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The 2.0-litre TDI is easily the best value A6 variant. The 2.0-litre turbo diesel starts at $78,990, $1000 dearer than the 2.0 TFSI petrol. Both are frontwheel-drive with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and in each the Avant wagon adds $4000.
The compact diesel develops 130kW and a decent 380Nm, claiming 5.0 litres/100km and clocking very near that on test. The base 2.0 petrol claims 6.4 litres/100km, has 2kW more power but loses 60Nm to the torquey diesel.
It’s a big jump up the range to the quattro all-wheel-drive sedans with bigger engines, dual-clutch gearboxes and a higher level of kit.
The sweet 2.8-litre V6 allwheel-drive A6 starts at $93,900 and the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 tops out at $121,500.
The other diesel— wonderfully strong with 180kW and 500Nm from its 3.0-litre engine— costs $116,500.
The TDI is arguably the best buy, though the options add up very quickly. Leather, keyless entry and start, dual-zone aircon, cruise control and a 10-speaker stereo are standard. Our test car had the S-Line pack of bi-xenon lights and washers, chrome exhaust tips and scuff plates, adding $5760. A few surprise options include seat heaters at $891, autofolding side mirrors for $490 and alarm for $960.
From A7 and A8, the A6 inherits the big pop-out LCD touchscreen. This slides horizontally out of the dash then flips vertically to display the satnav, Bluetooth, trip computer, audio, tyre pressure monitoring, and front and rear parking cameras with sensors and direction guides.
It also has a touchpad, like a laptop, which is great for scribbling letters for the satnav with your fingertip. A smart sipper, the A6 has auto stopstart to assist with fuel saving.
The standard, switchable feature works quickly enough to cut the engine when stopped, though firing it back up when the brake is released takes a moment longer than optimal. The crank is more noticeable in 2.0-litre guise than the 3.0-litre.
Some argue the A6 approach is classic. It is designed for a