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Audi A6 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Craig Duff reviews the Audi A6 allroad at its Australian launch.

Audi's mid-size wagon rides higher, wider and even more handsomely.

I agree with the principle that says buy a wagon rather than an SUV. The ride and handling are in your favour, the load area is not as high...you get the picture.

Audi does a good line of prestige SUVs, but it has a foot firmly in the load-lugging camp with its Avant range of A4 and A6 models.

Last week's launch of the updated A6 wagon line-up benches the regular mid-sized wagon in favour of an "Allroad" quattro model with marginally more ride height and alloy bash plates front and rear.

Previously a limited edition variant, the $111,900 Allroad now rides alongside the stupendously quick RS6 Avant as the wagon choices.

Audi Australia is considering adding a twin-turbo diesel wagon but is still crunching the numbers to see whether it can justify the extra variant. Expect that model to come in close to $150,000 if it is approved.

Value

It isn't hard to appreciate the space in the A6 from any seat. It is harder to justify its premium over an Audi-badged SUV such as the Q5 or Q7 and this is one of the reasons the Allroad will remain a niche vehicle.

Audi has cut the price by $6000 to $111,900 — about $20,000 more than a turbo diesel Q7 and a whopping $34,000 up on a more entertaining SQ5. Not hard to see why so many buyers gravitate to SUVs, then.

For those who do indulge, the A6 Allroad has an impressive array of standard gear and an equally impressive options list to personalise your premium transport. Standard items include four-zone aircon, powered tailgate, 10-speaker audio, digital radio, satnav and adaptive air suspension.

The A6 Allroad isn't going to win awards for steering precision or tactile feedback

Driving

This is set-and-forget driving. The A6 Allroad isn't going to win awards for steering precision or tactile feedback. It will win plaudits for the way it simply gets on with the job of conveying its occupants from point A to B, regardless of the surface conditions.

The adaptive air suspension helps here, regulating the ride height and damping forces depending on speed and conditions. Throw in the signature quattro all-wheel drive and the Audi's plastic-clad wheel arches and alloy bash plates suddenly start to look more practical than poseur.

Dust suppression on the Northern Territory's dirt roads was first rate, as was noise insulation from rocks flicked up against the Audi's undercarriage.

It is equally at home on the freeways. Wind noise is faint and the A6 feels effortless as it lopes along at 130km/h as the suspension — supple over rain-scribed ruts moments ago — stiffens to match the increase in pace.

This wagon has a grip on luxury recreation market its rivals are yet to match

The Allroad is fitted with Audi's multiple driving modes but the default auto setting will do the job for most. Throttle, steering and drivetrain are all happy to adapt to driver inputs.

Hill descent control and off-road stability control mode are standard and there's a screen to display lateral and longitudinal angles when tackling hills.

Verdict

The bank balance is the only sacrifice buyers have to make with an A6 Allroad.

With more space and less body roll than most SUVs, this wagon has a grip on luxury recreation market its rivals are yet to match.

At a glance

Price

The $111,900 sticker price is down by $6000. Metallic paint adds $2280 and there's a $4800 "Technik Package" with adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and 360-degree camera.

Equipment

A faster, higher-resolution graphics card powers the retractable multimedia screen and driver's display, lane-departure and blind-spot warnings are standard and LED headlamps light the way.

Performance

Outputs are down at 160kW/500Nm but the lower weight means performance and fuel economy improve on the outgoing model at 7.3 seconds and 5.6L/100km respectively. Torque surges from a low 1250rpm and the seven-speed auto doesn't have to work hard to find the right cog.

Driving

The Allroad is caster-sugar refined on dirt roads or tarmac. It rewards regular drivers with a predictable, reassuring ride and a high quality workplace. All-wheel drive and the off-road stability control mode give it more bush-bashing potential than most buyers will be comfortable undertaking.

Design

Mirroring the sedan line-up, the wagon gains the pronounced Audi grille and dynamic rear turn indicators that progressively light up from the inside to the outside of the strip lamp. Walnut trim is now the standard inlay; an alloy finish is a no-cost option.

Pricing Guides

$39,888
Based on 11 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$37,999
Highest Price
$57,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.8 TFSI 1.8L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $37,999 – 39,990 2015 Audi A6 2015 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO $30,250 – 36,410 2015 Audi A6 2015 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI S TRONIC S-LINE 2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $36,300 – 43,230 2015 Audi A6 2015 2.0 TDI S TRONIC S-LINE Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $29,700 – 35,750 2015 Audi A6 2015 2.0 TFSI Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$52,800

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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