Audi A6 Sedan 3.0 TFSI Qu S Tronic Review
A6 With A 6

clifford chow
22 Apr 2019
 

The interior is truly a pleasant place to be in for a long time

The new fifth-generation Audi A6 (if you do count the preceding 100 model, then this is the 8th generation car) delivers impressive drive characteristics and passenger comfort.

Their new executive sedan is enveloped with crisp lines, and pinched to deliver a sense of lightness; a good way to communicate to the viewer things that cannot be noticed, like the car’s extensive use of lightweight aluminium.

The new A6 reflects Audi’s new Full-Size class design language, which is similar in styling to the flagship A8. The mid-sized Audi does however sport more pronounced “Quattro Wheel Arches”, which to me hints of a little bit of the RS6 (to come).

There is also a greater play on its lighting design. Headlamps now feature five LED strips in each lens, functioning as daytime running lights. At the rear, an intricate assembly of 9 vertical 3D light fins and yes; they have also included their (now copied) signature dynamic turn signal lights… something we find very pretty indeed.

Like its larger sibling, the A6 also sports a similar domed roof line, with large rear quarter glass, which helps to create that luxuriously long cigar-shaped silhouette.

Inside

With among the best interior builds in the business, Audi has also done a great job with carrying over some of the design cues from the A8, like ledge on the dash, which pushes out the aluminium-framed gloss black control panel, which is tilted at an angle this time to face the driver; and houses the car’s 10.1” MMI touchscreen, with a second 8.6” unit for the air-conditioning controls sited below.

Both units feature haptic feedback, which works with the help of an electromagnetic magnet and a spring; and allows the display to move roughly the width of a human hair when depressed, while a ‘click’ sound, mimicking the sound of buttons being depressed is played through the car’s speakers.

Air-conditioning toggles also feature virtual slider controls, which are easier to use if you are not keen on poking at prodding at the screen to change the fan speed or drop the temperature. Voice control is also available, where users can ask the system questions related to their journey in a natural manner, quite similar to how Google Home works.

One of my gripes with the dual glass screens though are that they are magnets for fingerprints, and a soft lens cloth kept within reach would be a good solution for removing nasty streaks of oil. Rear seat passengers also have access to their very own climate control touch screens.

Like other new and larger Audi cars, analogue instrument dials have been ditched for a digital 12.3” instrument cluster. The change offers greater flexibility to users, with various bits of drive information or even wayfinding information can be displayed within line-of-sight. A 22cm x 8cm head-up display, which projects onto the windshield itself allows drivers to keep their eyes onto the road.

Just like the A8, the new A6 now features a ‘shift-by-wire’ system, and utilises a neater spring-loaded gear shift lever. Our test car sports what Audi calls aluminium fragment inserts; and while they do look neat, they might seem visually cold to some drivers. They also do reflect light into your face while you drive during certain times of the day. There is the option for wood inserts, which will not only take the glare away; but in my opinion, will make the interior feel more opulent.

Cargo room is at a respectable 530 litres, and the rear seats do fold in 40:20:40 fashion for added flexibility.

The Drive

Audi’s 3.0 V6 TFSI Budack cycle engine is lighter by 14kg, and produces 340hp and 500Nm from 1,370 - 4,500rpm. Drive to all four wheels is provided through a 7-speed S-tronic transmission. 0-100km/h is delivered in an impressive 5.1 seconds.

Delivery of the drive seems a little more clinical, similar in character to a German soccer team where the car gets the job done very well, but without much flair. Equivalent rear-driven German counterparts however, do tend to deliver the goods with a little more driver satisfaction. That said, the A6 does drive very well; and as a daily driver, it is very hard to fault the car in its near-excellent delivery of sportiness and comfort.

With mild hybridisation as part of the A6’s drive architecture, Audi claims that the car is able to save an additional 0.7 litres of fuel for every 100km driven. The 48 volt system allows the car to coast from speeds between 55 to 160km/h, while the engine is shut off. The system takes over all the car’s auxiliaries, and with the help of a forward-facing camera, laser scanner and long-range radar, helping the car to decide if it should coast or recuperate for energy loss.

The engine’s ‘Start-Stop’ function kicks in from 22km/h, just to shave off that added bit of fuel usage. The same camera, laser scanner and long-range radar also works within heavier traffic situations, predicting when vehicles in-front are about to move off, and utilises its Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) to restart the car, eliminating delays in restarting and taking off.

The same set of scanners, coupled with the car’s 360 camera suite, and side ultrasonic sensors, enhances driver safety by constantly monitoring the road situation around the car. The system is easily adjustable to individual needs.

The new A6 has a marginally longer wheelbase of 2,924mm, 12mm more than the car it replaces. With its available four-wheel steering, bundled with the sunroof, which sets you back for about $11,000; the A6 delivers an impressive 11.1m turn circle; in contrast the smaller Audi A4 turns with a marginally larger 11.6m. Very useful, especially with cars getting noticeably larger each generation. The rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to speeds of up to 60km/h. For speeds above 60km/h, the rear end steers in tandem with the front, up to 5 degrees for added high-speed stability and passenger comfort when changing lanes.

Its adaptive suspension does a good job of ensuring those large 225/40 R20 wheels do not mis-behave on the road. When ‘Dynamic’ driving mode is selected, the car performs wonderfully, delivering the kind of driver confidence you would come to expect from something built for even quicker speeds.

Aerodynamics, and more importantly for our day-to-day usage, Aeroacoustics, where the constant buffeting from wind hitting parts of the car’s bodywork, which could mar what would be a pleasant driving experience have been extensively worked out. The A6 has does this with the help of an air curtain, where its inlets are neatly tucked away in the front bumper. Even the edges of the taillamps, according to Audi, have been designed with separation of airflow in mind. Door seals have also been designed with wind noise reduction in-mind.

Our Thoughts

The A6 delivers very well on driver dynamics, albeit with delivery leaning a little more on the clinical side. The interior is truly a pleasant place to be in for a long time; great for those who may need to clock some serious mileage.

We also like that the car is loaded with heaps of tech, plenty of which you cannot see, but you can actually feel working for you. The sweet V6 engine is smooth in delivery of its drive, and we do like its road presence.

And yes, Audi will have a milder 2.0 4-cylinder model on its way as well.

In Summary

We Like

A very beautifully-crafted car, Smooth delivery of drive, Handling (especially with the four-wheel steering), Near-flawless interior quality, Tech galore

We Don't

Glass bits in the interior a constant magnet for fingerprints, Aluminium Fragment trim reflects too much light, Drive might come across as a little lacking in character

Verdict

Most of us will not drive around in an Executive sedan with a hint of the rear end hanging out around the bends. The A6 is luxuriously built, and is a very driver-friendly car, with its signature quattro drive, delivering more neutral drive characteristics. Its optional 4-wheel steering comes highly recommended, especially in Singapore, where it is not uncommon to find yourself in rather tight confines… and the plus is that you get even more comfort during higher speeds

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Engine

Engine Capacity 2995cc Turbocharged
Engine Type V 6
Power 250bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 500Nm @ 1370rpm
Power to Weight 136.2 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 5.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7-speed S tronic transmission
Drive Type F4
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4939 x 2110 x 1457) mm
Wheelbase 2924 mm
Turning Circle 11.1 metres
Kerb Weight 1835 kg
Boot Capacity 530 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 63 L

Brakes