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Week at the Wheel: Audi A6. Image by Audi.

Week at the Wheel: Audi A6
Audi's A6 saloon is probably the most anonymous car in its model range and often overlooked in favour of German alternatives.


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| Week at the Wheel | Audi A6 3.0 TFSI S-line |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

Such is the homogenous nature of Audi's cars it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart - it's easy to mix up the A6 and current A8 for instance. The bold corporate grille is complemented by the now signature LED running lights up front, which are now mirrored in more interesting rear lighting configurations with the brake lamps illuminating in the shape of a hollow trapezoid; it's effective and eye catching. The A6's exterior dimensions obviously lend themselves well to a spacious interior.

It's no secret that Audi has become the benchmark in interior design over the last decade or so and the A6 is no different. Cosseting, cavernous and luxuriant, the inside of the A6 is the better of any rival; perhaps the Jaguar XF runs it closest, but it's all but impossible to find a low rent component inside the Audi. Although it's interesting that over time the majority of the buttons eliminated from the centre console have now appeared once more behind the gear stick. In common with other big Audis the A6's interior is a lovely environment to return to after a long day's work - perhaps even more so after dark where the ambience is even more alluring.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

Under the bonnet of this S-line equipped A6 sits Audi's new supercharged 3.0-litre V6, boasting a headline figure of 286bhp. That equates to a sub-six-second dash to 60mph and an effortless 155mph maximum. Coupled to the six-speed Tiptronic 'box - with steering mounted paddle shift - it provides muscular and flexible performance, the supercharger ensuring sharp throttle response and a broad range of usable power.

At low revs acceleration builds readily but once into the mid range the A6 really starts to move; overtaking is easy and the muscle available at motorway speeds is impressive, as is the hushed refinement, the engine only becoming vocal when extended, and then not in a crude or harsh manner.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

As a long range cruiser the A6 is hard to fault. The S-line suspension is firmer than ideal for such a role in life but not excessively so and the vast majority of abnormality on the UK's roads is seen off with no fuss. Occasionally, however, it can be caught out and can thud or crash in places where some rivals will flow by unperturbed. Handling is safe rather than inspiring with plenty of grip, rain or shine, and a faithful helm. The only thing missing from the repertoire is the agility and subtly of the class leading Jaguar XF. By definition that isn't easily found in this sector and certainly the A6 isn't shamed; it just isn't fun or involving.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

Weighing in as it does at almost 40k it's no surprise to find that the A6 wants for little in terms of toys and gadgets. The satnav is perhaps the clearest and most effective we've used recently and the Bose stereo provides strong and clear sound at almost any volume. The materials and quality on offer are almost beyond reproach and the full array of safety features and technology round off an impressive kit list.

In this market sector value for money becomes more blurred but it's certainly fair to say that the Audi A6 is a competitive package. However, this appeal is greatly accentuated by the savings we've found online, with a massive 4,500 off list easy to find. An overall economy figure of 25mpg is adequate given the performance on tap and is boosted readily by a motorway-biased workload - approaching 30mpg. Obviously the diesels in the A6 range offer a more appealing haven from the heaviest tax brackets courtesy of economy that breaks the 35mpg mark.

Overall: star star star star star

It doesn't take much time behind the wheel of the Audi A6 saloon to appreciate the talents on offer. As a long range commuter or tourer the 3.0 TFSi makes real sense. It may lack the dynamic abilities of the Jaguar XF or BMW 5 Series, but as a complete car it isn't far behind the best in class.

Dave Jenkins - 18 Aug 2009    - Audi road tests
- Audi news
- A6 images

2009 Audi A6 specifications: (3.0T FSI quattro S line)
Price: 37,835 on-the-road (75,970 for equivalent in Ireland).
0-62mph: 5.9 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Combined economy: 30.1mpg
Emissions: 219g/km
Kerb weight: 1725kg

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi A6. Image by Audi.


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