Even so, many buyers are likely to pay the £2350 premium for S line trim, which adds lowered, stiffened suspension, larger alloy wheels, sports seats, bespoke front and rear bumpers, xenon headlights and LED rear lights.
The extensive options list is likely to prove tempting, too, with luxuries such as cooled, massaging seats, TV reception and a head-up display to choose from.
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Turn your A6 into a mobile office
Choose the optional Technology Package (£1500) and you can cram the A6 with even more high-tech toys. The upgraded satellite-navigation system features Google Earth images, and you also get a touchpad that allows you to draw the first letter of a destination using your fingers. You even get wi-fi hotspots, providing internet access for passengers on the move.
The 2.0 TDI SE's £30,145 list price is £715 higher than a BMW 520d SE's, but the BMW doesn't come with sat-nav. Running costs will be similar, due to the A6's low CO2 emissions.
Every A6 comes with engine stop-start and energy recuperation systems to save fuel, but the 2.0 TDI's combination of front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox gives an official average of 57.6mpg and a 129g/km CO2 emissions figure. Those figures are identical to the BMW 520d's. A coincidence? We think not. Audi has done an impressively thorough job with the new A6.
What Car? says
Strong in every area. Rivals should be worried
Full Audi A6 review