For people who only occasionally take an interest in new cars, it might come as a surprise that many luxury models rely on four-cylinder power. Gone are the days when a V6 or V8 engine were the only choices for the luxury car buyer. Today, four-cylinder motors are standard, though larger motors with more pistons remain optional.
Audi was in the forefront of this movement to smaller engines. The company added its four-cylinder motor to the A6’s powertrain with the last redesign in 2012. Initially, these A6s were front-wheel drive sedans with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Today, front-wheel drive A6s powered by the four-cylinder engine use a seven-speed automatic — an automated manual, actually. Our review car, on loan from Audi, used the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and had optional Quattro all-wheel drive. This version comes only with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The A6 stands out for its quiet, understated elegance. The exterior styling, which still draws inspiration from the groundbreaking third-generation Audi 100 launched in 1982, remains sleek and appealing. But the interior is a work of art. It is crafted with precision and beautifully finished with materials that look and feel expensive without being overbearing. This is a roomy and supremely comfortable sedan.
Our review car’s four-cylinder engine performed well, although at times, such as when first started, at idle, or when taxed for maximum acceleration, it did offer hints that it’s only a four and not a smoother and more powerful V6 or V8, both of which are also available in the A6.
To make up for its 2.0-liters of displacement, Audi has turbocharged the motor, raising its output to 252 horsepower. Aside from a touch of turbo lag when first starting out from a stop, performance is quite good. Our review car reached 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. On the road, however, the car felt quicker. The engine works beautifully with the…