The Audi A6 has long been considered one of the best-looking sedans at any price point, and that doesn't change with the arrival of the fifth-generation version for the 2019 model year.
With this car, Audi has a fresh design to go up against cars like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- both of which were recently designed -- not to mention more recent additions to the field, like the Volvo S90 and Jaguar XF.
As is Audi's usual style, the new A6's look is not groundbreaking, instead presenting an evolution of the previous-generation's design. But if the look is not a departure, Audi says the new body provides significantly more head- and legroom for rear-seat passengers, plus a little extra space up front, too.
The cabin has been completely redone too, and now presents three display screens to the driver and front passenger: one is the virtual cockpit that has already replaced a traditional gauge cluster in most of Audi's models, and there's another where you'd expect to find one at the top of the centre stack. But Audi has put a third display at the bottom of the stack to handle air conditioning functions, along with heated seats, drive mode selection and driver assistance.
At the A6's market launch, Audi is fitting all cars with a 3.0L supercharged V6 similar to that offered in last year's car, but with the addition of a 48-volt electrical system and a belt-driven mild hybrid drivetrain that adds 44 lb-ft of torque for a total of 369 lb-ft to back up 335 hp, which is down five compared to last year.
Later in the year, Audi will roll out a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder (again, similar to the one that served as based power in 2018) but with the same mild hybrid system. Audi hasn't revealed that powertrain's output, but count on it coming with something like last year's 252 hp and bonus torque compared to 2018's 273 lb-ft.
With either engine, watch for the hybrid system to allow the A6 to travel short distances on electricity alone at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (not that there's anywhere in Canada you can travel at 160 km/h on public roads without attracting unwanted attention). Audi says that helped it cut 0.7 L/100 km from the car's fuel consumption at highway velocities.
The other powertrain update is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to replace last year's traditional eight-speed automatic. While the new transmission promises the ultra-smooth shifting dual-clutch gearboxes are known for, it puts the A6 down at least a ratio compared to its competition. The marketplace will decide whether that matters.
With the arrival of the new A6, the performance-oriented S6 takes a break, but will likely return as a 2020 model wearing this new body.