For a long time now, it has been accepted that E-numbers are bad for you. However, Audi seems determined to change all that with a new version of its A6 executive car, badged e, which stands for efficient.
Its powered by Audis 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine that puts out 134bhp and 236lb ft of pulling power, but the headline figures are a CO2 output of just 139g/km and average economy of 53.3mpg. To put that into perspective, the arch-rival BMW 520d puts out just 136g/km and manages 55.4mpg. Its close.
The Audi has achieved this through low-rolling-resistance tyres, brake-energy regeneration, lowered sports suspension and longer gearbox ratios in the six-speed manual transmission.
Ride and handling
However, while its all well and good offering a car that uses less fuel and puffs out fewer nasty gases, people wont buy it if it drives like a tricycle with solid tyres.
The good news is that the A6 doesnt. Its steering is light and sharp, if devoid of feedback, and once up to speed the A6 cruises along quietly.
Its not perfect, though. That combination of relatively low-powered diesel and long gearing means that getting up to speed is not the work of a moment. Once youve eventually reached your cruising speed, the sports suspension means that youll become intimately aware of the grade of Tarmac youre driving over, and how much care the road crew took when laying it.
Still, with a list price starting from under 25k and an 18% company car tax banding, youll notice that the es numbers feel good for you after all.
Eco A6 is brilliant value and cheap to run
Audi A6 2.0 TDI e
On sale Now
Youll like Its cheap to buy and run
You wont Its slow, and its bumpy