2020 Audi A6 vs. 2020 Chevrolet Impala

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Chevrolet Impala doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A6’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Impala doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A6 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Impala doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A6 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Impala doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Impala doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Impala only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the A6 and the Impala have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Audi A6 is safer than the Impala:

A6

Impala

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.38/.47

.68/.32

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A6 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Impala was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The A6 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Impala’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A6’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The A6 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 264) than the Impala’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The A6 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 30 more horsepower (335 vs. 305) and 105 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 264) than the Impala’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the A6 55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid is faster than the Chevrolet Impala:

A6

Impala

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.1 sec

10.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.7 MPH

96.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the A6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Impala doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Impala doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi A6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Impala.

The A6 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Impala doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Impala:

A6

Impala

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

The A6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Impala are solid, not vented.

The A6 stops much shorter than the Impala:

A6

Impala

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the Impala (245/45R19 vs. 235/50R18). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Impala (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R19).

The A6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Impala LT’s standard 50 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Impala Premier’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Impala LT. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Impala Premier.

Suspension and Handling

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The A6 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Impala’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the Impala (115.1 inches vs. 111.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 2 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Impala.

The A6’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Impala’s (59.5% to 40.5%). This gives the A6 more stable handling and braking.

The A6 Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the Impala Premier pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Impala Premier (24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Impala’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

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The A6 is 6.9 inches shorter than the Impala, making the A6 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A6 easier. The A6’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the Impala’s liftover is 29.4 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A6 offers cargo security. The Impala’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A6 (except Premium) offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Impala doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The A6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Impala’s (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the A6 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Impala. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Impala Premier, the A6 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A6’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Impala, and is not available on all models.

The A6’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Impala does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The A6 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Impala doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A6’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impala’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the A6 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The A6’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Impala’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Impala doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A6 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the A6 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Impala doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are optional in the A6 Prestige to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Impala doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the A6 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Impala’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Impala. The A6 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impala.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A6 is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $282 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the A6 than the Impala, including $113 less for a timing belt/chain and $90 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A6 third among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Impala isn’t in the top three in its category.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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