Lots of people have asked me over years, “So, what is your favorite car out of the thousands you’ve driven?”
I nearly always respond with, “You’ve got to be more specific. I’ve driven Bentleys that cost north of $200k, and well, yes those would be my favorites.”
Then they usually come back with, “Well what is your favorite car that people can actually afford?”
That’s a more difficult question, but this week’s car has always been close to the top of my list. I like pretty much anything Audi, and I especially like the A6.
The 2019 Audi A6 has got great performance and excellent road manners, it has a world class interior and it’s only the second car that I’ve ever seen with perfect crash test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. My test A6 started at $58,900, which is certainly not cheap, but it is doable for lots of budgets. If you go higher in the trim lineup or check a bunch of boxes, you can get into some much more serious money.
The A6 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that develops 335 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, which is a significant increase over last year’s 325 lb.-ft. The torque is sent to all four wheels via a 7-speed S Tronic automatic transmission.
Power in the A6 is delivered so smoothly that you don’t notice that you’re easing in front of everything around you. If you’re not paying attention, you can find yourself exceeding the speed limit without really noticing. Officially, the -0-60 time is about 5 seconds, but this car is deceptively quick for its 4,226-pound curb weight.
“But officer, this car is so quiet and smooth I didn’t notice how fast I was going.”
“Yeah, right. Tell it to the judge.”
Standard wheels are 19 inches, but my test car had the 20-inch upgrades. They really dress up the A6, which is a dynamite-looking car. Sedan sales aren’t exactly on fire, but the A6 still is one of the best-looking cars on the road.
Inside the cabin, there’s pure opulence, sophisticated technology and a wide range of driver assistance features. As many as 24 cameras and sensors give the driver every advantage when it comes to convenience and safety. Systems include adaptive cruise control, a virtual 360-degree camera view, available intersection and turn assist, traffic sign recognition and a range of safety technologies.
When it comes to connectivity and infotainment, I’m not a huge fan of the new MMI touch response interface that takes the place of the rotary dial and conventional buttons of the previous model, but then I’m old-fashioned. Using a sensitive touchscreen sometimes can get frustrating, but Audi adds an audible “tick” so you’ll know you’ve accomplished your task. I do, however, like the two new high-res center stack touchscreens in the MMI interface. The one on top is 10.2 inches and the one below is 8.8 inches, and they both have dynamite resolution and are crystal clear.
The 12.3-inch driver information center is also a great feature that can be configured to the driver’s liking. I really liked putting the navigation satellite view behind the steering wheel; it’s the same view you’d get if you were flying above the car in a helicopter. Really cool.
The A6 is officially a mid-size sedan, but it feels larger. It’s 194.4 inches long, 83.1 inches wide and 57.4 inches tall. Headroom in front is 38 inches and in the rear seat it’s 38.1 inches. Rear seat legroom is 37.4 inches. The trunk is average at 13.7 cubic feet.
The government has yet to test the 2019 Audi A6, but the IIHS gives it perfect scores in every tested category, right down to the ease of child seat latches.
2019 Audi A6 3.0T quattro sedan
Engine: 3.0-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 335/369 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Price: $58,900 ($70,490 with options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 560 miles