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Road Test: Audi A6 - overall an exceptional car

Road Test: Audi A6 - overall an exceptional car

By Swansway Motor Group 04-09-2018

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The new Audi A6 features some innovative new tech, but does this affect the way it drives? Motoring journalist, Ryan Hirons, finds out.

Should I buy an Audi A6?

The new Audi A6 is now available; if you're looking for a luxury saloon, should the new Audi A6 be on your list?

  • Bold new dynamic styling
  • All engines now offer mild-hybrid technology
  • Packed with safety technology
  • Air suspension for a relaxing ride on long journeys
  • Premium cabinwhich makes driving or being driven a pleasure

What is the Audi A6?

Audi has been on something of a crusade in refreshing its top-end luxury machines of late. Last year saw a new A8 and A7 grace the market — but it hasn’t stopped there.

Introducing the new Audi A6 — the latest fresh face to join the German firm’s line-up. Much like its larger siblings, it’s more an evolution of the luxury saloon concept than a revolution, but there’s a lot to shout about.

With the recent release of an updated BMW 5 Series and a now two-year-old Mercedes E-Class, Audi could be playing something of a game of catch up here. So, is the A6 up to that task?

Red Audi A6 being driven fast on an empty road


What’s new about the Audi A6?

As is to be expected with the launch of an A6, there’s a lot of new stuff going on.

Most noticeably are its looks. It takes on the bolder design language introduced on the A8 — bringing a sleeker appearance along with a much wider grille and fresh headlights.

Under the bonnet, the A6 is the first-in-class to offer mild-hybrid technology across all of its engine choices as standard, while new suspension options have been introduced in an effort to create a more agile car.

As for technology, the A6 now features self-learning navigation which aims to create an optimal route based on your driving history; while centre console-based physical controls for functions such as air conditioning and audio controls have been replaced with a touchscreen using haptic feedback.

Silver grey Audi A6 parked two thirds side on


What’s under the bonnet of the Audi A6?

At its launch, the A6 will be available with a choice of three engines — one petrol and three diesels, all of which utilise mild-hybrid technology.

Our test car was fitted with the sole petrol option on offer. It’s a 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 335bhp and 500Nm of torque, here paired up with a seven-speed automatic gearbox that sends power through all four wheels.

It’s capable of taking the A6 from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and can power the car on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. At the time of writing official figures for MPG and CO2 emissions had yet to be confirmed.

It’s an extremely potent unit, delivering impressive and usable performance for a car weighing in at 1,825kg. Don’t expect supercar-levelling speed, but it’s more than enough for most needs while the gearbox pairs perfectly for a smooth experience under heavy acceleration or at a gentle cruise.


What’s the Audi A6 like to drive?

Audi has brought a lot of new technology in for the A6 in an effort to create a better a driving experience in all applications, but the results vary.

It’s at its most comfortable when cruising for long distances. Its plentiful power combines well with the introduction of air suspension to create a relaxing ride when eating up the miles — aided by little in the way of wind noise.

As for more spirited driving, the Audi A6 is capable of doing it with ease; it handles well and doesn’t kick up a fuss when pushed hard. It’ll take you around town with little fuss for a car of this size thanks to the addition of four-wheel steering which results in a more agile machine at lower speeds.

Red Audi A6 driving away from you


How does the Audi A6 look?

Audi are the experts, if not the pioneers in Russian doll car design — with each model taking after the last. The A6 is no exception to the rule, with the German firm’s updated design language as first introduced on the A8 making a strong impact on the A6’s own looks.

That means a hugely wide grille upfront with bold headlights sitting at either side, while a sleeker overall look is seldom interrupted by creases in the bodywork.

It’s a handsome thing to look at and has a presence of a car far bigger than it actually is in the flesh. You’re likely to turn heads in a big Audi anyway, but the striking design could do that without the four rings up front.


What’s the Audi A6 like inside?

As you would expect on an Audi A6, it’s an incredibly plush place to be sat.

Premium materials feature right through the cabin without a scratchy plastic surface in sight, and it all feels good to the touch. We also suspect it’ll be pretty durable long-term.

The leather seats up front feel comfortable to be in, though they could benefit from a little more support.

Physical controls in the centre console for functions such as air-conditioning and seat heating/ventilation have been replaced by an 8.6-inch touchscreen that utilises haptic feedback. While this works well and responsively, it can be somewhat difficult to use when travelling at speed.

Cream leather rear seats in a red Audi A6


What’s the Audi A6 spec like?

Full UK pricing for the Audi A6 starts from £38,640 for a seriously well-equipped package — though more expensive once the options list is explored.

Standard luxuries on the saloon include full LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, mild-hybrid technology and Audi’s MMI infotainment system displayed on a 10.1-inch touchscreen. As for safety assistance, there’s also pre-collision warning, parking sensors with a rear-view camera and cruise control.

Our S Line test machine also came with upgraded ‘Audi Matrix’ LED headlights and daytime running lights, 10mm lower suspension and a S Line styling package — while heated/ventilated seating was also included.

Cream leather interior of red Audi A6


Verdict

The Audi A6 has all the hallmarks of a new class leader in the executive saloon segment. It offers a solid and potent range of engines, bags of technology and a comfortable experience wrapped in a handsome body.

We’d like to have a more engaging experience in harder driving, along with some more physical buttons inside the car — but these are minor annoyances in an otherwise exceptional car.

 

 


 

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