What Car? says...
We live in an increasingly homogenised world, where the biggest difference between rival products is often how they're marketed. However, it's a different story when you look at luxury cars – particularly at the more affordable end, where the Audi A6 competes.
Here, the BMW 5 Series is genuinely the compelling all-rounder, the Jaguar XF the driver’s car, the Mercedes E-Class the comfortable cruiser and the Volvo S90 the respectable alternative choice. This latest A6 needs to get its elbows out, then, and find a USP.
Still, Audi has given it some leverage by filtering down many of the highlights of its bigger brother, the five-star A8, including 12 or 48-volt mild hybrid technology to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. This works by switching off the engine and allowing the A6 to free-wheel when you lift off the accelerator between 34mph and 99mph. It stays silent and unpolluting for up to 40 seconds on the 48-volt models, or 10 seconds with the 12-volt system fitted to the four-cylinder engines.
Speaking of which, these are a 2.0-litre turbo petrol (badged 45 TFSI) and a 2.0-litre diesel (40 TDI), while the 48-volt cars are a 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol (55 TFSI) and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel (50 TDI).
Alternatively, if you're looking for greater electrification, there's now a plug-in hybrid model, called the 50 TFSIe, which combines a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 14.1kWh battery to deliver 0-62mph in 5.5sec and up to 34 miles of fully-electric running between charges. With official CO2 emissions from just 35g/km, this version looks like a particularly appealing option for company car drivers.
Over the next few pages as we'll look at what the Audi A6's strengths (and weaknesses) are, and reveal which of the engines and trims are worth considering. And should you decide at the end that it's the car for you, head over to Our New Car Buying service to see how much you could save on a new A6.
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