2013 Audi A6 Test Drive Review
Audi A6 – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Audi A6 Review

Car Tested: Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 60,64,260/-

The levels of finesse on the new Audi A6 is truly mind boggling.

The Audi A6 name plate made its debut in 1994 when the German automaker changed its naming nomenclature. The Audi A6 was earlier known as the Audi 100 (100 for 100 PS), with the first generation model going on sale in 1968 after Volkswagen purchased the company from Mercedes-Benz. Today, the Audi A6 is in its seventh generation and the latest model is known as C7 (internally known as Typ 4G). The new Audi A6 was launched last year and takes heavy inspiration from Audi’s flagship sedan, A8. The A6 shares most of its components with the A7 Sportback (review here) and looks thoroughly impressive all around. Locally assembled by Audi at its Aurangabad facility, the Audi A6 has the goods to become the new benchmark in the executive luxury segment, giving the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series intense competition.

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Exteriors – The new A6 looks every inch an Audi, with many design cues similar to other vehicles from the German car maker’s stable. While the latest generation model is all new, it does have quite a few design cues from the old model, making the A6 unmistakably an A6. While the Audi A6 is quite long at 4.92-metres, it’s shorter than its predecessor and lower too. However, Audi has increased the wheelbase and the width of the A6, which gives it a very sporty appearance. The most striking aspects of the Audi A6 are the long engine hood, short overhangs and sweeping roof.

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By far the most interesting part of the exteriors are the new headlights, which features an intricate design and extend towards the fenders. The day time running lights consist of a multitude of LEDs (60 to be precise). These headlights are not only attractive but sets the Audi’s apart from the rest. Aided by Xenon Plus and Adaptive Lightning, not only does the A6 offer splendid vision in the night but it also consumes very little power (just 40 watts per unit). The daytime running lights also double up as turn indicators and fog lights are in built in the headlight rather than being placed on the bumper.

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The single frame grille is finished in high gloss black color and merges neatly at the front. The Audi A6 has well designed soft and hard lines dominating the side view, which reveals the generous dimensions of this vehicle. The windows are surrounded by high gloss package along with anodized aluminum chrome detailing which further accentuate the visuals of the car. The 10-spoke 17-inch cast aluminum wheels look very good and the side profile merges well with the rear part of the car, where the heavy influence from the A8 is immediately apparent. There is an integrated boot spoiler and the bumper is quite low with an exhaust pipe on each end. The trapezoidal tail lights are all LED units and look the part.

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Interiors – The sheer level of quality and attention to detail on the inside of the Audi A6 can make its competitors sweat. Audi has shared most of the interior components with the A7 and the cabin feels truly special. The large glass area and right use of colors give the interiors a very airy feeling. The large arc which runs right below the windshield up to the front passenger door defines the dashboard layout quite well. The A6 gets dark tan Valcona leather on the seats and door trim which gels well with the wooden inserts on the dash.

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The large instrument cluster has multiple displays in the centre which carries a plethora of functions. The dials are easy to read and the console is rich with all the information the driver would need on the go. The A6, like any high-end Audi, is loaded to the gills with DVD changer, BOSE sound system, 20 GB hard drive, bluetooth connectivity, sunroof, etc. The Audi MMI system’s 6.5-inch screen pops out from behind the centre AC vents and offers a crisp display of things. The 4-spoke steering is nice to hold and has the usual buttons to control the various functions of the car including the paddle shifters. It is however not electrically adjustable.

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The seats in the Audi A6 are thoroughly inviting. They offer excellent back support and there is ample amount of room for every passenger. Headroom too is good all around although the rear seats are a tad low, which results in a slight compromise of under thigh support. Finding a comfortable driving position is an easy task, with the electrically adjustable seat helping in this regard. Visibility is good and the centre arm rest is big enough for both the passengers at the front. The well contoured seats reward during long drives with absolutely no sort of fatigue. The large boot can swallow big bags without a hiccup.

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Performance – When we drove the A4 with the 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine more than two years ago, we immediately fell in love with the exhilarating performance of this motor. This V6 diesel engine is so good, that it powers almost every Audi vehicle, including the A4, Q5, Q7, A7, A8 and ofcourse the A6. Turn the ignition on and the 245 BHP, 500 Nm engine comes to life with excellent NVH levels. This motor simply doesn’t feel like a diesel engine, thanks to the high amount of refinement it possesses. Response is tremendous and a simple nudge on the accelerator is enough to catapult the A6 ahead with urgency. With 500 Nm of torque available right from 1400 RPM, the Audi A6 is a hoot to drive and is doesn’t feel heavy or uneasy in crowded city conditions.

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The 3.0-litre TDi motor is such an all round package with linear power delivery on offer. It has good punch all through the revv range with the mid-range being the strongest point of this oilburner. When the pedal is firmly grounded to the floor, the A6’s refined characteristic take a turn for the better and the twin exhausts become quite vocal with a nice humming sound. Coupled to this diesel engine is a 7-speed dual-clutch S-tronic automatic transmission which shifts quickly and is a joy to use in manual mode, with changing gears a mere flick on the steering mounted paddles. There is no stop-go system on diesel models (offered only on petrol variants), but various weight saving techniques result in the new A6 being very frugal.

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Driving Dynamics – The new Audi A6 sheds close to 80 kgs of weight thanks to the use of an aluminum hybrid body. Various other mechanical components including the wheel control arms are made of aluminum. The chassis is stiffer than before while the air springs and dampers are adjustable according to the driver’s requirement. The Audi drive select offers 4 modes – comfort, sport, dynamic and individual. In comfort mode, ride quality is extremely good with the car providing very good cushioning over the worst of roads. The A6 glides over potholes and rarely does it get perturbed by bad roads. Even in Sport mode, the A6 rides well and doesn’t feel as extreme as far as the ride quality is concerned.

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Power is channeled to all the 4-wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system which gives good grip and eliminates under-steer to a certain extent. The electro-mechanical steering wheel weighs up well but isn’t exactly point and shoot. It does offer reasonably good feedback and is confidence inspiring at high speeds. The Audi A6 has a lift feature which raises the car by 20 mm, enabling the vehicle to clear big speed-breakers with ease. The air suspension sets the ride height of the vehicle in either of the three settings. On the highway, it lowers the body to increase stability. Braking is aided by all wheel disc brakes and various safety systems ensuring shedding serious speeds is done confidently.

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Verdict – The new Audi A6 does all that a prospective buyer in this segment would look for and it simply excels in quite a few areas. The vehicle is very practical, offering tons of luxury with everyday usability. Not only does the A6 ride splendidly well, it also offers reasonably good handling and remains extremely surefooted at high speeds. Factor in the splendid performance from the V6 diesel engine and well crafted interiors and the new A6 immediately becomes the top pick in its segment.

The Audi A6 offers the perfect balance of dynamics with insanely good performance and high levels of desirability in one package.

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Whats Cool

* Attractive Design
* Strong Performance
* Quality Interiors

Whats Not So Cool

* Low Rear Seat

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2012 Audi A6 Specifications

* Engine: 3.0-litre, V6 with 90-degree V angle, 24V, DOHC, TDI
* Power: 245 BHP @ 4000-4500 RPM
* Torque: 500 Nm @ 1400-3250 RPM
* Transmission: 7-speed S-Tronic Dual Clutch Automatic
* Top Speed: 250 km/hr
* 0-100 km/h: 6.1 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 9 km/l (City), 12 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Independent Double Wishbone (Front), Independent Multi-link (Rear)
* Tyres: 225/55/17 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: Ventilated Discs (Front), Discs (Rear)
* Safety: Quattro AWD System, ABS, EBD, TCS, ESP, 8 Airbags, Reverse Parking Assist

2012 Audi A6 Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4915 mm X 1874 mm X 1455 mm
* Wheelbase: 2912 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.95-metres
* Boot Volume: 530-litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 65-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1795 kgs