Audi A6 2.8 FSI Review
You think it looks familiar? Well you think wrong. This is all-new
By Shahzad Sheikh
I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same thing: is this really a new car? Oh yes it is – just look at that front end. Don’t see it? Well let me point out to you how this is different…
Check out the jagged edges of the headlights and the kinked daytime running LEDs which really give the car a mean eagle-eyed ‘face’. Plus whilst it appears to be a long sleek saloon, it is actually shorter than the previous A6, which is rather unusual as cars generally seem to upsize with each generation these days.
It’s also lighter and therefore more frugal, consuming less fuel across the range. Not that it looks like they’ve thrown anything out of the interior, it’s just as solid and sumptuous as ever. More so in fact with tastefully employed bits of leather and wood, although the pale yellow seats of our test car would get grimy just from just being stared at too long, and having the seat-control buttons on the side in the same hue, is probably not a great idea.
You sink into the interior and get immediately comfortable, and that’s without even adjusting anything, the ergonomics are so well thought-out. There’s plenty of space in the back and generally there is such a feeling of well-being, security and assurance when ensconced within the vault-like cabin of the Audi A6, that you couldn’t care less about how it looks. I guess that’s the idea.
Because you haven’t bought this car because it’s dramatically different from its predecessor. You’ve bought it precisely because it is pretty much the same – and overall the looks do closely understudy A6s gone before – because you happen to like the old car, but just wanted something newer.
Except that you want it to be slightly better in every way too – and again, that’s where Audi has worked to deliver. As mentioned the exterior is a little smarter, the interior a little more luxuriant, the economy is a little better – in fact little by little it’s car that wins you over every time (if you’ve got a sensible head on your shoulder!).
Take the 2.8-litre FSI engine for example – it’s the entry-level motor, with a 3.0 TFSI being the range topper, both fitted with Quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed S Tronic transmission. Whilst nearly 100bhp down on the 3.0 with ‘only’ 204bhp, it doesn’t exactly feel like a sluggard. In fact despite the weighty transmission, it’s positively lively thanks to a good spread of both bhp and torque – that peak power holding from 5250-6500rpm and punching through 207lb ft of torque between 3000-5000rpm.
That gives it a 0-100kph time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 240kph. Adequate rather than sensational performance, and yet the lightness and superior traction make the car feel more eager than the numbers suggest. As does the surprisingly thrummy and pleasing engine note – suitably subdued of course. And smooth. As is the rather creamy performance.
And there’s the very clichéd ‘sure-footed’ handling, well it does have all four-wheels doing the grippy thing on the tarmac aided and abetted by a crown-gear centre differential and torque vectoring along with the usual electronic stability and traction systems. It all means you have to be complete loon to provoke it in any way over the limits of adhesion. The reasonable precise if light steering, means you should never really go wrong, and if you do, you’ll only get safe understeer. There is a somewhat grumbly vibration on full lock during u-turns, but otherwise all remains smooth at all times.
As does the ride, although it’s firmly damped and transmits about the only external noises you’ll get into the cabin. Unless of course you’ve synched your smart phone and are playing songs via Bluetooth connection. The sound system is typically excellent and the MMI interface for the in-car systems works well – did I mention that the large monitor slides out and up on start-up in a delightful single movement? And that the little speaker tweeters rise up? Well they do, and it’s cool.
And if you’re seriously thinking of buying this Audi, which means your probably exactly the sort of person I think you are, then you probably will be very reassured to hear that this has undergone some serious pre-production testing – over 100,000 simulations and more than 2.5 million test kilometres. And that includes the ‘INKA’ test which ages the car 12 years in just 19 weeks. Audi has also subjected the A6 to 100% humidity and 50 degrees centigrade – plus an artificial sun burning with the intensity of an African summer sun.
Plus of course the car comes with five years free servicing and a three-year warranty as standard – all very important. This is all part of the price which is $51,726 for the 2.8 tested and $63,705 for the 3.0 TFSI.
If you want a high-quality, highly dependable, but slightly nondescript saloon that’ll make you feel you’ve spent wisely and will be the envy of your colleagues once you’ve given them a lift in it, the A6 is the car for you. If you want all of these qualities, but also something a little more sexier, than just go for the A7 Sportback instead. See? Audi caters to all…
Engine: 2773cc, V6, 204bhp @ 5250-6500rpm, 207lb ft @ 3000-5000rpm
Performance: 8.1secs 0-100kph, 240kph
6/10 – Solid, safe, sensible but not sexy
Pictures by me!