Audi A6 40 TDI S

line S tronic

Audi A6 Saloon, front
Audi A6 Saloon, front
Audi A6 Saloon, side
Audi A6 Saloon, side
Audi A6 Saloon, rear
Audi A6 Saloon, rear
Audi A6 Saloon, rear
Audi A6 Saloon, interior
Audi A6 Saloon, front

SUV models might have been topping the sales charts in recent years but the saloon is fighting back.

And the latest to champion the cause is the new Audi A6, a super sleek executive saloon that sets new standards.

The fact that the eighth generation of the A6 features many of the refinements and innovations that were applauded when they were unveiled on the German car maker's flagship A8 goes some way to explaining just how good this car is.

The new svelte profile - really more fastback than saloon, the large, imposing grille and the sculpted bonnet give the new model far more road presence than its predecessor.

And while it may look longer than the model it replaces the dimensions are similar, although a longer wheelbase ensures far more generous interior space for passengers.

But for me the most impressive feature of the new 2.0-litre TDI model - now badged 40 TDI which implies 4.0-litre but it isn‘t - is the quietness and torque of the car.

There was a time a few years ago when 1.9-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines were constantly being pushed into giving more and more bhp resulting in faster cars but at the expense of refinement.

For this A6, however, the Volkswagen Audi Group has developed a 204bhp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine which gives impressive performance combined with super smooth power delivery. In fact this engine is so smooth it's very difficult to distinguish it from a six-cylinder one.

It's torquey, responsive and makes the new A6 a pleasure to drive, particularly on long motorway journeys.

The seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox is seamless in use and when you want to liven things up a little you can use the paddles behind the steering wheel for changing gear.

As usual there's the option on the gear shift of driving in Sport and you can also set the car up to suit your mood on the day with a button selector offering the choice of efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual driving modes.

The interior of the car is classy rather than flashy with contrasting brushed aluminium and gloss black panelling.

Two large touch screens are set in the centre of the dashboard, the upper one for satellite navigation and operating numerous on-board features and the lower one for the heating and heated seat controls.

The upper screen also gives you a good view of what's behind you when reversing thanks to a rear-view camera, the lens of which you can keep clean with a jet of water via an on screen button.

And the virtual dials mean you can alter the size and view of the speedometer and rev counter to suit your driving style.

The driver's seat automatically moves you to your pre-selected driving position as you hit the push button starter and away from the steering wheel as you switch off, for an easier exit.

The A6 is a large car by any standards and as such offers you generous luggage space with some 530 litres available beneath the boot lid.

Despite its size it's a very easy car to drive and the handling and steering are spot on.

Leave it in dynamic for a firmer suspension set up and you could be driving a high speed sportscar, but with the bonus of plenty of space for the family.

FAST FACTS

Audi A6 40 TDI S line S tronic

Price: £41,110

Mechanical: 204bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 152mph

0-62mph: 8.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions: 117g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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