Super-smooth diesel is pick of the bunch
YOU only have to keep an eye open as you drive around to know that Audi is currently beating the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Lexus for UK sales.
In 1965 Audi sold just 35 cars in the UK – but they have shifted over two million in the five decades since and will have 60 models on sale here by 2020.
Globally, the German manufacturer is currently selling 1.7 million cars each year, many now to the rapidly expanding prestige car market in China.
Things are growing so fast in the UK for Audi that they introduced four revised and upgraded models to UK journalists at once earlier this year – including our test car of the week, the A6, which got styling, engine option, suspension and interior changes.
In fact, we got our hands on the highlydesirable A6 Avant 2.0 TDi ultra S-tronic, which is a 190bhp, rapid load-lugger that can whisk you from 0 to 62 in just 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 140.
And it can do that in comfort while only sipping juice at up to a highly impressive 68mpg.
It has to be said the Mercedes E-Class has a bigger load capacity and BMW’s 5-series touring handles slightly better but the understated and classy Audi is a more superior overall package with strong engines, better looks inside and out and good levels of equipment.
Even the base SE model has leather, bluetooth sat-nav and multi-zone climate control. There is also a mid-range S-line model and a top spec Black Edition.
All the toys were present on our test car, sports leather heated electric memory seats, electric boot opening, premium sound and sat nav and stylish 19” alloy wheels.
However, quite a bit of that was made up of optional extras which pushed the basic £37,715 price up a notch or two to £44,240 – so for that kind of money the Avant needs to be good.
Although A6 Avant motoring can be obtained for slightly less cash as the entry-level spec SE model is £34,345.
Or if money is no object then there is always the rangetopping, fire-breathing 4-litre TFSi 560 RS6 at shade under £78,000 – but you do get a supercar 0-60 time of under four seconds!
Our test car’s fourcylinder diesel is particularly sweet, just as smooth as the larger 3-litre six cylinder oil burner unit offered in 218bhp or 272bhp (twin turbo) tune.
The only petrol versions are those hot 4-litre TFSI models and if you want 4x4 then you have to get the bigger engines too.
The big kid in me particularly liked the way the large sat-nav/ command screen comes out and then up from the centre of the dashboard as you start up.
And speaking of sat-nav the binnacle central display also shows a full colour map and directions when in ‘find my way’ mode, but it is not quite as impressive as in the latest TT models where virtually the whole digital instrument display becomes a detailed map at the flick of a switch, something Audi claim is an industry first.
A week spent with the A6 Avant showed the car was as equal to any tasks, be it taking friends to a posh do or a spring clean clear out trip to the tip.
Our pick of the range would be the on test 2.0TDi ultra, particularly with that lovely S tronic, eight-speed auto gearbox.
More information at www.audi.co.uk.