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Eric's Autos: 2021 Audi A6

Eric Peters on

It has a small (13.7 cubic feet) trunk.

Under the Hood

The Audi's 2.0-liter, 261-horsepower, four-cylinder engine is paired up with a 48-volt electrical system (up from the usual 12 volts) that consists of a lithium-ion battery in the trunk and high-torque belt starter/generator system up front designed to keep the gas engine off as often as possible -- including while you're moving -- in order to increase gas mileage and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

The gas mileage, though, is about the same as it was before the 48-volt system was added: 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway versus 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

For more power, a 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 is optional. It's also paired with the same electric assist system.

Equipped with the V6, the A6 can get to 60 mph in a very speedy 4.8 seconds -- helped along by the car's lightweight aluminum bodywork. The four-cylinder-powered version makes the same run in about six seconds.

 

A seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are both standard with both engines.

On the Road

The A6's standard all-wheel drive system gives the A6 a wet- and dry-weather traction advantage over its rear-wheel drive rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But it's not much of an advantage in the snow, because of the car's sport-sedan ground clearance of just 4.2 inches.

This puts the A6 much closer to the pavement than the BMW 5 Series (with 5.7 inches of clearance) but not quite as in the weeds as the Benz E-sedan, which sits just 3.8 inches off the pavement (4.2 inches when ordered with its available 4MATIC all-wheel drive system).

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