Audi has been hot on BMW’s heels for a few years now, but the 2012 Audi A6 might prove to be the tipping point. After all, the BMW 5 Series, once unrivaled as the driver’s choice among midsize luxury sedans, has gone soft lately; meanwhile, Audi has come out with arguably its best-driving sedan ever in the new A6. Although the A6 continues to utilize a front-wheel-drive platform, its weight distribution has never been more balanced, and the supercharged 3.0T model’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system can send up to 60% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels for improved driver control. From where we sit, the new A6 3.0T is the best-driving German sedan in its class.
But the Audi folks rarely mention the entry-level A6 2.0T model, and for good reason. The base A6 gets just 211 horsepower from its turbocharged inline-4-easily the lowest output in this segment-and it only comes with front-wheel drive. What’s more, the 2.0T is stuck with a continuously variable automatic (CVT) that prioritizes fuel economy over performance. It’s still a pleasant car, no doubt, and it’s unusually affordable, but its powertrain is not competitive.
If you can afford the 3.0T’s starting price of roughly $50,000, though, Audi’s high-tech new midsizer should be at the top of your shopping list. Among midsize luxury sedans, it’s the A6 that turns out to be the ultimate driving machine