Audi A6: Icy conditions

A6 copes with Arctic weather

The recent cold weather hasn't made driving a particularly enjoyable experience. Unlike mainland Europe, we Brits don't seem able to cope with even a light dusting of snow or icy roads. On the continent everyone carries on as normal while the UK grinds to a halt.

Living in the countryside doesn't help. While main A-roads are gritted, the smaller lanes near me are left to fend for themselves. Journeys to work can be an interesting experience...

The A6 copes well, although a very short first gear and that sudden power delivery from the TDI engine means smooth progress can be tricky. But what has really impressed me in the cold weather is how effective the air conditioning is.

Warming up nicely

Even when the car has been sat for a few days - and is covered in snow - it takes just two or three minutes for the system to heat up once the engine is switched on. Unlike our Ford Mondeo the A6 doesn't have a Quickclear windscreen or heated seats, but the air con (set on on high) is so quick, it almost makes up for it.

So even on short journeys, the A6 warms up nicely. I thought that perhaps this was because our car has covered a fair few thousand miles, but recently I tested a facelifted A6 that only had 2,000 miles on the clock and its air conditioning system proved equally as effective.

One feature is annoying though. Even without the 'auto' button switched on, the air con does seem to have a mind of its own. So I'll often set the fan speed to 3 and a few minutes later it's decided to boost itself to 8 or 9 (with the accompanying racket).



Current mileage: 27258

Average mpg: 34.8