Audi A6 3.2 FSI quattro SE Avant - AUDI A6 Car Review

Review

Added: 02 Dec 2005
Last update:

WITH sales rising annually, Audi continues to evolve its model series to maintain the momentum of success.

One of its enduringly popular big models is the A6, which has now been given the latest lightweight, high performance FSI 3.2 V6 power unit and the estate Avant body style this year.

Its efficiency, power and economy bring added sophistication to the A6 series and for me it is the best of the bunch slotting midway into the 34-strong range of four petrol, three diesel, two or four wheel drive, two trim levels and saloon or estate styles.

The Avant is also a highly practical design offering saloon refinement and combining with a highly useable interior. With the rear seats occupied the luggage area holds around 560 litres but maximum capacity rises over three-fold to 1,660 litres.

Its easy to load or empty and comes with a carpet and tie-down hooks to secure items while the big side doors permit immediate access to the front of the load area.

There is also plenty of oddments space throughout and you get the impression this is a car made for families or long periods on the road.

Certainly, the new 3.2 engine can run and run, with its abundant power smoothly delivered so it's quick from rest, punchy when overtaking and cruises with enormous composure.

I like the six-speed transmission's smoothness once rolling with up or down changes slipping into place with silky precision irrespective of how heavy or light footed you are.

Very powerful, yet progressive, brakes slow it every time and the power steering imparts good feedback about the attitude of the wheels.

Secondary controls are all immediately to hand and the big instruments sit directly infront of the driver for immediate recognition.

Air conditioning is straightforward to operate and works well backed up by powered windows and there is an optional electric roof.

Visibility is good all round, just as well as it's a big car, and a rear parking sensor is optional.

All noise levels are very low, the most noticeable being the road rumbles from the big alloys and tyres, but mechanical and wind disturbance is minimal.

The Audi A6 Avant really manages to soak up road surface bumps and holes and there is minimal body roll while the quattro grip puts down the power and bites under braking while providing a reassuringly positive feel through bends. Suspension is slightly biased towards firmness but it's not too hard or unyielding.

The performance is all very useable and not particularly thirsty and combine this with the strong residual value the overall running costs are not exceptional.

What you do get for your money is a very sophisticated, versatile and dynamic car which cleverly blends performance and practicality.

It's not hard to see why the Audi brand is still gaining ground over rivals.

FAST FACTS

Audi A6 3.2 FSI quattro SE Avant

Price: £33,910

Mechanical: 256bhp, 3,123cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving all four wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 7 seconds

Combined mpg: 25.7

Insurance group: 17

CO2 emissions: 266g/km

BiK rating: 35%

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

Words: Robin Roberts

Keywords: AUDI, A6