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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Executive express offers great value

AUDI’S A6 is a true executive express which conveys a more subtle, more discerning image than some of its German rivals, writes NICK FLETCHER.

The A6 comes in saloon and Avant (estate) versions and even entry level models are stacked with technology and offer a beautifully refined driving experience.

Latest versions are sleeker, lighter and more economical. They are priced from £30,145 to £41,640, making them extremely good value in their sector.

Standard specification includes stop-start, park assist, cruise control, light and rain sensors, sat-nav, multi-media system and keyless entry. While there is a 3.0 litre petrol engine, Audi says that 98 per cent of buyers go for the diesel option, so there are three diesel units available with different outputs.

I recently tested an A6 saloon in 2.0 litre diesel form, the SE entry-level version with 174hp on tap. Despite a sub-nine second 0-60mph time, it returns outstanding fuel economy – 57.6 mpg combined.

Visually the A6 is a stunner, long, low and elegant, yet with a strong hint of coiled power. Its styling is beautifully understated and that adds to its cool charisma and provides additional appeal in the important business sector.

Driving dynamics are beyond reproach: the steering is sharp and responsive, partly due to a new electro-mechanical power steering system and lightweight suspension.

The manual gearbox ratios are well spaced for smooth and eager power delivery. Road-holding is excellent even if you push hard, and the ride quality has regal suppleness.

The cabin of the A6 exudes an instant impression of high quality, an immaculate standard of finish and an excellent layout of switchgear. Seating is ultra-comfortable and there is generous space for five adults, all of whom will enjoy lots of leg and headroom. Boot space is generous too at 530 litres, through the rear seat can still be folded to almost double that capacity – very useful in a saloon.

Standard equipment is remarkable for an entry-level model, and includes leather upholstery, cruise control, alloys, front and rear parking sensors, auto lights and wipers and even memory-function on the driver’s seat.

As an overall package, this Audi A6 delivers great value, refined driving and plenty of cool street-cachet. And though I tried, I just couldn’t find any appreciable flaws!

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