Here's a surprise: When the 2014 Audi A6 recently earned 5 stars in all three phases of testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it became the first car in its segment to do so. (And the second was the A6's hi-po variant, the Audi S6.)
Now, just to be clear here, other mid-sized premium sedans have received 5-Star Overall Vehicle Scores from NHTSA, but that recognition actually doesn't require top grades in all individual tests. Thus, looking at the other German rivals to the 2014 Audi A6, the BMW 5-Series received 4 stars in frontal-crash testing, while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, in fact, scored 4 stars overall. Expanding the universe of rivals to the Infiniti Q70 and Lexus ES shows both with 5-Star Overall Vehicle Scores, but the former with 4 stars in both front and rollover evaluations and the latter with 4 stars in rollover scenarios.
Even the 2014 Cadillac CTS, with all of its accolades and a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score of its own, "only" managed 4 stars in the NHTSA rollover evaluation.
Audi chalks up its advantage to standard features like:
- Impact-protection hardware that relies on high-strength steel and aluminum
- Hydraulic brake assist, which can sense an emergency-stopping scenario and automatically apply maximum available braking power
- Advanced air bags, including knee-protection units
- Three-point front safety belts with automatic pre-tensioners and load limiters
- Audi technology that automatically unlocks the car's doors, turns on its cabin and exterior hazard lights, and turns off the fuel pump
Also, as a further reminder, the 5-Star rating from NHTSA extends not only to the 2014 Audi A6 and S6, but the A6 TDI, too; that means discerning drivers can combine Audi’s superior engineering with top-notch safety, and quattro all-wheel drive, while enjoying EPA grades of up to 24 mpg city/38 mpg highway/29 mpg combined.
The party line from Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America: “When Audi engineers set out to make the A6 and S6 models unsurpassed in their class they made safety one of their first priorities. The 5-star rating affirms that commitment to our customers and vehicle safety.”