Audi A6 S6 TDI 344 Quattro 5dr Tip Auto
The 2.0-litre diesel in the 40 TDI is really very good. Strong – particularly in the all-important mid-range – as well as frugal and quiet. We managed just over 50mpg without even trying. The 2.0-litre petrol is good too, but obviously not as economical. All are equally good at schlepping down a motorway or A-road.
‘Quattro’ all-wheel drive is standard on the diesel, upper powered 45 TFSI petrol, and plug-in hybrid, while you also get a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox as standard on all models (no A6 is available with a manual). You don’t miss Quattro in dry conditions, though it’s no doubt a bonus if you live somewhere with harsh winters.
Badged the 50 TFSIe, the hybrid gets a 2.0-litre engine, 14.1kWh battery and electric motor for a combined output of 295bhp and up to 41 miles of electric-only running.
As ever, take that with a pinch of salt – we saw around 30 miles of e-range in the real world – but it’s otherwise tidy to drive and, like most plug-in hybrids these days, handles the transition between petrol and electric power smoothly.
Those electric gubbins add 375kg of weight however, which, combined with the firmer suspension in our S-Line test car (as explained below), meant the ride was slightly too firm for our liking. If you’re going to spend most of your time bombing up and down the motorway it’s also unnecessary extra weight to haul around, and best avoided.
Still, CO2 emissions from 33g/km will save you a bundle on company car tax, eight per cent in BiK versus 37 per cent for the equivalent petrol-powered car.
Not really – the BMW 5 Series Touring and Jaguar XF Sportbrake are both sharper and more engaging. But the A6 isn’t bad to drive by any stretch. Generally, this is absolutely as you’d expect from a car of this type: safe, solid, quiet and capable.
The kind of suspension you get depends on the engine and trim level you’ve chosen. ‘Sport’, ‘S Line’ and ‘Black Edition’ cars get regular steel springs (with S Line and Black Edition getting a slightly lower, stiffer setup). Top-of-the-range ‘Vorsprung’ cars get adaptive dampers (hybrid model aside), perhaps the best fit.
The damped A6 Avant is obviously the comfiest, but it’s also the most expensive. Lesser cars are comfortable enough, but the harder ‘Sport’ suspension in S Line and Black Edition cars is too firm for our liking and best avoided.
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