2013 Audi A6 – Test Drive

The Audi A6 is my favorite Mid-Size sedan from the Germans, but all I had towards it was appreciation for its interior, and exterior’s understated design. The Audi A6 is one of the most popular Audi’s around the roads and have been used in various limousine services, which meant it is a good enough car for the masses as well. So, I set up a test drive to do a review of the car and see whether my favorite Mid-Size sedan lives up to my expectations. Say hello everyone to the Audi A6.

The first impressions of the car were below what I had expected, not because there was anything wrong with the car but because I had seen it a lot before, and even sat in a few of them. I was too big of a fan to be surprised by it.
The car I test drove was the 2.8 Litre V6 Top of the range. One can always order additional options to their Audi, so this is technically a Mid-Range, Top of the Range.

The Audi A6 comes in three main engine models; the 2.0 Turbo which has a 2.0 Litre Turbocharged V4 pushing 180 HP and 320 NM of torque to the front wheels. Estimated 0-100 time of around 8.3 seconds and a top speed of around 226 KMPH. The 2.8 Litre V6 pushes out 204 HP and 280 NM of torque through all four wheels with an estimated 0-100 time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 240KMPH. Finally, the 3.0 Litre Turbocharged V6 pushes 310 HP and 440 NM of torque (yikes) with an estimated 0-100 time of 5.5 seconds and a 250 KMPH top speed also through four wheel drive.

I often speak of the differences between the models, but with Audis the differences aren’t that immense in basic form. The standard 2.0T model would basically have no Audi toys, but can also be configured (would take longer for it to be built and shipped here) to almost any specification. That is a the benefit of buying an Audi. Some of the highlight features of the Audi A6 range that are all available on the 3.0T and can be fitted with special request to other models are: Audi’s 3D Google Maps Navigation, LED lights (as in the picture above instead of traditional Bi-Xenon headlights), MMI Touch, extended steering wheel functions, Ambient Lighting, Auto hold, electric steering adjustments, ventilated seats, all round camera, heads-up display, BOSE surround sound, electric boot lid, a whole range of driving sensors from lane departure, radar guided cruise control, high beam assist, blind spot assist, etc and finally a whole range of interior and exterior trim lines.
The model I tried was the Quattro all wheel drive 2.8 litre V6 with 204HP  and 280NM of torque coming from a 7 speed S-Tronic Transmission (Audi for Double Clutch Gearbox). It had all the basic features required for everyday family driving and a few comfort features as well.

The design of the car was quite good. Yes, it is very understated especially without a huge array of LED lights grabbing everyone’s attention while looking like an elegant subtle gentlemen’s car. The front has a nice bonnet with the sides being like sharp muscular shoulders and on the front of the bonnet, sat a nice big grill with a big Audi logo. The car was sitting on 17 inch allow wheels in a 10-spoke design, it matched the car’s color. The lights on this model were Bi-Xenon and had daytime running lights in the shape of a line around the bottom of the headlight (Gone are the dotted LED lights from Audi). It did give a really cool look, especially in the dark.
So, I got into the car, adjusted the seat to my perfect fit and I got to admit, it was very comfortable. I felt supported and the leather was really soft, all around the car. I especially was fond of the steering wheel.
Straight ahead of me sat a big round soft leather covered steering wheel with a world of tech behind it! Let me talk of the toys in this car before I get into how it drove. The entire car wasn’t leather, and the bottom half of the dashboard was in plastic, which seemed alright to touch, no creaks or cheapness (Keeping in mind this was a brand new car)

Up front, sat the instrument cluster which were in white and glowed bright. Everything was crisp and sharp. The center information screen, which sits between the rev-counter and speedometer, displayed a lot of settings. In the section shown above sits the trip computer and general information, where the driver (using the controls on the left of the steering wheel) can go through current speed, fuel consumption, distance covered, etc while below it, reading out the outside temperature, gear selected and similar driving information. Moving to the next section will show the radio controls and use the same controls. Using the buttons on the other side of the steering wheel can control the volume, and even the voice control. There are two more sections in the system, one being the telephone setup/connection section and navigation screen where directions set on the main MMI (Multimedia Interface) screen in the center of the dashboard will show up to guide step by step. All in all, a very intuitive, clear, simple and interesting driver information system.

Behind the steering wheel sits the paddles to the S-Tronic Gearbox, wiper controls, cruise control and manual steering wheel column adjustments. lights are on a circular switch on the left side of the dashboard controlling fogs as well.

The center console is the place where all the main buttons and switches sit.

From the top sits the Audi Multimedia DVD slot, below that sits the buttons that control parking sensors, rear sun shade, traction control and then comes the 4-zone air-conditioning system. It has options to synchronize settings or leave them individual. All settings are shown on the small screen. Individual settings show up on the screen when the relative button is pressed.

Under that comes a small pocket and then the car’s gear leaver. Wrapped in lovely soft leather with a nice metal unlocking button. To the left of the gear leaver comes the Electronic Parking Brake and the Auto-Hold / Auto-Brake. What this does is essentially when the car comes to a complete stop, it will hold the brake for you, so there is no need to constantly be pressing the brake.

Below that comes the touch pad used to select stations or physically write with one’s finger letters and numbers for all input requirements in the system. On the right of the gear leaver sits the start/stop button and the volume controls. I personally like the start/stop button to be on the drivers side rather than on the passengers side, but that I guess reflects back to the kind of passengers I have.

Under all those, sits the main controls for Audi’s MMI screen with 6 shortcut buttons, corner buttons, circular scroller and a back button.
The MMI Screen is very simple and everything is categorized under 7 sections, which are scrolled through the wheel.

Under car section though, is where all the fun actually happened during the drive. That is where the dynamic (sport) mode was hiding.
The drive started off in comfort mode, everything was well laid out and comfortable, the steering felt soft, not too soft but softer than my liking for sure, the throttle also wasn’t up to my expectations either, there was a little gap in the pedal where nothing seemed to really happen and after that gap, the revs climbed a bit quickly. which wasn’t technically what I call supporting smooth driving. Either way, took the car out and drove it and I got to say, the 204 HP engine does pull quite well. Audi states a 8.1 second to hundred but I felt quite quicker, and when I put some counting on to it, it actually could have done better than 8 seconds.

The seating position is a bit low, which might be not ideal for many people, but that’s where the fully electric seating comes into play and one can adjust it easily to liking. I did wish for more power out of the car but it certainly was not slow in normal driving. especially for anyone who isn’t thinking of doing many sprints to hundred the whole day, but I still wanted more…

That is when I popped the car into Dynamic mode! and what a blessing that was! The steering wheel tightened up to almost exactly where I wished it was, when I first turned it in comfort mode, the throttle stopped acting funny and was accurate to my foot. The car does have this little option/feature/downfall (depending on how you look at it) where under full throttle, past a certain high RPM there is a little more accelerator space that opens up, feels almost like you broke the throttle and now it goes a bit more. I later tried shifting manually and that worked quite nice as well, the paddles were soft to pull but had a significant and reassuring click.

The gearbox is smooth, up-shifts are nice, downshifts took a second or so, but worked well. Certainly didn’t have enough time with the car to really explore the gearbox and engine in deep detail nor was I driving it hard enough to really get on the gearbox but for general use and general overtaking and speeding requirement, it did well.
At the back of the car is a similar understated look, it actually looks like an enlarged Audi A4 or a shrinked Audi A8, which although is still elegant, lacks in its own unique and individual look. Inside the trunk was a bit of a surprise as there was a lot more room than I thought.
The car has a respectable 14 cubic feet of cargo space, which is quite decent for two large travel suitcases I believe + smaller items as well. The rear opens through the remote, but isn’t electronic nor has automatic closing.

Speaking of capacities, there is another capacity that is quite large, the fuel tank. The Audi A6 has a 65 litre fuel tank and an estimated  (combined) fuel consumption rating of around 8 litres per 100 KMs, that means Audi claim this A6 can, in essence, do over 800 KMs in one full tank. I never really go with what the manufacturer says in terms of fuel economy, but if it could do 9 litres per 100 KMs, that’s pretty good.
Finally handing over the keyfob was hard. Aside from the fact that it had its own look and feel of luxury, it meant I had to return the car. The car drove well, there were some downfalls like the steering wheel being a tad too big, comfort mode driving characteristics weren’t brilliant, the rear end of the car was a bit boring, and I could have used a bit more power. On the plus side, the ride quality was really good, the build quality was just fantastic and everything felt well made, soft and of a high quality, the front looked aggressive with brilliantly designed lights and the technology in the car, does make driving easier and better.

I had a quick talk in prices, and this exact model of Audi A6 was 213’000 Dhs for the 2013 model, which I think is good value compared to the size, engine and features of similar cars in this range from other manufacturers. In fact, Audi even had an S6 showing in the showroom for 310’000 Dhs which is around the price if a similar range car with 100 less HP.

It still is my favorite Mid-Size Sedan.

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