The 2012 Audi A6 ranks 1 out of 14 Luxury Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 18 published reviews and test drives of the Audi A6, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Reviewers love the 2012 Audi A6 for its high-quality interior and optional supercharged V6. The four-cylinder A6 also offers good fuel economy for a luxury large car.
Audi’s overhaul of the 2012 A6 may seem like just a few subtle exterior tweaks, but inside and under the hood, there are substantial changes.CNET writes, “Navigation enhanced by Google, a touch-pad cabin tech interface, a supercharged direct-injection engine, an eight-speed transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive combine to make the 2012 Audi A6 one of the most cutting-edge cars on the road.”
Two engines are available in the 2012 Audi A6: a turbocharged four-cylinder in the front-wheel drive 2.0T model and a supercharged V6 in the all-wheel drive 3.0T. Although it may not be every buyer’s first choice, the A6 2.0T will likely appeal to shoppers who are looking for good fuel economy, but don’t need the extra power or all-wheel drive.
Most auto writers have sampled the A6 3.0T, and so far, critiques of the supercharged V6 and eight-speed transmission have been exemplary. Reviewers say there’s plenty of power, and that the A6 3.0T’s handling strikes a nice balance between nimble midsize cars like the BMW 3-Series and the larger 5-series.
Inside the 2012 Audi A6, reviewers find a spacious, comfortable cabin that shares many design cues and electronic components with the stylish Audi A7, which is definitely a good thing. Car and Driver named the A6 one of the 10 Best Cars of 2012, saying that the A6 surrounds the driver “in a peaceful, cushy, clubroom cockpit.”
As far as prices are concerned, the 2012 Audi A6 makes a compelling argument for itself when compared with other luxury large cars. With base A6 2.0T models starting at roughly $42,000, the A6 undercuts many competitors in terms of price. However, the trade-off is that while the base A6 saves you cash and offers better fuel economy, it’s also the least powerful car in the segment.
Other Cars to Consider
Shoppers drawn to the four-cylinder A6 for its comfortable, well-appointed cabin and excellent fuel economy may also want to check out the BMW 528i. While the 528i costs more than the base A6 2.0T, it’s also more powerful. However, the A6 2.0T gets slightly better fuel economy.
If you like the 2012 A6 3.0T for its powerful V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive, the Infiniti M37x is worth test driving. Both start at about the same price, and like the Audi, the M37x features all-wheel drive and a powerful engine. Reviewers also appreciate the M’s user-friendly electronics and high-quality interior. However, the M37x can’t match the A6 3.0T’s fuel economy estimates.
Audi A6: The Details
The 2012 Audi A6 comes in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive powers 2.0T models, while the A6 3.0T gets a supercharged V6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive as standard equipment. See the full 2012 Audi A6 specs.
- "The A6 blends everything together into a symphony of driving fun. This A6 will make many trips more interesting than the actual destinations." -- The Detroit News
- "So it has getaway speed, stops hard, and can handle itself pretty well. It also has a magnificently tailored cabin designed to transport you and your human cargo in safety, elegance, and serious comfort." -- Motor Trend
- "The A6 demonstrates conclusively that Audi has long since moved beyond seeking parity with Mercedes-Benz or BMW. Now it's working hard to assert its superiority. Anyone shopping for a mid-range luxury sedan should be looking at this car." -- AutoWeek
- "With a contemporary style, futuristic technology and eager performance, the A6 is a solid competitor to Audi's traditional German rivals." -- Popular Mechanics
A6 Performance - 8.4 (Very Good)
Reviewers love the 2012 Audi A6 3.0T’s supercharged V6. “On the road, this powerplant steps off forcefully and builds torque evenly and rapidly,” writes Car and Driver. “It emits a pleasant, sonorous sound that is unusually sporty for a luxury sedan yet unobtrusive enough not to scare away the nonenthusiast buyer.” Read More
A6 Exterior - 8.3 (Very Good)
Rather than a drastic redesign, Audimade subtle changes to the 2012 A6’s exterior. However, reviewers generally still approve. Kelley Blue Book says, “Our first two thoughts after stacking pictures of the new A6 … and old A6 were completely contradictory: ‘Wow, the change is even subtler than we thought’ and ‘Wow, the new one looks so much better.’” View Photos
A6 Interior - 8.3 (Very Good)
Reviewers give the 2012 Audi A6 high marks for its interior, which is both beautifully-crafted and high-tech. “We'd call the A6's cabin cleaner and more appealing than the surroundings in many competitors, and the latest MMI point-and-click control system moves man-machine interface in the right direction,” writesAutoWeek. “Generally, the techno gizmos seem less onerous in the A6 than they do in some prominent competitors.” Read More
A6 Safety - 10.0 (Excellent)
The 2012 Audi A6 has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but has not yet been crash tested by the federal government. Read More
A6 Reliability - NA
The 2012 Audi A6 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. Read More