With its a perfect blend of comfort, handling and power, the A6 is a dream to drive. And with outstanding luxury, class-leading specification and safety features, this Audi is one to be watched with admiration.
The goodSleek design and dynamic handling ability
The badStiff competition from BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar
Audi A6 Saloon 40 TDI (2.0) S tronic 204PS (MHEV)
I can probably count on one hand the number of cars that you can clock up 300 miles in without a break and still exit the vehicle feeling refreshed without the slightest ache or groan – the latest Audi A6 is one of them.
That’s because as well as its drop-dead gorgeous streamlining, abundance of on-board technology and excellent driving dynamics, the A6 Saloon is exceptionally comfortable.
Our A6 test car, in S line trim, was powered by a 204PS 2.0-litre mild hybrid diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox and it oozed class and sophistication. It’s also quite the attention seeker too with sleek curves, a sculpted bonnet, smart light clusters, a massive grille housing the Audi rings, privacy glass and 19-inch alloys to complete the look.
Move inside and you are greeted by a clutter-free, yet feature-rich interior that is premium in its design, quality and layout. The leather sports seats are power-adjustable with memory settings, there’s a flat-bottomed multi-function sports steering wheel, a chunky grab handle gear stick, a pair of touchscreens with haptic response plus Audi’s virtual cockpit display that can be personalised according to taste. There are also plenty of soft-touch surfaces complemented by darkened aluminium and piano black trim and inlays.
Our car carried a £41,110 price-tag, although a few optional extras bumped the final cost up to £45,655. It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 8.1 seconds, topped out at 152mph and, according to official figures, delivered combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg with carbon emissions of 117g/km.
The A6 is very spacious and can easily accommodate a trio of six footers in the back and, despite the sloping roof design of the car, there is ample head room. Up front comfort levels are high and the sports seats are both supportive and cosy.
It’s also a car that’s very easy to drive with performance capabilities that perfectly match the sporty character and design. The acceleration through the seven-speed gearbox is smooth and responsive and there are steering wheel-mounted paddles if you fancy taking extra control. The road holding is ultra-grippy with barely a murmur from the engine or road surface filtering through into the cabin. In fact, extra sound deadening has been added to the latest model which improves refinement considerably.
The driver can select from different driving modes called Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual that alter the way the car handles with Efficiency delivering the best economy figures and Dynamic, not surprisingly, offering the most exciting performance.
While many A6 owners will clock up thousands of motorway miles, the four-door saloon is very capable fizzing along the twisting country lanes with sharp steering offering ample driver feedback, plus excellent ride and handling capabilities.
In busy city centres, the A6 proved agile and easy to manoeuvre, although you will need an extra-large parking space as the car measures just shy of five metres in length.
As one would expect from a premium car maker such as Audi, the vehicle is packed with a high standard of on-board kit, most of which is accessed via the new-look touchscreens in the centre of the dashboard. The bottom screen is where all the temperature controls are located while the top screen is responsible for the infotainment and driving functions.
There is full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, an excellent navigation system, wireless charging, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, USB ports along with SD and SIM card slots and lots more besides.
Storage options are also good with a boot that can swallow 530 litres of luggage – drop the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats and that capacity increases considerably although Audi does not have the official figure. In addition, there are a number of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, door pockets, a compartment under the driver’s armrest, cup holders and some trays.
And the latest A6 is packed with safety specifications to help protect occupants and pedestrians alike, along with numerous driver aids to help prevent collisions occurring in the first place.
All in all, the new A6 is the perfect saloon car for anyone who clocks up high mileage but wants to arrive for a business meeting in style and feeling nicely refreshed. It looks powerful and dynamic, delivers excellent all-round performance and features all the on-board kit you could possibly wish for.
Audi A6 allroad 3.0 TDI quattro 320PS tiptronic
Sometime quality costs and that’s certainly the case with the beautifully-sculpted and luxurious Audi A6 allroad which comes with a whopping £83,835 price tag including the £30k of options fitted.
Now admittedly that’s not cheap, but after 10 days behind the wheel I have to confess that I was very reluctant to hand back the keys!
That’s because the A6 allroad is one very special piece of kit. It boasts the luxury and sophistication to match a lord’s tastes, has enough technology to entertain a geekish tekkie for days on end and most importantly, delivers the driving dynamics to meet the demands of the pickiest of road testers.
Add in the car’s quattro four-wheel-drive capabilities and the practicality and flexibility all estate cars should offer and you can start to see why the A6 allroad is so impressive.
Despite its larger than life dimensions the A6 allroad – which is sportier and more SUV-like than the A6 avant model it is based on – is fabulously sleek in its design with smooth curves and sweeping light clusters.
It looks amazing from any angle and head-turning features include tinted windows, 20-inch alloys, roof rails and all-LED headlights.
Once you take your seat behind the multi-function leather steering wheel, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the sheer beauty and quality craftsmanship that greets you.
Audi has incorporated the very finest leathers and materials to create a warm, inviting and wonderfully chic environment for all occupants.
The amazing Bang & Olufsen audio system produces pitch perfect sound quality and I have to confess I was absolutely fascinated by the two tiny speakers that were protruding from each end of the dashboard and then folded away flush to the dash when the engine was turned off.
There are creature comforts and techno treats to be discovered at every turn such as the heated front and rear seats (with a fabulous massage function for front seat occupants), ambient lighting, a very simple-to-use sat nav system, 7-inch colour display screen, head-up display and a list that goes on and on and on…
It would be fair to say that the A6 allroad is one of the most richly-equipped vehicles I have driven but not in a garish, cluttered way.
All the buttons and switches serve a purpose and are very practical and easy to operate.
And there is no let down when it comes to performance and handling either as the car’s 3.0-litre 320PS diesel engine delivers all the power and bite you could wish for.
It can sprint from 0-62mph from a standing start in a blisteringly quick 5.5 seconds, tops out at an electrically-limited 155mph and according to official figures can achieve combined fuel efficiency of 43.5mpg with carbon emissions of 172g/km.
And all this from an estate car!
Moving through the eight-speed automatic transmission is beautifully smooth and responsive and you can change the car’s handling and dynamics via a number of driving modes.
The car hugs the Tarmac like glue meaning tight bends can be attacked with confidence and all the unexpected bumps and dips along the way are ironed out by the highly efficient suspension. There is minimal road surface and engine noise with just a little wind noise when driven at higher motorway speeds. Time to crank up that Bang & Olufsen then!
All-round comfort levels are excellent and the boot, which is opened and closed automatically, can accommodate 565 litres of luggage which is increased to 1,680 with the rear seats folded flat.
As one would expect, the car is packed with class-leading safety specifications which helped it achieve the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings.
However I did find the side lane assist system which helps to prevent you from wandering between lanes was a tad fierce. In fact, when driving through a section of contra-flow I was really fighting the steering to stay on my intended path – needless to say it can be deactivated very quickly.
All in all the A6 allroad is a truly fabulous car – it’s practical without being a boring load-lugger, its luxurious without losing any of its handling capabilities and one final thing is guaranteed – no journey will ever seem too long behind the wheel of this car.
Audi A6 3.0 BiTDi quattro SE tiptronic 313PS
There is always something very reassuring about driving an Audi and the A6 is the perfect example of that.
It is a brand that is synonymous with premium quality, fantastic technology, outstanding driving dynamics and luxurious comfort and styling.
And although the A6 that I tested had a price-tag of £59,920 which included £16,180 extras, it oozed class throughout.
In fact, the A6 is the perfect car for any driver who clocks up the business miles day after day but wants to arrive at meetings feeling fresh and recharged.
The car is a real attention-grabber with its ultra-streamlined body shape known as the Tornado line.
Then there are the sweeping LED headlights with high-beam assist which automatically switches between main beam and normal, striking 19-inch alloys, flashes of chrome trim and LED rear lights.
Once inside, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the build quality and craftsmanship throughout with the use of the finest leathers and materials to help create a perfect atmosphere for all occupants.
Techno treats are plentiful and include a fantastic audio system complete with BOSE surround sound, a 6.5-inch colour display that folds away into the dashboard, sat-nav, Bluetooth, air conditioning, a tilt and slide sunroof, adaptive cruise control, heated seats and lots more.
But it’s not all about appearance, for the A6 loves to be driven and is more than happy to demonstrate its impressive dynamics along the way. The 3.0-litre diesel-driven engine can power the saloon to 62mph from a standing start in just 5.1 seconds and the acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is so smooth you barely notice as it changes gears.
The visibility is good and another factor worth noting is just how quiet the car is – even at higher speeds. When you close the door it’s like you are shutting yourself away from the outside world and all its noisy distractions.
All occupants are guaranteed plenty of room to stretch out with ample space in the rear for two or three adults.
And the boot is also generously sized and can cater for 530 litres of luggage, which can be increased to 995 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
Elsewhere, there’s plenty of smaller storage compartments scattered throughout the car.
The A6 has been packed with a whole host of safety specifications, such as automatic wipers and lights, seat belt monitoring, anti-lock brakes, electronic stabilisation program, a tyre pressure monitoring system, park assist, numerous airbags and plenty more.
And it also featured Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system which helps keep you safe and sound during those chilly and wet wintery months.
The A6 may not be the cheapest premium saloon on the market, but it is guaranteed to make every journey a pleasurable one and sometimes that’s simply impossible to put a price on.
Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI SE 204PS multitronic
Audi seems to have taken luxury and refinement to a whole new level with its beautifully sculpted and powerful A6 Avant.
You could walk round this car all day and never tire of admiring its gorgeous streamlining, tinted windows with chrome surrounds, smart light clusters, body-coloured door mirrors, 18-inch alloys and all round appeal.
And that feeling of wonder is just as apparent once you take your seat behind the leather, multi-function steering wheel.
You are surrounded by quality from the heated Nougat Brown Valcona leather seats that can be adjusted every which way complete with memory settings, to the fine grain, genuine brown inlays that are strategically situated throughout the cabin.
There is a natural welcoming and easy flow to the interior design making all controls, dials and readouts perfectly positioned for usability and everything is very clearly marked for clarity.
With a basic starting price of just shy of £37k, customers can pick and choose from a whole host of optional extras to completely personalise their vehicles.
For example, the test model included almost £10k worth of additions such as a brilliant sat nav system (one of the best I’ve come across to date), deluxe four-zone automatic air conditioning, a DAB digital radio with DVD/CD changer in the glove-box, bi-xenon headlights and a whole host of class-leading specifications.
So, clearly the A6 Avant is not a cheaper option, but it is packed to bursting with quality and sometimes, you can’t put a value on that.
And when you take into consideration the performance capabilities, those pound signs simply disappear into insignificance.
For the A6 Avant is a fantastic drive. The 3.0-litre diesel-powered engine delivers incredible acceleration as the car soars through the eight-speed multitronic transmission. The road-holding was incredibly impressive even on a very wet surface and the cabin noise virtually non-existent.
At times, it seemed like the car was gliding rather than driving as every bump and pothole was eaten up with not even the slightest hint of a spillage from your coffee cup.
The stop/start technology is very smooth as you make your way slowly through the city centre congestion and there is always the thought of the open road ahead which makes any traffic jam that little more bearable.
Despite its streamlined appearance, the A6 Avant offers very spacious accommodation for all occupants and with that larger-than-life boot, storage will never be an issue.
Audi, as one would expect, has packed a whole host of quality safety features into the vehicle. As well as the more instantly recognisable products, the test model was fitted with Audi’s Pre Sense, which is a comprehensive technical package used for identifying dangers well in advance and intervening appropriately.
All in all, it really is the whole package that Audi offers that makes the brand such a well-deserved leader in the executive car market.
Audi A6 2.0 TDI SE
Look out – the world’s most successful executive business car has just got better.
It’s been seven years in the making, but the launched seventh generation A6 now boasts better fuel efficiency than ever before and lower carbon emissions too.
With its spacious interior packed with gadgets and top notch features, along with eye-catching good looks, it’s easy to see why this model will leave rival manufacturers scurrying back to the drawing board.
From the second you lay eyes on this sleek, streamlined beauty you cannot fail to be impressed. There are very neat light clusters, twin chrome exhausts, tinted windows, 17-inch alloys with the Audi logo in the middle, body-coloured mirrors and matching door handles.
And that great first impression is easily matched once you take your seat – leather and heated of course – behind the leather, multi-function steering wheel. The test model featured black Milano leather trim throughout with neat stitching setting it off a treat. The seats can be adjusted every which way to find the perfect driving position and there are memory functions for the driver‘s side.
Elsewhere the list of creature comforts seems almost endless – and this on one of the cheapest A6 models available (although it is likely to prove the most popular).
The smart central stack houses the gears along with the push button start function and handbrake switch.
There is also the multi-media system, complete with SD cards, a very effective air con system, sat nav and plenty more besides.
Rear seat passengers are treated to ample leg, head and elbow space and they also have their own individual climate control system.
The boot is very generously sized and can be further increased thanks to the split folding rear seats and also the through-load facility for transporting skis or snowboards whilst still having the space for two rear passengers.
Throughout the cabin there are plenty of other useful storage compartments including a generously sized glove box that also contains the CD changer.
So, this car has looks and bags of spec, but what about the performance?
Well, that doesn’t disappoint either. The 2.0-litre diesel engine delivered plenty of power and the road-holding was exceptionally good. The six-speed manual transmission was very responsive, although I did find the gear shift indicator suggested changing up through the gears a little too early, but that’s probably just down to the way I drive.
Cabin noise was relatively quiet even on rougher road surfaces and the ride very smooth at all times.
As one would expect, Audi has crammed plenty of safety features into the A6, including light and rain sensors, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability programme, tyre pressure monitoring, numerous airbags and lots more.
The basic entry price for this model was £30,145, but it was increased to £37.8k with all the extras.
All in all, it’s clear to see that this A6 is the model to beat. It’s lighter thanks to its lightweight body shell, but it doesn’t lose any of its protective qualities and with starting prices ranging from £30k to £41 (without extras) there has to be the perfect A6 to suit any budget.
Audi A6 3.0T FSI quattro S-line 4dr
IF you happen to have a tidy little sum like £43k sitting around doing nothing then I could have the perfect way to spend it.
For the Audi A6 boasts performance, power, great looks and is certainly going to help make your money stand out in any crowd.
Boasting state-of-the art technology and mind blowing elegance and craftsmanship, the four-wheel-drive A6 is proving so much more than an attraction to business drivers with demand coming from all sectors across the buyers market.
But that’s not surprising. After all, who would complain about driving a fantastic performance vehicle in what seems like the comfort of your favourite armchair with all the little luxuries you can imagine?
The V6 supercharging 3.0-litre engine provided an incredible drive that hugged the road with ease. The acceleration was hair-raising and the smoothness of the six-speed tiptronic gearbox seemed effortless.
But that’s not all as the A6 is packed to the roof with classy features such as the very latest in infotainment system which offers 3D navigation, a hard drive which can store MP3s and up to 2,000 addresses and so much more.
In fact, the list of standard equipment in the promotional brochure is so vast it spans three pages if A4 and includes creature comforts like leather upholstery, cruise control, an aluminium fascia, dual-zone electronic climate control and a leather multi-functional steering wheel to name just a few.
And of course, the safety spec on the A6 is first class and includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, two-stage airbags and, thank goodness a top-of-the-range Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser to keep away any uninvited attention.
All in all, the A6 is crammed with quality that makes the drive a real pleasure, but that is skilfully combined with amazing performance and thrills to offer what must be close to the perfect drive.