Su­per-smooth diesel is pick of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

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.

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