It’s pretty much taken for granted: buy an Audi A6, get a great car. Is it true?
Car Reviewed: Audi A6 Saloon 50 TFSI e Quattro
Road testing new cars, or at least cars that have done no more than a few thousand miles, may not reveal what longer-term owners have experienced. Hopefully, however, that experience will be totally favourable.
Our A6 certainly added to our own overall positive impressions.
The test car being a hybrid, introduced some interesting arithmetical questions: money — how to get the best value out of this sophisticated car. Sophisticated because it offers the choice of how to drive the car to its EV capability to the best effect.
At the end of exactly (as it happens) 444 miles at an average speed of 32 mph, the overall indicated fuel consumption was 49.9 mpg. On the way, there were distinct variations of this, depending on which mode the car was in.
Apart from letting the car work out for itself (E-tron, auto hybrid), there’s pure EV with its maximum range of anything from the official WLTP combined figure of 38.5 to 45.4 miles. Then there are ‘hold charge’ and ‘increase charge’.
The car was delivered with 39 miles electric range. After driving around for a couple of days, this figure reduced to 2 miles, at which point I drove fifty-two miles on ‘increase charge’, registering 33.3 mpg, 26.4 miles/kWh and the EV range back up to 17 miles.
Then, precisely the same journey reversed on ‘hold charge’ saw the mpg nearly doubled: 60.9 mpg and 16kWh.
At this point, since the car’s arrival, it had covered 170 miles at 51.4 mpg and 8 miles/kWh. I then drove five miles to the local supermarket reducing the 8-mile EV range to four.
So, economy lessons are soon learnt depending on where you’re going.
The A6 engine was Audi’s 1984cc, 4-cylinder, producing a very healthy 265PS. Its 299PS hybridity can get the car to 62 mph in only 6.2 seconds.
It’s all carried out in impressive quietness, especially at cruising speeds with negligible wind-noise…In the old days, the drag coefficient of the super-est of super-cars was perhaps about 0.27; now, even a saloon car like the A6 measures at 0.26.
The car was a pleasure to drive and to ride in (said my passengers). The test car’s sports suspension did the job without (as older Audis’ suspension sometimes did) feeling too hard.
The electro-mechanical steering progresses nicely from easy to maintain a proper feel at speed.
The brakes work similarly in that not much input is needed until it is needed. Incidentally, I had a bit of a fright when gently reversing in a car park: the rear-view camera reminded me that there was a low barrier about a yard behind me. Then, shock, horror! I’d hit it! I leapt out of the car, only to find that I hadn’t; it was still a foot clear. What had happened, I realised, was that the Audi’s Rear City Brakes had deployed. Rather hard.
As usual, Audi’s 7-speed, twin-clutch auto gearbox worked really smoothly.
On the motorway, I found that I could drive hands off the wheel (just trying it out, for a mile or so, but certainly not to be done as a matter of course) using Audi’s Adaptive Cruise Assist system. The system also ought to be used in any case to promote safe driving, automatically keeping your distance and so on.
The A6, with more than £5000 of optional extras, plus the 3-year subscription for Audi Connect, totalled £62,995. Wow…but it’s a fine car.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.