2018 Audi S6

2018 Audi S6 Review

The 2018 Audi S6 offers that most intoxicating of automotive virtues: power.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

The 2018 Audi S6 is a car that pampers as well as it performs. On the inside, this midsize luxury sport sedan boasts a richly trimmed cabin fitted with front seats that can keep you perfectly comfortable for hours at a time. Or hit the gas and the S6's 450-horsepower turbocharged V8 will rocket this Audi to 60 mph in just 4 seconds flat.

If it's sophisticated entertainment and technology you're after, the S6's got you covered, too. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration lets you make the most of the S6's large and clear multimedia interface, and a bevy of optional features are available to crank up the luxury quotient ever further. Although the S6's handling abilities are a little underwhelming, the overall luxury sport sedan package is pretty compelling.



what's new

The 2018 Audi S6 is unchanged.


we recommend

Our choice would be the S6 in Premium Plus trim with the Sport package, which adds a dynamic steering map, sport differential, red brake calipers and black-tipped sport exhaust. If we had some extra dollars, we'd also opt for the Arras Red Valcona leather. Even if it's technically the base model, the Premium Plus has all the features you really need.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Audi S6 is offered in two trims: Premium Plus and Prestige. Both share the same powertrain, body and interior, and differ mainly in the details.

Standard exterior features for the Premium Plus trim include 20-inch wheels with summer tires, S-specific styling elements, xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, a sunroof, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside, you'll find diamond-stitched leather upholstery, selectable drive modes, eight-way power-adjustable front sport seats (with four-way driver power lumbar and heating), a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks.

Electronics highlights start with the MMI infotainment system, which includes a console-mounted control knob with a touchpad that can read your fingertip scribbles, a central 8-inch display, a navigation system with Google Earth maps, voice controls and Audi Connect (including enhanced web-based information services, 4G LTE data connectivity and mobile Wi-Fi capability). Also standard are a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Prestige trim adds LED headlights, a power trunklid, a head-up display, LED interior lighting and rear sunshades (manual for the side windows; power for the rear window).

From this point, most S6 additional features are organized into optional packages. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, a top-down parking camera system, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, and automatic high beams.

The Comfort Seating package features upgraded front seats with ventilation and massage functions, front passenger memory settings, and upgraded leather upholstery (sans diamond stitching).

The S6 Sport package provides dynamic steering, a torque-vectoring rear differential and a sport exhaust. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Black Optic package tacks on exclusive 20-inch wheels, body-color exterior mirrors (instead of the standard silver ones) and gloss-black exterior trim.

Notable stand-alone options include different 20-inch wheels, rear side airbags and, for the Prestige only, a night-vision system and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.



Standard exterior features for the Premium Plus trim include 20-inch wheels with summer tires, S-specific styling elements, xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, a sunroof, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside, you'll find diamond-stitched leather upholstery, selectable drive modes, eight-way power-adjustable front sport seats (with four-way driver power lumbar and heating), a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks.

Electronics highlights start with the MMI infotainment system, which includes a console-mounted control knob with a touchpad that can read your fingertip scribbles, a central 8-inch display, a navigation system with Google Earth maps, voice controls and Audi Connect (including enhanced web-based information services, 4G LTE data connectivity and mobile Wi-Fi capability). Also standard are a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Prestige trim adds LED headlights, a power trunklid, a head-up display, LED interior lighting and rear sunshades (manual for the side windows; power for the rear window).

From this point, most S6 additional features are organized into optional packages. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, a top-down parking camera system, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, and automatic high beams.

The Comfort Seating package features upgraded front seats with ventilation and massage functions, front passenger memory settings, and upgraded leather upholstery (sans diamond stitching).

The S6 Sport package provides dynamic steering, a torque-vectoring rear differential and a sport exhaust. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Black Optic package tacks on exclusive 20-inch wheels, body-color exterior mirrors (instead of the standard silver ones) and gloss-black exterior trim.

Notable stand-alone options include different 20-inch wheels, rear side airbags and, for the Prestige only, a night-vision system and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Audi S6 Premium Plus Quattro (turbo 4.0L V8 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current S6 has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's model.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.5 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking2.5 / 5.0
Steering2.0 / 5.0
Handling2.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

5.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort5.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort5.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Driving position4.5 / 5.0
Roominess3.5 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Cargo space4.0 / 5.0

Technology

5.0 / 5.0

Audio & navigation5.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration5.0 / 5.0
Driver aids5.0 / 5.0
Voice control4.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
This is a car that's more about refinement and daily driving than driving engagement. Rapid and undramatic acceleration, but frustrating steering and handling qualities when you get even modestly enthusiastic with it. Very smooth transmission. Great engine; mediocre chassis and tires.

acceleration

edmunds rating
There's ample power available from the twin-turbo V8. Fast, undramatic power delivery. Mat the gas and the sprint to 60 mph comes in an incredibly quick 4 seconds. Shifts from the seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic are very smooth.

braking

edmunds rating
Soft at initial jump-in during routine driving, which makes this car feel more unwieldy than it actually is. Noisy brakes on our test car. The car moves around during panic braking more than expected. Our measured 60-to-zero-mph stop in 113 feet is about average for the class.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering is very quick around center. At low speeds, it is very light, too quick and feels very synthetic. At moderate speeds, the steering still feels nonlinear after turn-in and requires more input to achieve an equal amount of turning.

handling

edmunds rating
Not an impressive-handling car even in moderately hard driving. The sport differential requires use of the throttle to counter this behavior, demanding a clunky driving style. Front-end grip relents easily. The tires howl at low cornering forces.

drivability

edmunds rating
Very easy to live with in routine driving situations. The engine stop-start function could be better; restarts take a beat before thrust can be delivered. Very nicely rev-matched downshifts.

comfort

edmunds rating
From its highly effective sound isolation and outstanding ride comfort, the S6 works the luxury angle much more convincingly than its sport leanings. Its seats are very accommodating, too. This is a car that's ideally suited for long drives.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The front seats strike a keen balance between comfort and support, and they provide ample adjustments. No pressure points were observed after long drives either. The back seats are more upright but compliant and comfortable.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Comfortable and absorptive ride quality. Its ability to dispatch speed bumps in particular is, frankly, stunning.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Very quiet and refined. Speed accumulates deceptively rapidly. Isolation from wind rush and road thumps is excellent. Engine noise is muted in all circumstances, even in hard driving.

climate control

edmunds rating
The standard four-zone climate control system is easy to operate. It's also highly adjustable, so you can get just what you want for the air flow and temperature.

interior

edmunds rating
The beautifully trimmed cabin has ample space for passengers. It's also easy to get in and out. There's enough adjustment that just about any driver should feel perfectly in control.

ease of use

edmunds rating
Controls fall into reach easily and intuitively. It has knobs for temperature adjustment, buttons for fan speed. The multimedia system works well and stows in-dash, which is a nice touch. The flat-bottomed steering wheel looks neat but can feel odd in your hands.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The S6 is easy to get in and out of. It has a long enough wheelbase that rear access is unimpeded, more so than with its similarly priced competition. Doors open wide.

driving position

edmunds rating
With the driver seat offering 12-way adjustment and four-way lumbar adjustment, and a power steering wheel adjustments, finding a comfortable driving position is straightforward.

roominess

edmunds rating
Good headroom in the front, even for 6-footers. The back seat is especially roomy with plenty of headroom, good shoulder room and knee clearance.

visibility

edmunds rating
Good view forward and out the side glass. The view over the shoulder or out the back is more challenging, but it's no better or worse than in the competition. The backup camera is effective.

quality

edmunds rating
Premium materials abound, including simulated suede, stitched leather, carbon fiber, diamond-patterned seats and brushed aluminum. Fit and finish is excellent. A finely executed sense of luxury that's cool and restrained.

utility

edmunds rating
With a large trunk, ample small-item storage and, of course, large rear seat room, the S6 begs to be loaded up and taken on a long road trip.

small-item storage

The cabin has a good amount of storage, with a two-tiered bin in the center console, a shallow bin in front of the shifter and average-size door pockets.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The trunk has a low liftover height, soft opening and concealed hinges. The trunk is very deep but of average width and height. If you want a power trunklid, you'll have to get the Prestige trim.

child safety seat accomodation

There are three upper latch points on the parcel shelf and four lower latch anchors. Access to all anchors is clear and easy. The ample rear door size means installation of the seat, and your child, is not murderous on your back. The front seats do not have to move for most applications.

technology

edmunds rating
Audi's MMI infotainment system is excellent. We like the crisp graphics and simple menus as well as easy-to-learn controls. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more user-friendly interface or such a high-quality stereo.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
The quiet interior of the S6 offers a good soundstage for the Bose sound system. Navigation is a simple, guided structure of commands that eventually leads you to a crisp, easy-to-understand map with instructions doubled inside the instrument panel.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Bluetooth connects easily, and Audi's Connect system is easy to learn. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, but Audi's systems are so logically designed that we used them most of the time instead. It's one of the best systems in the class.

driver aids

edmunds rating
Standard equipment includes a rear camera, parking sensors, forward collision warning and automatic braking. Optional features include a crisp surround-view system, lane departure intervention and adaptive cruise. The S6's aids work well without intrusive interference during daily driving.

voice control

edmunds rating
Voice controls take clear, well-enunciated commands, but they don't like much outside their parameters. Learning or reading the commands you need to know is relatively easy, though, and the learning curve for new owners should be very gradual — especially buyers coming from other German makes.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.