ALL­ROAD OF­FERS PUNCH

Audi’s lat­est is a good al­ter­na­tive to the Q5, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask ques­tions to which you want an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing would buy one?

WHAT IS IT?

This is Audi’s medium-large A6 wagon with a touch of off-road tough­ness. It an al­ter­na­tive to the Audi Q5 SUV in tra­di­tional wagon mould rather than high rid­ing ``four­bie.’’

The All­road was re­cently re­freshed with ex­te­rior and in­te­rior styling changes tweaks to the pow­er­train. It’s a good look­ing beast that’s for sure.

HOW MUCH?

They ``trimmed’’ the price to $111,900 for lat­est ver­sion but it’s a whole lot of lux­ury wagon with looks that scream class and per­for­mance to match from its diesel en­gine, in­ter­est­ingly, the lower-tech, lower-out­put ver­sion.

WHAT ARE COM­PETI­TORS?

BMW 5-se­ries wagon if they still of­fer one, Benz E-Class they still one and a whole range of SUV’s of­ten at less money.

WHAT’S UN­DER THE BON­NET?

Plenty of power comes from the hi-tech 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel rated at 160kW/500Nm. That’s not a huge amount com­pared with some but the All­road ac­cesses most of this out­put from low en­gine speeds

which gives an ex­cel­lent drive feel. The en­gine has auto stop/start and drives all four wheels through a slick seven speed dual clutch “auto”.

A free­wheel­ing (sail­ing) mode that selects neu­tral on the move op­er­ates free­way sav­ing even more fuel.

HOW DOES IT GO?

Plenty of punch ev­ery­where, min­i­mal noise, smooth auto, grip, quite sporty ac­tu­ally for a big 1900kg wagon. The air sus­pen­sion also helps.

IS IT ECO­NOM­I­CAL?

Sur­pris­ingly good at a mere 5.6 litres/100km for the com­bined mode. That fig­ure would have been un­think­able from car like this decade ago.

IS IT GREEN?

Yes, passes the forth­com­ing EU6

emis­sions reg­u­la­tions.

IS IT SAFE?

Five big ones aug­mented by a healthy amount of driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy in stan­dard form. It’s all up­grade­able (at ex­tra cost) with five op­tion pack­ages.

IS IT COM­FORT­ABLE?

Supremely com­fort­able — leather, four-zone cli­mate con­trol, pre­mium 10 speaker au­dio, up-to- the-minute tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing a vir­tual drive in­for­ma­tion sys­tem pro­jected be­tween the speedo and tacho. Com­pre­hen­sive in­fo­tain­ment ex­pan­sive lux­ury kit right down to the in­te­rior light­ing.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Awe­some. We love the look of it, the fuel econ­omy, get go from

strong diesel, smooth shift­ing trans­mis­sion and sup­ple ride.

IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?

Not against Audi’s own Q5 range.

WOULD WE BUY ONE?

Yep, if we’d won that $70 mil­lion lot­tery a few weeks back, one would def­i­nitely be in the garage.

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