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Audi A6 2.0 TDI review
Driven October 2011
Audi has aggressively been pursuing its German rivals for some time now and it seems this aggression has been spilling over from the boardroom to their designs. The example we have here then is the A6. Its aggressive front facia combined with the ‘I am really pissed off!’ LED lights (optional), make its rivals look like sweet, docile characters from Noddy’s town.
This is Audi’s latest engine offering for the A6 – a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. The car is visually similar to the rest of the A6 range and the only way you can tell that this is a “budget” variant is by the ‘2.0 TDI’ badge on the boot. On closer inspection you will also realise that this is a lesser Audi thanks to the absence of the Quattro badge. We’re pretty certain that owners won’t be complaining about the smaller engine or the absence of a four-wheel-drive system as long as this car looks the part.
The A6 2.0 TDI tips the scale at 1,575kg. This is thanks to the extensive use of light-weight aluminium all round, a much-touted Audi touch. The joy of driving is also aided thanks to the Sports mode, the paddle shift and the number of engine and suspension settings you can play with through the MMI system. It is worth mentioning out here that the A6 is the only car in this segment that comes with air suspension as standard across the range.
Performance is not record breaking but the 2.0 TDI does manage a top speed of 217kph and cruises effortlessly at speeds of 150. The sprint to 100kph comes in 8.7 seconds and with the 380Nm of torque available from 1500rpm, quick overtaking manoeuvres are not a problem.
Inside, the car is typically Audi. Everything is placed for ease of reach to the driver. The MMI system is in charge of most of the controls in the car from the suspension setting to tuning the radio. One thing that stands out in the Audi is the use of materials, which is surely the best in the business. The A6 we got came with an aluminium dashboard. This was a refreshing change to look at when compared to the usual wood veneer that has been done to death.
The MMI system gives you tuning options for the engine, steering and suspension. The ‘Comfort’ mode will keep the suspension soft, steering light and engine in fuel sipping mode. ‘Dynamic’ will do the opposite: suspension stiff, steering responding to the slightest input and engine ready to dump all those horses on the ground. ‘Auto’ will play the guessing game and keep switching between Comfort and Dynamic.
But best of all is the ‘Individual’ mode. It is the most useless / useful setting in the A6. Useless because it lets you set engine, steering and suspension settings individually. So if you want to keep the suspension on Comfort while the steering is in Dynamic, the on-board computer will set things accordingly. Now we tried this for some time and decided the default Comfort and Dynamic should be more than enough for even a hardcore enthusiast. Unless your name is Vin Diesel. Still, thanks Audi, for the extra settings, which are very useful when you’re in a pub with a friend who has a similar-specced Beemer. Brag away, then.
The A6 TDI will cost around Rs. 37 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). This includes options like a Bose music system and LED light package. Add to this the 2.0 TDI’s efficiency – the A6 returned 10.2km to a litre of diesel.
Sure, the front-wheel drive A6 will never match the driving dynamics of the rear-wheel-drive BMW 5 series. If you’re going to spend close to Rs. 40 lakh on a sedan, the A6 is a strong contender. It comes with a long list of standard features unmatched by its rivals. In daily traffic, you’ll hardly care about the front-wheel-drive. It’ll quite likely outlive you and the bells and whistles will make even the daily commute feel special.