Why would I buy it?
- Refined powertrain
- Aggressively priced
Why would I avoid it?
- Limited engine options
- Subtle looks
Engine and Performance
With no diesel engine in its armour, the Audi A6 is limited to a BS6 2.0-litre petrol motor; the 45TFSI. In this avatar, it cooks up a fiery 241bhp/370Nm that makes it competitive in the face of its segment rivals. All that power is laid down on the road through the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. For starters, it doesn’t take that much time behind the wheel for one to appreciate the motor’s impressive refinement; it’s barely audible. Even when you floor the accelerator to make quick progress there’s barely any buzz. What also comes to light while you’re at it are the smooth gearshifts, and although one wouldn’t deem it as one of the quickest shifters, it surely doesn’t leave one wanting for more.
Otherwise, in order to aid the driving chores, there are preset modes such as Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic, Auto, and Individual. As you’d guess, while the first three modes alter the throttle response respectively, Auto mode senses your driving style to offer the appropriate response, and Individual mode allows one to manually mix and match the attributes as required. As such, there’s plenty of power/torque to keep the momentum going regardless of whether it’s a city errand or an inter-city highway blast. But when in a sticky situation, a manual downshift is all that it takes to quickly surface out of it; it’s quite the tractable engine overall.
Ride Quality and Handling
Despite the sheer length of the A6, the driver can easily remain unfazed whilst manoeuvring this sedan in the limitations a city can pose. Making matters easy here are the reasonably quick and light qualities of the steering. In terms of ride quality, although the absence of an air suspension might seem like a bummer initially, it certainly doesn’t feel so after spending some time in it. The well-judged dampers do a flawless job of absorbing bumps and broken surfaces while also lending exceptional high-speed stability manners. The only downer here is some unwanted tyre noise.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
The A6’s cabin is typical Audi owing to its characteristic design and layout. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, the styling is subtle, sophisticated but ergonomic nonetheless; you almost feel at home. Plus, quality levels along with the fit and finish of anything you set your eyes on such as the brushed metal trim, leather, gloss black or wood inserts, is at par with what’s expected of the brand/segment. However, it seriously lacks the oomph factor as it doesn’t make one feel special.
What comes interestingly close though are the futuristic-looking twin-touchscreens; the upper one runs the latest MMI system while the lower screen covers climate control and other functions to the A6. Snazzy, yes, but it tends to keep the driver’s eyes off the road at times, which we feel is a safety concern. As for the seats (front and rear), they sport great cushioning and contours with excellent levels of overall support. What smartly adds more flavour here are this cabin’s swollen dimensions which liberate added space, more so at the rear, making the A6 ideal for the chauffeur-driven kind.
Features-wise, there’s a lot that the Audi A6 offers. To start with, it comes equipped with Audi’s acclaimed Virtual cockpit instrumentation, a scintillating Bang & Olufsen audio system with all the connectivity options, and a sunroof. Then, there’s four-zone climate control, electric front seats with memory function for the driver’s seat, and even hands-free parking! Still, it could have done well had they thrown in a pair of rear screens for rear-seat passenger entertainment.
Safety features in the Audi A6 include six airbags, rear middle passenger three-point seatbelt, tyre pressure monitoring, and child seat anchor points. It also gets ABS with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, and hill hold.
Over the years, we’ve seen how the A6’s design has deviated from a curvy edged one to the edgier lines that we see today across most of the brand’s line-up. This is exactly why the A6 now looks sportier than ever; more so with that humungous grille breaching those jagged framed headlamps apart. Then, as much as there are bucket loads of chrome/silver trims used as highlights, the one running between the tail lamps, in particular, makes this sedan look wider than it actually is. Elegant too, yes. On a personal note, my favourite has to be the headlamp signature which certainly has a futuristic-AI air about it.
Despite the smart makeup, the Audi A6 is still too subtle in its overall appearance, making it hard to kick up that much-needed appeal as far as looks go. Moreover, this phenomenon is even more pronounced when in the company of its segment lookers such as the 5 Series or E-Class. Plus, the limited powertrain choices narrow down the buyer options even further. But from where things stand, the Audi A6 is a well-thought-out package that’s comfortable, loaded to the teeth, is dynamically accomplished, has decidedly more space than its predecessor, and is slightly cheaper to buy than its competition. Yes, the A6 has evolved into a more mature Audi, the likes of which can be quite compelling for the practical lot at the very least.
Pictures by Kapil Angane