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Audi A6 2020 review: 45 TFSI S line

The Audi A6 sedan puts plenty of SUVs in the shade.

With most car makers now rolling out a seemingly endless supply of high-riding SUVs, Audi is rocking the boat, with the German brand continuing to pursue its investment in luxury sedans and wagons.

So, for those parents looking for a little poise and polish in a sedan-shaped family hauler, I bring good news. For my family review we road tested the Audi A6 45 TFSI S line in the suburbs and the city to see how this premium sedan handled the role of family chariot for the week.  

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What does it look like?

At first glance it looks remarkably similar to the larger A8, which is no bad thing. At first glance it looks remarkably similar to the larger A8, which is no bad thing.

The A6 is the definition of a mild-mannered executive sedan. At first glance it looks remarkably similar to the larger A8, which is no bad thing, but on closer inspection you can spot the differences. I actually think the A6 stands as Audi's best-designed sedan.

The angular LED headlights positioned upfront, either side of the enlarged gloss black grille, give it an imposing look. The side profile is easy on the eye, too, with a more-defined waistline and larger wheel arches which are nicely filled by a set of smart-looking 20-inch alloys. It suggests a family sedan car with a whiff of performance. 

The angular LED headlights positioned upfront, either side of the enlarged gloss black grille, give it an imposing look. The angular LED headlights positioned upfront, either side of the enlarged gloss black grille, give it an imposing look.

Our test car included the S line exterior package ($1600), which brings front and rear bumpers with honeycomb inserts, matt titanium black inserts side air inlet grilles and platinum grey inserts, a rear diffuser in the same black, side sill trims, and illuminated aluminium door sill trims with S logo at the front.

The interior is all class, headlined by three digital screens across the dash and driver's binnacle which operate the media and air con. It’s an impressive array. Screen clarity is excellent as is usability.

Leather abounds throughout the cabin, with the front seats a particular standout – they look exceptional and provide an incredibly comfortable place to spend time in.

The A6 is the definition of a mild-mannered executive sedan. The A6 is the definition of a mild-mannered executive sedan.

How does it drive?

Whether you’re cruising the open road or bouncing around the suburbs the A6 delivers a wonderfully competent and comfortable drive.

The 45 TFSI is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four producing 180kW and maximum torque of 370Nm, with drive going to all four wheels (thanks to Audi’s quattro system) via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission.

While Audi Drive Select provides a selection of driving modes, Comfort proved the sweet spot for the majority of the week’s driving. In this guise, the ride is indeed very comfortable, making light work of all road surfaces with an air of quiet and calm. Gear changes around town are smooth and intuitive and it's rock-solid around corners. 

The A6 accelerates at a brisk rate, with a claimed zero-100km/h time of six seconds. The A6 accelerates at a brisk rate, with a claimed zero-100km/h time of six seconds.

When called upon, the A6 accelerates at a brisk rate, with a claimed zero-100km/h time of six seconds. There is some initial hesitancy at low revs, with a sharper response after 1,600rpm, which translates well for overtaking or acceleration from medium speeds. It would make a great tourer for family road trips.

Interestingly the 45 TFSI features a mild-hybrid system which allows for the engine to be turned off when coasting at higher speeds and when braking, with the start-stop kicking in at speeds up to 22km/h. Audi claims a fuel consumption of 7.3L/100km, but according the trip computer, after seven days and 180km, we managed to eke out 9.7L/100km.

How spacious is it?

The large dimensions are welcome in the cabin. Audi advises the A6 has been given an extra 21mm of interior length, with much of that handed over to passengers in the rear. Sitting behind my driver’s seat (I’m 180cm) there was ample legroom and headroom to relax in. My kids in the back had more than enough space to call their own.

  • The large dimensions are welcome in the cabin. The large dimensions are welcome in the cabin.
  • My kids in the back had more than enough space to call their own. My kids in the back had more than enough space to call their own.
  • Boot capacity is at 530 litres and easily swallowed all the various bags, scooters and weekly shopping. Boot capacity is at 530 litres and easily swallowed all the various bags, scooters and weekly shopping.

Boot capacity is at 530 litres and easily swallowed all the various bags, scooters and weekly shopping. Whilst we didn’t need it, the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats can be folded down to access additional space.

How easy is it to use every day?

With plenty of storage and standard features this family sedan can easily mix it with the SUV crowd. Passengers up front have access to a storage bin/armrest between the front seats within which resides a wireless Qi charging mat (for compatible devices) SIM and SD ports, as well as a pair of (Type-A) USB sockets.

Passengers up front have access to a wireless Qi charging mat. Passengers up front have access to a wireless Qi charging mat.

There’s a large glove box, two cupholders adjacent to the gear shifter, and there's a 12-volt outlet, key holder, and space to hold large water bottles in the doors.

My kids in the back made good use of the fold-down centre armrest with a storage tray and twin pop-out cupholders, plus seat pockets and large drink bottle holders in the doors. Creature comforts include climate control ventilation, USB ports to charge their phones and a 12-volt power outlet.

There are two cup holders adjacent to the gear shifter. There are two cup holders adjacent to the gear shifter.

Despite its large dimensions the A6 was easy to navigate around the city, with a whole suite of parking aids including a 360-degree camera set up with kerb function, coupled with good visibility from the driver's seat. The light and accurate steering was a welcome addition here, too.  

How safe is it?

The A6 was rated five-stars by ANCAP in 2018 with an exceptional list of active and passive safety kit to give any parent plenty of confidence.  

Standard tech includes Adaptive Drive Assist (adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go, distance indicator, traffic jam assist and lane guidance assist), AEB (five km/h to 85km/h for pedestrians and cyclists, and up to 250km/h for vehicles), Collision Avoidance Assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and lane departure warning. This is in addition to the acronym-laden list of active safety kit such as ESC, ABS, ASR, EDL and Brake Assist.

A particular favourite of mine is the exit warning system, which detects vehicles and cyclists when opening doors, triggering a warning light and delaying door opening. Other notable safety inclusions include ‘Attention Assist’, tyre pressure monitoring, Audi Parking System Plus (front and rear sensors with visual display), and Intersection Crossing Assist.

Passive safety is covered off with front airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags for front and rear side passengers, plus curtain airbags covering both rows. And for parents with small kids, there are of course two ISOFIX and three top-tether points to make use of.

What’s the tech like?

Audi have gifted the A6 with an impressive array of tech, showcased by its three digital screens - a 12.3-inch configurable Audi Virtual Cockpit in the driver's binnacle and a 10.1-inch high-res colour media touchscreen located above a 8.6-inch screen nestled in the centre console.

The top touchscreen operates Audi’s smartphone interface for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the 10-speaker/180-watt audio driven by a six-channel amp and Navigation Plus (3D map display). The bottom screen provides the interface for the climate control system.

The top touchscreen operates Audi’s smartphone interface for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top touchscreen operates Audi’s smartphone interface for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

An interesting bit of tech from Audi is their myAudi app, which allows drivers to access real-time info on the car from how much fuel’s in the tank, maintenance milestones and service warnings. Other clever features include remote locking and the ability to plan journeys and send routes directly to the car.

How much does it cost to own?

The 45 TFSI S line is priced at $105,200 placing it almost $10,000 more than the base model 45 TFSI. Options on our test car included Tango red metallic paint ($2200) and Audi’s titanium black gloss package ($1600), bringing the final price before on roads to $109,000.

There’s an extensive list of standard features including matrix LED headlights with LED DRLs, dynamic cornering lights, automatic-dynamic headlight range control and rear dynamic indicators, keyless entry and start including a sensor controlled boot release, electric heated sports seats for the driver and front passenger, three-zone climate control, aluminium fragment interior inlays, ambient lighting, and aluminium front door sill trim.

Automatic-dynamic headlight range control and rear dynamic indicators. Automatic-dynamic headlight range control and rear dynamic indicators.

The S line package brings Valcona leather trim (seat centre panels, seat side bolsters, head restraints and centre armrest, and door trim inserts in Alcantara faux suede), a flat-bottom leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, a head-up display, illuminated front door sill trims, and electronically controlled adaption of the dampers.


The Wrap

The A6 is a special family hauler that puts many SUVs in the shade. A high-class, well-appointed sedan that delivers practicality, style and outstanding levels of safety. If you’re looking for something under $100k, then the base model 45 TFSI is worth considering.

Likes

Premium tech
Cabin finish
Exceptional safety

Dislikes

Pricey options
Acceleration lag at low speeds

Scores

Dan:

4.2

The Kids:

4

$105,200

Based on new car retail price

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