Standard kit on the new A6 now includes Audi‘s Drive Select system that gives a choice of four driving modes – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic plus an additional Efficiency mode, with each adapting the engine, transmission and steering feel.

However, the new efficiency setting also influences the gearbox, power steering, throttle and cruise control. It’s the most noticeably different of the four modes too; whereas Comfort, Auto and Dynamic all have a fairly minor impact on the overall driving experience, Efficiency is markedly different.

While we’ve been enjoying somewhere around a four or five mile per gallon improvement in economy, the setting ‘numbs’ the A6, with the car almost refusing to kick down into a lower gear for acceleration, and resuming speed on the cruise control very gradually. It’s all deliberate to maximise fuel efficiency, but takes away some of the pleasure of the car. On long trips, or with the family, or just when heavy traffic means progress is already slow, it’s worth flicking the dial round to Efficiency, but in general driving I found it too much of a pay-off, so it’s back to Auto mode for day-to-day commuting for me.

Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI 204 SE Multitronic
Mileage 11,746
Claimed combined consumption 54.3mpg
Our average consumption 40.2mpg
Forecast CPM 79.2p
Actual CPM 81.1p