Why we’re working it: To see if Audi has lastly made an govt automobile with the broad attraction wanted to really problem the category greatest
Month three – Month 2 – Month 1 – Specs
Life with an Audi A6: Month three
Blue sky driving – 13th February 2019
Driving to and from work within the darkness of a miserable British winter means I can’t all the time take pleasure in one of many Audi’s much less apparent strengths. However on the weekend, pottering about within the daytime, it struck me how the plethora of glass makes the cabin a light-weight and uplifting place to view the world. It’s additionally a reminder that privateness glass isn’t an choice that’s for everybody.
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We’ve swapped our lavishly outfitted saloon for a lower-spec property. Any regrets? – sixth February 2019
Saloon or property? Maybe it’s an age factor, however today I’d normally go for the property, particularly relating to the choices on provide from Germany’s Huge Three. Perform over model is an equation of zero relevance at this finish of the market. In truth, the ‘bread van’ selection is commonly the extra placing.
Is that the case with the pair pictured above? Completely subjective, after all, however my eye errs in direction of the lugger. From the entrance, they seem similar anyway, however it’s the tapering rear finish that does it for me.
So it was solely with the slightest pang of remorse that I bid farewell to the muscular A6 50 TDI and ushered an expectant welcome to the swooping Avant, regardless of the decrease spec referenced in its designation as a 40.
Out goes the steroidal three.Zero-litre V6 and in comes the steadfast 2.Zero-litre inline 4, pulled by common front-wheel drive reasonably than all-round quattro dynamism. The S-tronic gearbox has seven cogs to the tiptronic automated’s eight, it rides on 18in Bridgestones reasonably than 19in Pirellis, and the candy drive of Zero-62mph acceleration in 5.5sec is swapped for a extra uneventful eight.3sec.
The embarrassment of high-priced choices, which raised eyebrows with a couple of readers, is off the desk, too. As an alternative of almost £20,000 price of extravagance, our Avant’s listing fills only some traces reasonably than half a web page: Expertise pack (£1495), a bigger gasoline tank, up from 63 to 73 litres (£115), suspension with damping management (£1150) and a panoramic glass sunroof (£1950) that has already confirmed a success with the youngsters within the again. Glass and light-weight are copious.
Of the 50’s extras, what I’m already lacking are the placing 5-V-spoke alloy wheels (the 40’s nearly look plastic as compared), the dynamic all-wheel steering, the sci-fi bling of HD matrix LEDs that may’t fail to impress/wind up different drivers, and the comforting cushion of adaptive air suspension. Even with the damping additional on the Avant, conventional metal coils are inevitably much less composed over the B-road craters the Avant will probably be negotiating every day for the following few months.
Nonetheless… first-world issues, eh? The intent is barely to explain, to not complain. How might I? Huge load-lugging Audis are famend for his or her beauty, composure and luxury – and regardless of the spec, this fifth-gen A6 lives as much as the regal lineage.
Only a week into life with the 40, a couple of early impressions spring to thoughts. First, I’ve but to bother a gasoline forecourt and gained’t must for a couple of days but. The 50 had confirmed pleasantly frugal for its dimension and heft, thanks partially to delicate hybridisation. Benefiting from the identical system, which saves the engine work at cruising velocity, the two.Zero-litre 4 is nothing short of a marvel on this respect.
In real-world phrases, over 11 weeks, it value a mean of £74 to brim the 50’s 63-litre tank every week, to log a mean of 438 miles. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how that each one adjustments due to the Avant’s bigger tank and smaller engine.
One other key commentary displays the one vital black mark in opposition to the V6, and one which by no means ceased to show troubling. Decide-up from a standstill at busy junctions and roundabouts usually prompted the guts to flutter somewhat quicker. ‘Lag’ within the motoring lexicon is normally related to turbos from one other age, however it’s the very best description for the V6’s preliminary lethargy. Squirt the two.Zero-litre 4 and the contrasting response isn’t excellent – however the response is vastly higher. Nonetheless, it appears odd such some extent must be raised in any respect for automobiles of this worth and class.
At this juncture, the hunch is we’ll discover extra that’s preferable in regards to the property within the coming months. The additional area capability – a nonetheless beneficiant 530 litres for the saloon versus 565 for the Avant – definitely gained’t go to waste. ‘Broad attraction’ is on the transient, and it actually shouldn’t be missing.
NO FEAR OF CABIN FEVER Trademark refinement of inside affords unblemished consolation over distance. Spec downgrading is noticeable, however negligible.
FIVE INTO A6 DOESN’T GO Teenager studies center rear seat is difficult and area is tight – though two small-person booster seats both aspect don’t assist.
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Life with an Audi A6: Month 2
Vibrant inside atmosphere – 16th January 2019
Experiments with driving modes have confirmed diverting, extra for the bling within the cabin than any nice variations in dealing with. Dynamic mode is most pleasing, its pink pin lights proving ‘very Dying Star’ in the dead of night. Extra usefully, the elective four-wheel steering has impressed, enabling the A6 to show a lot tighter than our household S-Max in confined areas.
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Why ignoring driver alerts isn’t all the time – or maybe ever – a good suggestion – 2nd January 2018
Colin Chapman’s outdated adage typically tends to serve me effectively: “Don’t fear, it’ll be all proper.”
The Lotus founder wasn’t averse to blind religion, based on his commonly frazzled employees, and infrequently issues had been certainly “all proper”. However generally they weren’t – and I’ve found the identical, sadly, is true for me. I considered Chapman’s optimism as I stood shivering behind a barrier on the M3 early on a Friday morning as an countless stream of rush-hour visitors swooshed previous. The Audi A6 at present stranded 50 yards up the arduous shoulder had advised me with an alarming ping that ‘air stress is low in proper rear tyre’. Had I listened? Had I heck. It might be all proper.
“I don’t imply to let you know how one can suck eggs,” mentioned Mark, the cheerful chap from the AA, who’d arrived after a pleasingly quick 30-minute wait. No, it’s okay, go on. “When you’d stopped when the alarm got here on, we might have saved the tyre.”
The tell-tale gouge within the Pirelli P Zero clearly recommended I’d run over one thing sharp and doubtless metallic. However the deterioration within the sidewall was my very own doing, due to working the tyre flat in my hopeful efforts to make it to work (for a busy press day, in my defence).
The Audi had tried to warn me greater than as soon as. Following the preliminary ping, one other sounded with a obvious pink message warning of a significant fault within the normally magical air suspension, earlier than a closing missive declared the wheel bolts had been free. They weren’t, however the white lie did the trick and I admitted defeat. Sure, lesson learnt, Mark: when the shiny new automobile tells me one thing in an pressing method, subsequent time I’ll hear.
In additional defence (come on, you anticipated this bit), maybe my doubts had been sewn by the common false alarms on my every day drive: emergency braking I don’t require, entrance sensors all of a sudden flashing up as out of motion in gradual visitors I’ve been crawling amongst for ages. Such occurrences are in no way unique to this A6, however it hadn’t precisely helped me construct a relationship of belief with the Audi – though we appear to have a brand new, deeper understanding because the puncture incident.
On a happier observe, our bond had already been strengthened on our first vital long-distance journey along with (a few of) the household on board. The youngsters had been busily revising for GCSE mocks, so solely the three-year-old twins joined Mrs Smith and I for a much-needed weekend away to the Cotswolds. An ideal alternative to stretch the Audi away from the tedium of the every day commute beckoned.
Booster seats and 4 little legs had been by no means a severe problem to the bounteous rear passenger cabin, however what in regards to the small mountain of stuff we’d be carting west? No hassle. The 530-litre boot swallowed our litter, together with two junior bikes, with out even the trace of a belch. Such household jaunts in all probability weren’t foremost within the intentions for this regally snug govt saloon, however it’s completely appropriate – particularly with that air-assisted experience including to a way of serenity not even disturbed by the peacekeeping Disney soundtrack of Frozen, Moana and the like.
Since our introduction to the A6, readers have commented on the eye-watering listing of luxurious choices included on our take a look at automobile, and I’ll return to those in future studies. In actuality, some could be merely pointless – however I have to admit, the all-wheel steering is a grower. Highway placement and grip solely enhance with confidence and there’s additional satisfaction to be discovered with this automobile past the pampering of the inside’s refined consolation. Maybe that’s one other signal of a deepening belief on this completed, mature performer. I’m in good fingers.
A LESSON IN ECONOMY Constantly good financial system, assisted by mild-hybridisation, ensures only a single weekly pit cease regardless of excessive commuter miles.
ERRANT ENGINE RESPONSE Lack of preliminary throttle response from a standstill adopted by a sensation of all-at-once energy supply stays disconcerting.
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Life with an Audi A6: Month 1
A semi-unwelcome reminder – 21 November 2018
The issue with the long-term reminiscence show is that it’s a telltale of simply how a lot time I spend commuting: greater than two entire days in simply three weeks – at a mean velocity of simply 28mph. Nonetheless, can’t complain. Every day I look ahead to it, such is the soothing aura of refinement. The every day grind has by no means been so calming.
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Welcoming the A6 to the fleet – 7 November 2018
The white-van driver toots, then motions to wind the window down as we crawl alongside the chocker A316. Uh-oh… however it’s tremendous. “What engine is that?” he calls. “three.Zero-litre V6,” I reply. “Is that the brand new one? Very good, mate.” Thumbs-up, a smile and we return to our vastly contrasting automotive cocoons. This placing Audi A6 evokes a response, simply as is meant, and its regeneration is clearly one thing of an occasion to these tuned in to premium-class saloons.
Audi’s goal throughout the brand new A6 vary is to problem each the driving dynamism of the BMW 5 Collection and the all-round brilliance of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Fairly a activity, then. Our intention within the coming months is to find whether or not it has pulled it off, which implies sampling multiple of those govt liners. A stint within the Avant property will comply with earlier than our time is up.
Audi has all the time been white scorching on consolation and toasty on tech – however has it bought what it takes so as to add flavour to the ingredient that has too usually come up bland? Sport is in Audi’s genes in any case these years of Le Mans domination, however in some way it hasn’t all the time translated to the street. On this class, it’s past time that it does. We begin with this, the diesel S Line saloon, with all of the bells and whistles that add an eye-watering £19,670 to the bottom worth.
That three.Zero-litre V6 is nice for 286bhp and a whopping 620lb ft of torque, topping out at (apparently) 155mph. Financial system is measured at 48.7mpg (we’ll definitely be testing that), with CO2 emissions rated at 150g/km. An 80-mile round-trip every day commute is an efficient place to start out for a automobile supposed to enjoy long-distance cruising, and in our first week, greater than 540 miles are logged – in a state of zen-like serenity.
That’s saying one thing, given the slog features a sticky stretch of M25. Right here, the automated handbrake and engine lower are silently blessed on daily basis. Idling in visitors has by no means been so placid, in Alcantara tranquillity. The agency however posture-friendly seats, the tactile end of each arduous and delicate surfaces, the pleasing glow from the sharp dashboard, instrument cluster and enormous navigation display screen, augmented with a private soundtrack of BBC 6 Music on the sonorous Bang & Olufsen elective sound system… it’s like a private every day spa in a five-star resort. Homely? Completely not. However the medical sense of cool detachment is a comforting novelty proper now. But few need to stay in a resort eternally, regardless of the usual of pampering. Let’s see if glacial perfection wears skinny.
The supple experience from the adaptive air suspension contributes to the calm, because the household attest on a weekend chauffeur journey to Brighton for a spot of 16th birthday purchasing. The youngsters grin with normally hard-to-win approval at this slice of the finer life. The A6 is born for straight and true highways.
However what about on the pockmarked British B-road? There’s loads of alternative to search out out within the bucolic Surrey Hills within the coming months, not least on the rutted puncture lure that results in house.
Right here, that intelligent air suspension really exceeds expectations. Roads that normally rattle our innards are decreased to barely a ripple. That is one novelty that gained’t put on off.
A lot for tech and luxury. How about that dynamism goal? Effectively, early doubts have crept in. The primary niggle to take root is the numerous delay between squeezing the proper foot and one thing truly occurring. The eight-speed Tiptronic automated gearbox is a marvel as soon as transferring, with torque apparently countless in no matter gear it has chosen. However when a squirt is most wanted, from a standing begin at a busy junction or roundabout, or when pulling out to overhaul one thing gradual on a straight little bit of A-road, the dearth of urgency is mildly troubling. Then that diesel torque all of a sudden kicks in and all of it begins occurring. It’s somewhat disconcerting, however maybe we have to discover ways to get the very best from it.
A lightness of contact, particularly on curving A-roads, definitely appears important. The all-wheel steering hasn’t impressed confidence to date. Maybe experimentation with the dazzling (and barely daunting) array of dynamic choices will refine our religion. However consciousness of the A6’s imposing dimensions isn’t heightened greater than on such roads. Threading by busy Brighton streets is a breeze, however out within the open, the A6 doesn’t encourage you to hustle. Higher to take your time and flow.
So has Audi mixed chauffeur ranges of zen with a wow issue Allan McNish might relate to? We endeavour to search out out. Both means, that BMW and Mercedes rivalry is a rigidity the A6 can not escape. Then once more, for those who reply to blue metal supermodel magnificence like our buddy within the white van, does it actually matter? There’s a lot to take pleasure in right here. Real love would possibly effectively thaw the frosty facade as we draw into winter.
The A6 can come throughout as a little bit of a chilly fish, however I think it to garner lasting affection from the Autocar workforce. I additionally suspect our automobile’s elective air suspension will probably be largely accountable for that. It lends the cabin a churchlike atmosphere on motorway schleps however with little if any trade-off in physique management on B-roads. With reference to B-roads, I additionally predict there will probably be days when Damien needs he’d bought his fingers on a 5 Collection as a substitute.
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Audi A6 50 TDI Quattro specification
Specs: Worth New £50,470 Worth as examined £70,825 Choices 20in 5-V-spoke alloy wheels £950, quattro with Sport differential £1550, black glass working buttons £325, head-up show £1450, Metropolis Help Pack £1375, Tour Pack £1950, 360deg digicam and entrance/rear sensors £700, dynamic all-wheel steering £1950, MMI Navigation plus £1495, HD Matrix LED headlights £600, storage pack £100, privateness glass £475, LED inside lighting pack £275, acoustic glazing for aspect home windows £525, adaptive air suspension £2050, panoramic glass sunroof £1750, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors £150, auto local weather management £825, adaptive windscreen wipers £375, Bang & Olufsen sound system £800
Take a look at Knowledge: Engine V6, 2967cc, twin-turbo, diesel Energy 282bhp at 3500-4000rpm Torque 457lb ft at 2250-3000rpm Kerb weight 1890kg High velocity 155mph Zero-62mph 5.7sec Gas financial system 48.7mpg CO2 151g/km Faults None Bills None
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