Audi A6 fond farewell

  • Executive saloon has impressed with its long distance cruising ability
  • Provides superb comfort for four adults and a deceptively large boot
  • S Line trim provides sporty looks and 3.0-litre diesel has plenty of go

If you want a car that grabs you by the lapels and shouts in your face, then the Audi A6 3.0-litre TDi S Line is not for you.

Its design is classy and understated: this is not a car that sets the pulse racing from the moment the keys hit your palms. No, the A6 is subtle. In its time at Parkers the A6 saloon has really grown on me from its sheer breadth of abilities to its tech tricks.

Long distance comfort

The A6 is one comfortable place to be. There are multiple adjustments on the driver's seat (although only lumbar is electrically adjusted) and the steering wheel moves for both rake and reach. Securing a comfortable driving position is not difficult for a range of body shapes and sizes.

What surprised the most is just how fresh I felt after a long drive. Even after a frustrating Good Friday drive to Scotland that took more than nine hours, I still felt fine after spending a large majority of that time behind the wheel.

Majors on practicality

Saloons don’t tend to offer as much practicality as an equivalently-sized estate or 4x4. However, the A6 does a good job of confounding that view with a boot that accommodated four golf bags, two golf trolleys and four pairs of golf shoes.

Yes I had to drop one side of the rear seats, but only so I didn’t have to remove the longer clubs from the golf bag. With the rear seats folded I could also get my bicycle in the car easily with the front wheel removed.

A family trip to Scotland (yes, that nine hour slog north of the border) meant it had to take a long weekend’s worth of clobber, something the A6 managed with ease.

Fast but can be frugal

Given it is a 3.0-litre diesel you can rightly expect a good turn of performance. On paper it can perform the 0-60mph trick in under six seconds – that’s as quick as many a hot hatch.

It’s not so much its outright performance though more the way it does it. All acceleration is very smooth with a quick reaction to the throttle and the seven-speed automatic swaps gears without hesitation.

The only glitch I have found is on cold mornings when the throttle needed a hefty prod before any motion happened. And then you suddenly get a massive lurch as a lot of power kicks in.

Careful cruising with a moderate right foot secured some impressive indicated figures including a 45.6mpg, which is not far off the official claimed figure of 47.

Clever tech and driver aids

The A6 is well equipped with a lot of technology you would expect to find on an executive saloon. Dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, DAB radio and digital media connection, plus parking sensors.

It’s things like the self-parking (steers the car into a parallel parking space), adaptive cruise control (brakes the car if traffic slows and speeds it up when the cars in front speed up) and virtual dipstick that bring a level of magic to ownership.

Throw in some neat little touches such as the boot floor that hooks up out of the way so it is easy to get to the spare wheel and tools, and it only enhances a real sense of satisfaction when holding a set of Audi A6 keys.

So should you buy one?

Plenty of Audi A6 owners rate the car incredibly positively (either four or five out of five stars) and the German executive saloon has evolved through the years to become an incredibly accomplished set of wheels.

It’s no sports car nor is it without fault, but as a long distance cruiser that can effortlessly suck up the miles it is hard to beat. It’s also surprisingly very practical, has some neat tricks and some very useful driver aids (such as blind spot indicators). It’s this combination that proves the A6 as such a great ownership prospect.

We’d swerve this version though and head for the Audi A6 2.0-litre TDI Ultra with the S Tronic automatic. You still get decent performance but fuel consumption is a lot better (at least by 10mpg with real world driving).

Quattro four-wheel drive is nice to have but really only suits those who regularly use back roads in winter when the extra traction can help.

Whichever version you settle on you can be sure that this is one car that grows and grows on you.

Mileage: 6,584 miles

MPG: 38.55mpg (calculated)