high for automotive technology with its numerous advanced features.
While most everything carries over from the 2020 line-up, you will see some changes to the 2021 A6 models. And they are all for the better, it seems. The Black Optics Sport appearance package, which is all new for 2021, should appeal to those wanting a super-sporty blacked-out sedan.
So, is the 2021 Audi A6 the right mid-size luxury sedan for you? Should you be checking out some of its competitors too? This review will go over what is new on the 2021 A6, what we like about it, a few things that might deter some buyers, and how the A6 stacks up against the competition. Be sure to read through to the end where we will give you our final verdict on the chic new 2021 Audi A6.
What's New for 2021?
Several key things have been altered in order to make the 2021 Audi A6 line-up even more expansive and appealing to luxury buyers. First and foremost, there are the 19-inch wheels, built-in toll road payment system, and keyless ignition on the base trim level. Second, the base Premier trim's Convenience Package now features an in-dash navigation system with a 10.1 inch display for infotainment; it also gets a 360-degree surround view camera system.
If you go for the Premium Plus, that trim gives you a few new features too, such as lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. The line-topping Prestige trim now has rear window shades tacked onto its list of standard features. And, of course, there is the aforementioned Black Optics Sport package. This gives the vehicle black trim on the outside, a sport-tuned suspension, and uniquely designed 21-inch wheels.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Audi A6 – The Pros
1. The Turbo V6 Engine
Want a sedan that packs a punch? Then the optional turbocharged 3.0-L V6 (which Audi calls the A6 55) might just do the trick. This engine gets paired up with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, which helps it muster up a solid 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This variant can be equipped on any of the three trim levels and comes with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. This engine can get the A6 from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 4.8 seconds, which is an impressive, best-in-class figure.
2. Precision Steering and Handling
As you might expect, the A6 is extremely composed and precise with both its steering and handling. For being as big of a sedan as it is, the A6 maintains its composure, handling turns at higher speeds with remarkable ease. The wheels always feel planted, and the steering will give you plenty of feedback and respond to your inputs in a totally appropriate manner.
3. Brakes That Feel Secure
Going from 60 mph down to 0 takes time and distance, but the A6 cuts it down to a mere 103 feet. This makes for one of the best stopping distances, period. If you find yourself needing to quickly apply the brakes, the brakes maintain a linear operation. You won't get nosedive when panic stopping either.
4. Cozy Seats
Audi knows how to do comfort well, and the A6 is no exception to this rule. However, if you get the 21-inch wheels and sport-tuned suspension, you will be in for a firmer ride quality. Still, the seats are padded for comfort during long rides, and the power lumbar support up front gives occupants extra comfort.
5. The Climate Control System
Need to crank up the heat or the air conditioning? The A6's automatic climate control system is quick to adjust to an appropriate and comfortable temperature. The heated front seats are helpful on cooler days and work quickly too. Rear seat occupants will get to experience the same comfort as the air flow works to heat or cool the rear of the cabin.
6. Intuitive Controls
Once you get comfortable behind the wheel, the controls should feel like they come naturally to the tech-savvy driver. Everything is placed within the driver's reach and is labeled in a way that makes sense. The virtual buttons can have tasks assigned to them, which is a nifty addition that has been made within the past few years. Once you get through the learning curve, everything should feel intuitive.
7. A Wide Range of Adjustability
As a driver, you should be able to find a cozy position behind the wheel. And you can do that in the A6 since the driver's seat (which, like the front passenger seat, has an Individual Contoured design) is highly adjustable (and power adjustable at that). You can also utilize the memory settings to recall your seat position. The steering wheel can also be easily adjusted for maximum comfort.
8. The Futuristic Virtual Cockpit
The driving experience feels highly futuristic inside of the A6. The Virtual Cockpit aids in this. This optional instrumentation cluster comes with a head-up display that projects useful driving data onto the windshield in front of the driver. You can access and keep your eye on data like maps and vehicle speed this way.
9. An Above-average Fuel Economy
A solid fuel economy is not something you can find in just any luxury vehicle, but Audi nails it with the A6. Real-world estimates come in slightly lower than the EPA estimated 25 mpg combined, but even so, this type of fuel economy in a luxury vehicle is above average for the segment.
10. A Sophisticated Design
Above all else, the A6 is a sophisticated vehicle. The exterior might look understated at first, but the second you enter the cabin, you will realize just how upscale the A6 really is. It is oriented toward next-gen performance and comfort. The leather upholstery is nothing shy of chic, and the soft touch surfaces create a high quality vibe.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Audi A6 – The Cons
1. A Stiff Ride Quality From the Sport-tuned Suspension
If you go with the sport-tuned suspension and 21-inch wheels, you will feel the difference in ride quality. It is a lot firmer than what you get with the smaller wheels and standard suspension. While this speaks to its sport orientation, you will feel a lot of small bumps making their way into the cabin. The suspension just doesn't do a good job of smoothing out what the larger wheels incur.
2. A Lack of Physical Controls and a Ton of Screens
Not a tech nerd? Then you have a lot of learning to do. The multiple screens and lack of physical controls might be confusing, even aggravating. There are other luxury sedans out there with more physical controls and fewer screens, so those might be more up your alley.
3. Limited Interior Storage and Cargo Space
The A6 does not have as much cargo space as its competitors, and it also lacks as bountiful small item storage areas. A mere 13.7 cubic feet of cargo space means that the A6 lags behind most of its rivals, and the space is not even that utilitarian in design. There is at least the low lift-over height for loading in heavy items.
4. The Overall Learning Curve
The length of the learning curve is what might keep some people from buying the A6. There is a ton of gadgetry to get used to, and the car feels more like a high-end computer than anything. Its controls take some getting used to.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Audi A6 vs. 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury sedan that offers a lot of features for a competitive price. It comes with a gorgeous cabin that is designed for maximum comfort and has the AMG models that offer high-horsepower engines. You can essentially personalize the E-Class until your heart is content. However, like the A6, it lacks cargo space. It also has a standard suspension that allows a lot of bumps to enter into the cabin, creating a rather uncomfortable ride for being a luxury sedan.
2021 Audi A6 vs. 2021 BMW 5 Series
The 2021 BMW 5 Series is another top contender in the luxury market this year. The line-up consists of multiple high-powered engine options and jams in a lot of high-end, cutting-edge technological features that are somewhat easy to figure out. The ride is quiet and well-mannered with bumps easily being dispatched. Also, you get an above-average amount of cargo space. The 5 Series does have a few drawbacks, chiefly its lack of high-brow styling and lacking quality of the interior materials. Were the materials a bit fancier and the styling more striking from the exterior, the 5 Series would possibly dominate the A6 in the competition.
The 2021 Audi A6 is a vehicle that launches automotive technology into the future. It packs in plenty of comfort, a powerful performance from the optional turbo V6, and so many features that it might just leave your head spinning. Once you work your way through the tech learning curve, though, you should feel well at ease behind the wheel of the A6. You will just have to come up with your own clever solutions to storing your small items within the cabin and situating your bigger items in the cargo area.
• Why buy a 2020 Audi A6? w/ pros vs cons