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Audi A6 (2011-2018) Buying Guide

Audi A6 (2011-2018)
Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Audi A6 (2011-2018)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

While it's the compact executive segment that tends to get much of the attention in terms of column inches and new car sales, move up a class to the executive sector and things get even more enticing. Take the Audi A6 for example. Compared with its smaller A4 sibling you get more space, more equipment and more comfort, and when buying new you'll also pay more. But on the used market these larger cars can represent spectacular bargains as they tend to depreciate at a faster rate, so you get a huge amount of car for your money. That's certainly the case with the Audi A6 which offers fast and frugal motoring with refinement and comfort thrown in for good measure. However, while the A6 is hugely appealing, reliability can be more of an issue than you might think and running costs can be high as a result, so check any potential buy very carefully.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Comfort levels
Spacious cabin
Carrying capacity
Efficient engines
Build quality
Cabin design
Wide model range
Lots to buy
Dynamically so-so
High running costs
Hard ride on big wheels
Key Dates 
03/11The Audi A6 Mk4 saloon arrives with 175bhp 2.0 TDi or 242bhp 3.0 TDi diesel engines or a 3.0 TFSi petrol unit.
11/11The A6 Avant (estate) debuts with the same choice of engines and transmissions, along with a 310bhp (313 PS) version of the 3.0 TDi engine.
07/12The A6 allroad appears; it's a highly equipped estate powered by a 3.0 TDI engine that comes with standard four-wheel drive. At the same time the 415bhp V8-powered S6 reaches showrooms.
10/13A 201bhp 3.0 TDi quattro joins the range.
02/14The frugal 187bhp 2.0 TDi Ultra supersedes the regular (175bhp) 2.0 TDi.
11/14A facelift brings tweaked styling, lighting upgrades, more efficient engines plus an upgraded multimedia system.
7/16There are further multimedia upgrades and extra standard equipment is now fitted to all cars.
  • Manual gearboxes are reliable but the autos often need to be replaced (expensively) after 100-130,000 miles.
  • The Multitronic auto is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The S tronic auto is a dual-clutch system.
  • The 3.0-litre engines are six-cylinder units and come only with quattro four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.
  • Fuel gauges can read empty even when the tank is full; the problem is usually fixed with a software upgrade.
  • Another software upgrade can be needed to fix a fault with the electronic parking brake refusing to release.
  • Rear light cluster seals can fail, allowing water to get into the lenses. The cure is new lenses and seals.
  • The TDi engines can use a litre of oil every 1,000 miles, so check the powerplant isn't running on empty.

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