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Audi A6 S line 40 TDI

Date: 16 October 2018   |   Author: Pete Tullin

If you're asked to choose between Audi's latest A6, a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class, then you're obviously doing something right in life, professionally at least.
Standard equipment:
Twin 10.1in and 8.6in touchscreens, sat-nav, two-zone climate control, Front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning
Engines:
Petrol: 340hp 3.0
Diesel: 204 2.0, 286hp 3.0
Trims:
Sport, S line
Transmissions:
Seven-speed automatic, eight-speed automatic

So, just how do you decide between an A6, a 5 Series and an E-Class? 

Well, given these three protagonists are so closely matched in almost every area you could do worse than simply select the latest kid on the block. At this particular moment in time, that's the Audi A6. 

Granted, the exterior rendition may be a wee bit predictable, sharing many of the same design cues as the A8 and A4 but you'd be hard pressed to find a more lavishly appointed interior. 

Twin touchscreens

Perhaps the biggest wow item is the infotainment and climate control interface, which replaces the previous model's rotary dial-controlled system with twin high-definition touchscreens. 

As well as looking highly sophisticated and properly futuristic, its interactions are pin sharp, and reinforced by audible and haptic feedback. In other words, you feel a pulse and hear a click whenever you prod the on-screen icons. It's by no means perfect though, as the icons require quite a determined press and a steady hand to hit when driving.

AUDI_A6_AVANT_013_p

Typically of Audi the cabin construction itself feels as if it could withstand the onset of a nuclear winter.

It's immaculately tailored throughout, crafted from exceptional quality materials and elegantly finished, using a combination of brushed and chromed metallic highlights bathed in subtle mood lighting.

It's not exactly short on space either, with enough leg, head and shoulder room to comfortably house a quartet of scrum-dwellers and an enormous boot, which is the most versatile in the class due to its unrestricted aperture and standard split-fold rear seats. 

If man's best friend plays a key role in your life then you can simply head down the Avant route, as its carpet-lined luggage compartment will provide five-star luxury for your canine companion. 

Range options

There are currently two trims to choose from; Sport, which because of its smaller wheels and lower CO2 output will be a fleet favourite; and S line, which brings bigger alloys, some racy looking embellishment, including S line front and rear bumpers, deeper side skirts a faux rear diffuser and lowered sports suspension. 

At the moment, there are just three engines on offer. All are confusingly badged, including the entry-level 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine (40 TDI), a 3.0-litre V6 diesel (50 TDI) and the 3.0-litre V6 petrol (55 TFSI)

All three utilise Audi's mild hybrid technology, which uses an electric boost to helps smooth out start-stop operations and allows the engine to turn off when cruising to save fuel. 

Surprisingly, although both diesel engines are impressively smooth and subdued, it's actually the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that's the more cultured device. 

Generating minimal diesel combustion cackle at idle and under load, it revs so willingly and smoothly you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a petrol engine. 

AUDI_A6_SALOON_039

Not surprisingly, it's a tad down on performance compared with the 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine but it still produces a wholesome 204hp, and because it isn't hampered by the additional mass of Quattro four-wheel drive, it feels more rapid than its on-paper figures suggest. 

Suspension choice

Once again, cheaper is best when it comes to the various suspension systems Audi offers. 

You can blow your allowance on an air-sprung car and it will certainly deliver the luxury car cruising waft you expect from such a set-up, but it is prone to sounding and feeling more crashy and brittle when clobbering low-speed lumps and bumps than the more basic steel sprung car.

The latest A6 is a truly excellent car and it's all the more encouraging that the business-focused model is, in many ways, the best car in the range. The result of scrupulous attention to detail and a determination to match or better its premium German competitors. This continued rivalry can only be great news for user choosers who demand the best.

P11D: £41,740

Cost per mile: 57.61p

Fuel consumption: 62.8mpg

CO2 (BIK band): 117g/km (28%)  

BIK 20/40% a month: £195/£390

Boot space: 530 litres

Engine size/power: 1,968cc/204hp


Verdict


8/10
  • Refined driving experience
  • Spacious
  • Luxurious interior
  • Touchscreens requires a fair bit of familiarisation

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