Mar
23
2017 Audi S6

2017 Audi S6 in Daytona Gray (a $575 option)

2015 Audi Q52017 Audi S6 4.0T quattro S tronic

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles Driven: 246

Fuel Used: 14.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 17.6 mpg

Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 18/27/21 (city, highway, combined)

CG Report Card
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceA
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyC-
ValueB-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyA-

Base price: $70,900 (not including $950 destination charge)

Options on test car: Special paint ($575), S6 Prestige package ($3200), black Alcantara headliner ($3000), Driver Assistance Package ($1250)

Price as tested: $82,425

 

Quick Hits

The great: Smooth, authoritative power; impeccably finished cabin

The good: Fine balance of handling prowess and ride quality

The not so good: Mediocre fuel economy

Check out Consumer Guide’s Premium Midsize Cars Best Buys

 

Damon Bell

The premium-midsize-car category has no shortage of stellar high-performance models—hot-rodded versions of “mainstream” luxury sedans that boast jaw-dropping horsepower numbers and racetrack-ready suspension hardware. The BMW M6 Gran Coupe offers a 600-hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, the Cadillac CTS-V has a 640-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLS63 sedan has a 577-hp 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8, and Audi’s own RS 7 has a 605-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The Audi S6 sedan doesn’t quite reach those lofty horsepower heights, but trust us… after a taste of the smooth-yet-blistering acceleration supplied by the S6’s 450-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, you’ll be more than satisfied.

Test Drive: 2016 Audi A6 3.0T

2017 Audi S6 in Datona Gray

High-end performance versions of luxury sedans usually sport several unique body styling elements, but at a glance it’s a bit tricky to distinguish an S6 from its lesser A6 stablemates. Besides the expected name badging, a unique rear diffuser trim piece with dual exhaust tips is one of the few differentiating features.

As the performance version of Audi’s A6 sedan, the S6 comes with that V8 powerhouse—paired with a delightfully responsive 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system—as standard equipment. Also standard are the expected performance-sedan upgrades, such as specific sport suspension tuning, adaptive air suspension, and specific 19-inch wheels. The S6 normally comes equipped with summer performance tires, but our test vehicle arrived wearing a set of Continental ContiWinterContact TS 830 P performance snow tires that performed admirably in the cold—but mostly dry—driving conditions of our February test week.

Audi S6 cabin 2017

The S6’s cabin boasts top-notch materials and assembly, and an ambiance that deftly mixes performance and luxury. However, rear-seat passenger space, particularly legroom, is a weak point.

The S6’s performance is genuinely invigorating. Acceleration comes in a virtually seamless, ferocious rush, with the dual-clutch transmission clicking off quick, crisp shifts—either on its own or at your command via the steering-wheel shift paddles. Zero-to-60-mph runs in the mid-4-second range are no sweat, and the speed is accompanied by a gratifying growl from the engine. Audi’s Drive Select system allows the driver to dial in specific modes for steering, suspension, and transmission settings. Even in the stiffest Sport setting, ride quality is surprisingly good, given the handling prowess on tap. The S6 always has a buttoned-down, controlled feel—it isn’t cushy or coddling over bumps and rough pavement, but it is rarely harsh. The S6’s all-around athleticism makes it feel a bit smaller than it is from behind the wheel. The basic A6/S6 platform casts a fairly large midsize-sedan shadow, but the S6 feels agile like a compact.

Test Drive: Lexus GS 350 AWD F Sport

2017 Audi S6 trunk

As with other Audi A6 models, the S6’s trunk is spacious and nicely finished.

The interiors on higher-line Audis are among the best in the luxury business, and even by those grand standards, the S6’s cabin shines. It’s a pitch-perfect blend of high-performance styling and high-end trim, with top-notch materials and impeccable assembly throughout. Our tester was decked out with an optional $1250 Audi Design package that added rich Arras Red upholstery and red Carbon Twill inlays, and a black Alcantara headliner that tacked on another $3000 (Oof—the suede-like headliner is dazzling, but at $3K this is an option box that we would happily leave unchecked).

Our tester was also equipped with the $3200 Prestige package—which consists of LED headlights, a head-up display, power opening and closing trunk, power rear sunshade, manual rear side-window sunshades, and LED interior lighting—and the $2550 Driver Assistance Package, which adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability, “pre-sense plus” collision warning and mitigation system, active lane assist, top-view camera system, and high-beam assistant.

In addition to the stellar fit and finish, the S6’s cabin is especially comfortable, at least in front. The standard heated, 12-way front buckets offer an ideal mix of long-haul comfort and support. However, call us spoiled, but the absence of cooled or ventilated front seats on a 2017 luxury sedan at this price point is a disappointing omission. The main downside to the A6/S6 interior is rear-seat space—both headroom and legroom are a lot more cramped than you’d expect a premium midsize sedan to be. Several class competitors (and most mainstream-brand midsize sedans) trump Audi in this area.

Audi S6 V8T badge

Small front-fender badges denote the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 lurking underhood.

Not surprisingly, a car that offers this level of performance and luxury isn’t cheap to buy, or particularly economical to run. Our tester stickered at $82,425 and averaged 17.6 mpg in our testing, which consisted of predominantly city driving. However, if you value regal trimmings and breathtaking performance that doesn’t really impede on day-to-day practicality, the S6 is tough to beat.

Audi S6 in Daytona Gray, profile

The Audi A6/S6 sedan is on the larger side of the premium midsize car class, but the S6’s impressive performance enhancements make it feel like a smaller car from behind the wheel.

Test Drive: 2017 BMW 740e xDrive

Vehicle Makes

Classic Cars

Collectible Automobile Magazine

Popular Posts & Pages

Recent Posts

Shopping for a new or used car or truck?

Check out all of our reviews here.