The lines are sharp, but with a great deal of subtlety.

2014 Audi A6 2.0T Premium Plus

It crosses all the t's and dots all the i's.

By: Andrew Krok

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: February 28th, 2014

During our time with the 2014 Audi A6 2.0T, Chicago was lucky enough to go through both a dry spell and a moderate blizzard. This gave us the chance to test out the Audi in multiple types of wintry weather, and no matter what we threw at it, the A6 didn't so much as flinch.

We're entering a time now when most standard luxury sedans (Cadillac CTS, BMW 5-Series, etc.) come with a four-cylinder engine on the base model. Audi is part of this group, using the Volkswagen Auto Group's 2.0-liter turbo four. People concerned about thrust should calm down, as the I-4 puts out more than enough power and torque to keep things moving. It's not enough to be committing all-wheel drifts on dry pavement, but that's not exactly what this car is about.

The A6 succeeds in areas where the CTS 2.0T does not. The CTS has a big, hulking, masculine frame, and that translates to high beltlines and limited cabin visibility. In contrast, the A6 has plenty of glass and a much lower beltline, which gives the driver a more open feeling while driving along. The car also feels a bit less sluggish than the Cadillac.

  • Interior

    In terms of outright luxury, the Audi does it with subtlety, choosing to ignore wide swaths of fingerprint-grease-loving, piano-black trim (ahem, GM) for a much more demure matte-finish wood trim. The interior is otherwise similar to the S6 we tested last year, albeit with much less expensive-looking seats. Regardless, for a starting price of $45,200, it's equipped well enough to feel like a good value.

  • Exterior

    Audi's models of late have a beautiful character to them without being outlandish; they are, after all, based on Volkswagen's lackluster aesthetics. However, the sharp lines created from the headlights and taillights give the car a solid aggression, albeit far less so than the CTS. The optional sport suspension and larger wheels help to fill out the fender gap nicely.

  • On the Road

    There's no mistaking this for anything other than a luxury car. Even with the optional sport suspension calibration equipped, the car soaks up most manners of asphalt divots and undulations. The steering is adjustable between three modes (Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic), and in each mode, you get exactly what you ask for; slow and lazy steering in Comfort, and tight, attentive steering in Dynamic.

    The biggest benefit of the Audi is completely invisible - its infallible chassis. Everything is smooth and balanced, no matter how much you feel like you're trying to actively destroy the car, it responds in the most calm, collected, German way possible. Ask for fun, and ye shall receive.

    If you can keep your foot away from the firewall, gas mileage numbers are pretty great, hitting nearly 30 mpg on the highway. However, with the car consistently in Dynamic and the transmission in Sport, higher revs will drink up gasoline.

    Our tester came with the MMI infotainment system, and as always, it's great. MMI is easy to navigate, with a knob-and-button setup that's much easier than blindly stabbing a finger on a screen at highway speeds. The dial spins in a counterintuitive direction, but you'll pick up on it within a few hours of using it.

  • Final Thoughts

    The only issue your author experienced with the Audi was an odd transmission hiccup. At stop-sign-rolling speeds, the transmission will hesitate for a second or two after you've depressed the accelerator, leading to an awkward lurch and a slow march forward. While it's great at deterring scofflaws from skipping stop signs, it can be a little tricky to work out in stop-and-go commuter traffic. Otherwise, the car was unflappable, and for the price, it presents a great value balanced out by good handling, good gas mileage, and ample luxuriousness.

  • Specs & Price

    Engine: 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged inline-four

    Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

    Power Output: 220 hp / 258 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy: 20 city / 29 highway

    Base Price: $45,200

    As Tested: $53,845 (incl. $895 destination)

    Optional Features: CVT, Audi Side Assist Package (blind-spot monitoring, power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors), 19-inch Sport Package (19-inch wheels, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, sport suspension), 20-inch Sport Package (20-inch wheels, sport suspension, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel), Bose sound system, heated rear seats, black cloth headliner, rear-passenger side airbags

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