First Drive3.0-litre diesel Audi A6 makes it almost the perfect all-round large estate for those uninterested in driving
First DriveCosmetic, equipment and efficiency tweaks serve to increase the appeal of Audi’s practical A6 estate
What is it?
The Audi A6 Avant has got a package of mid-term revisions, the most exciting of which being an all-new 3.0-litre TFSI V6 petrol engine, which combines both direct injection and supercharging.
With 287bhp and 309lb ft of torque it effectively replaces both the previous 3.2-litre V6 and 4.2-litre V8 powerplants.
The new model’s performance figures are respectable – a 6.1 second 0-62mph time and a limited 155mph top speed, but Audi is more keen to make play of its improved economy and emissions.
The 3.0 TFSI Avant manages 29.7mpg on the combined cycle and puts out 223g/km of CO2, keeping it (just) outside the top VED band, despite a standard automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive.
What’s it like?
The A6 still lacks the driving appeal of its most obvious premium German rivals, but the new engine certainly gives it a new lease of life.
The TFSI V6 is a strong performer, combining low-down supercharged shove with more top-end zing than you’d expect from a force-fed powerplant.
The standard six-speed gearbox does a decent job under low intensity use, but it tends to kick down over-enthusiastically when asked to provide brisker progress.
On the motorway the quickest non-‘S’ A6 is an accomplished mile-muncher. The ride quality feels over-busy on anything other than smooth tarmac, but road and wind noise are very well contained.
It’s eminently possible to combine brisk progress with a trip computer showing better than 30mpg.
The A6’s well-finished cabin is still an excellent place to spend time, and the MMI control interface for the audio and optional satnav systems is still pleasingly easy to use.
So, should I buy one?
If you’ve got a marked aversion to diesel fuel then the 3.0 TFSI quattro is worth considering – but if not, the excellent 3.0-litre TDI V6 quattro costs almost exactly the same with the optional autobox, offers comparable real-world performance and delivers an extra 10mpg.