2010 Audi A6 | road test

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 by

The A6 sits in the middle of ’s three-sedan range and is, to this reviewer’s mind, the archetypal sedan.

The A4 could be viewed as a salesman’s runabout, with compromises to its price bracket, while the luxury A8 is more of a limo than a traditional sedan.

But the A6 sums up everything that comes to mind when you think of Audi as a brand. It’s good-looking without being flashy and inside, everything just feels like quality. It’s well made using really nice materials and to sit in the cockpit is a pleasant experience all round.

It’s a very comfortable environment, although the seats could do with a bit more support – you’re by no means sitting on top of them, but it would be nice to feel a bit more surrounded. There‘s a huge boot and plenty of room for rear-seat passengers.

2010 Audi A6The instrument binnacle contains a colour screen, which proved really useful – you can control your music choices, see trip computer information and satellite navigation instructions.

The air conditioning is excellent – just as well, in this region. At one point, with the settings on auto, I actually felt cold, which is quite rare in the desert heat.

For those needing refreshment on journeys, there’s only one full-time cup holder in the front, which caused my passenger to have to hold onto her drink during a long journey. We later discovered another under the armrest, but if you use it you can’t rest your arm on anything.

Another niggle is with Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) system, which controls the stereo, satellite navigation and various other in-car systems using the in-car LCD screen. Generally it’s fairly intuitive to use, but the twisty dial used to navigate menus, is the wrong way around. Logically, if you want to zoom in you’d turn the dial to the right, and turn it left to move out. Likewise to scroll down a menu screen you’d turn the dial right, and left to go up.

2010 Audi A6

Not with Audi – it’s all backwards and very annoying. Another MMI annoyance is the way that it deals with external music. A hard drive is included to record all your own music to a library. But the car doesn’t come as standard with an auxiliary input slot or an iPod dock, which seems a bit weird in this day an age. Instead, you have to use an SD card to bring in your music. Having canvassed my friends, I don’t know anyone that keeps their music on an SD card – what an odd way to go from Audi.

Performance-wise, the 3.0-litre V6 engine is very refined, very smooth and very quick. It’s actually a supercharged unit, despite the 3.0TFSI name – Audi kept it for continuity following turbocharged engines of the past. Put your foot down and you have grunt available from low in the rev range.

 

 

There is a slight delay in the reaction of the gearbox, which is a traditional automatic affair rather than a more modern dual-clutch S tronic number. Having sampled the ultra-quick delights of the dual-clutch ‘box, it seems a shame to go back to more archaic technology as the S tronic boxes found in other Audis are quicker to react and much smoother, whether shifting cogs manually using the wheel-mounted paddles, or relying on the full auto mode.

2010 Audi A6

The steering is quite clever. At low speeds it’s very light and very easy to flick the wheel around and manoeuvre, but as you build up speed the weight of the steering increases. Other cars have similar systems but most tend to feel rather artificial. In the A6, however, it feels very good – as long as you bear in mind that this is not a sports sedan. The feeling through the wheel and the weight of the steering is just what you’d hope for in a car of this type.

Handling is excellent. Thanks to a great chassis, quattro four-wheel drive and the steering system mentioned above, the A6 whips around corners easily and with confidence. It’s not a sporty car but you can enjoy driving it – there’s enough poke and feel to get involved in the experience.

2010 Audi A6

The A6 is very quiet on the go thanks to some excellent sound insulating. You can just sit back and cruise, and even at motorway speeds you could have a whispered conversation with the front seat passenger, should you be so inclined.

Generally, the A6 does everything really well and is a great example of how a car should be made. There’s nothing flashy here, no gimmicky features and a few minor quibbles aside, the A6 is a fine portrayal of the modern premium sedan – solid, well made, good to drive, fine-looking and an above average performer all around.

2010

Price (AED): From 220,000

Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged V6

Max power (bhp/rpm): 290/4,850

Max torque (Nm/rpm): 420/2,500

Transmission: Six-speed tiptronic automatic

Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive

Standard safety features: ABS, front and side airbags, ESC, ISOFIX child seat mounting points, ASR (traction control), electronic brake force distribution, EDL (electronic differential).

 

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