Audi A6 2009 review
It's a calorie-free fact that Audi has more models and engine choices than that Baskin Robbins has ice cream colours and flavours. There's also the fact that one-quarter of Audi's range is diesel and even here there's a choice of five engines ranging from a 1.9-litre sipper to a 4.2-litre stonker. So it's odd that Audi introduces a 2.7-litre engine to separate its 2-litre and 3-litre diesels. Why bother? Because it's not just about the size.
Drivetrain and economy
The 2.7 is Audi's latest turbo-diesel. Like the 3-litre, it's a V6 but adds low-friction engine components and low-drag steering and oil pumps. Audi claims fuel savings of up to 15 per cent and rates the 2.7-litre turbo-diesel in the A6 at 6.4 litres/100km — pretty good for a big saloon even though this city-bound test recorded a more modest 8.2 l/100km.
If you're happy with that — and can afford the $84,500 entry fee — you'd be even more delighted knowing you have saved a fair amount of sales tax. Thanks to the A6 2.7's low fuel thirst of less than 7 l/100km, the 33 per cent Luxury Car Tax kicks in at $75,000, not the $57,180 of thirstier rivals. Effectively, the A6 2.7 buyer pays the tax on $9500, not $17,320. Personally, it's a tax on a tax and shouldn't even exist but it's now written and unlikely ever to be erased. But it will be the last thing on your mind after getting the A6 on the road.
This is a big car that thinks it's a small car and in comparison to the BMW 5-Series 530d, is arguably more comfortable, better built, easier to operate and cheaper. In the BMW's favour, the 5-Series handles better and has a more sporty nature.
The Audi is more a saloon. The 2.7 comes only in the front-wheel drive version with a continuously-variable (automatic) transmission. It's suited more to the person who wants a luxury car with outstanding build quality, exceptional range (this will go up to 1250km in the country) and plenty of room and features. If you want a sports car, look elsewhere.
The A6 will lope along in the country yet is benign as a small car in the city. The handling is very good. Not excellent like the 530d mainly because the Audi has its diesel engine forward of the front axle and therefore — despite lots of work including an alloy bonnet and fenders — is a tad nose-heavy into tight corners.
This quirk won't concern any but the most discerning driver. For the rest, take it from me that this is an accurate, comfortable and always confident five-seater. A lot of its appeal is its ease of use and simple controls. The park brake is electronic and consists merely of a postage stamp-size console button.
The central controller allows access to a host of vehicle operations to fine tune it to the driver. But it has preset buttons so finding everything is quick. The rear seats are split and fold down so long objects can be stored, so adding an element of versatility to the car. And while we're in the big boot, there's a full-size spare wheel.
The cabin also gets woodgrain and leather and the front seats have electric adjustment. It's a top car and shows that the diesel really is suited to the luxury car sector.
Audi A6 2.7 TDI
Engine: 2.7-litre, V6, turbocharger, intercooler
Power: 140kW @ 3500-4400rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 1400-3500rpm
Transmission: CVT automatic, 7-speed preset; front-drive
Performance: 0-100km/h 7.9 seconds, top speed 277km/h
Economy: (official): 6.4 litres/100km, tested): 7.2 litres/100km
Emissions: 169g/km (Corolla: 175g/km)
BMW 530d ($116,250) — 83/100
Jaguar XF diesel ($116,250) — 85/100
Mercedes E220CD ($80,900) — 83/100
Volvo S80 D5 ($73,950) — 84/100
Range and Specs
|2.0 TDI||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$9,900 – 13,530||2009 Audi A6 2009 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$6,600 – 9,350||2009 Audi A6 2009 2.0 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|2.7 TDI||2.7L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$11,110 – 15,180||2009 Audi A6 2009 2.7 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.8 FSI||2.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$7,480 – 10,560||2009 Audi A6 2009 2.8 FSI Pricing and Specs|