Audi A6 3.0T FSI quattro S line - AUDI A6 Car Review

Review

Added: 22 Jan 2009
Last update:

IF anyone doubts that executive cars will survive the current recession, then the Audi A6 S-line 3.0T FSI saloon is an object lesson in green living.

It has an almost dateless appearance, has the latest high efficiency petrol engine and is so user friendly it drives as if it's wrapped around you like a comforting blanket, so you want to keep climbing back into it.

The new engine is a highly refined unit, packing in big reserves of power which pour out as required and over a wide rev-range. That gives it good economy because changes are minimised and the ratios permit very long legged cruising on long journeys.

Even around town it's very easy and surprisingly economical to use but I thought its pick up from rest was sometimes not as smooth as it could have been. The six ratios in the automatic box smoothly operate once underway and you can either let the system do everything or you may move the lever into a semi-manual mode. Ratios give good acceleration through the gears and economical long legged ability on major roads.

It is certainly a very quiet powertrain with near silent tick-over, muted noise under acceleration unless you give it full throttle and there is absolutely no gear whine or change noises. If the mood takes you, a flick of the wrist moves the lever into the manual mode and you can extract more of the performance and lazily pop it back into auto-mode when you've finished playing.

This latest engine provides just over 20mpg in urban use but a steady motorway run will see it almost halve this consumption, so the figure overall is half-way between the extremes.

The sophistication of the powertrain is matched by that of the beautifully balanced speed dependent rack and pinion steering with its abundant feedback and the precision and power of the disc-brakes. Whether or not you're a fan of the electric parking brake is another thing but it's easy to use.

Secondary controls are tightly placed around the steering column and wheel and need some familiarisation but work well and the big, clear instruments are brightly lit at night and easy to read in any light.

Oddments room is very good as you might expect in such a big five-seater with abundance of places to put things and the boot is truly enormous holding up to 546 litres behind its high sill and under the low rear parcel shelf.

The cabin seats five with enormous room to stretch out and not only is access easy, seat adjustment is very comprehensive but you may be surprised to discover electric heated front seats are charged as optional extras.

This particular car came with a £2,600 communications pack for navigation, in-car entertainment and mobile phone preparation, together with a few other features such as high beam assistance and adaptive corner lights, for a full on road price of £43,410.

The ride quality is slightly firm but not uncomfortably so and it really soaks up the bumps at speed and does not pitch, roll or wallow over undulating surfaces. The independent suspension does a great job at keeping the four driven wheels on the road at all times and this means it not only turns in sharply but it grips the road well, particularly in patchy damp conditions.

Visibility is good for all but the shortest drivers for whom the corners would be out of sight but you have to pay extra for parking sensors and it's a big car which is better protected with them. Low waistline, big windows and efficient wipers and wash are complemented by bright headlights.

You find the Audi A6 S line takes every journey in its stride and provides a relaxing and comfortable environment. You are not going to want to leave it soon and possibly hang onto the car for longer than you may have done with rivals.

Once you come to terms with its size, and it's nearly five metres, you will appreciate that it actually handles like a smaller car thanks to its responsive engine and gearbox and it justifies its size by giving excellent room for five and a generous luggage space.

Despite all these attributes it also manages to look very stylish and is devoid of details which would quickly date it.

The Audi A6 S line is a remarkable large car for today's conditions but it makes good sense if you intend to buy one and keep it for four or five years.

FAST FACTS

Audi A6 3.0T FSI quattro S line 4dr

Price: £36,650

Mechanical: 290ps, 2,995cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6spd automatic gearbox

Max speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.9 secs

Combined mpg: 30.1

Insurance group: 17

C02 emissions: 219g/km

BiK rating: 34%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust

Words: Robin Roberts

Keywords: audi, a6