Mercedes CLS63 2013 Review
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As if the Audi A6 allroad quattro were not special enough, the German automobile manufacturer has brought out a Limited Edition for those automotive Oliver Twists who ask for more.
The third generation of the Avant (that’s Audi speak for station wagon) has just dropped in Down Under and with only 150 cars, replete with the latest features on offer, is odds-on to have buyers digging deep for the $117,900-plus to park one in the garage.
Highlights include adaptive air suspension with controlled damping, four-zone air-conditioning, electric opening and closing tailgate, 20-inch five-parallel spoke alloy wheels, heated front seats and a choice of four metallic paint colours.
The multimedia information system features a touchpad by which the driver can enter a destination or telephone number by drawing them on the control panel with a finger. The system repeats each entry audibly, so the driver can keep looking at the road.
Sluggish? Tramp on the accelerator pedal and the wagon will hit 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds from rest before being pulled up at a strangely odd speed of 236 km/h – 180 kW of power and 580 Nm of torque from the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 see to that.
A seven-speed S tronic transmission with torque vectoring through the Audi quattro drive looks after the traction equation. The motor is fitted with a stop / go function to conserve fuel.
Want to throw the big fella around? You can thanks to electromechanical power steering, Audi drive select dynamic handling system adaptive air suspension with controlled damping, while big brakes go to work on those big-diameter wheels.
At almost five metres long and two metres wide the Audi A6 allroad quattro has an imposing on-road presence, from the expansive 23-slat aluminium look single radiator grille through broad fenders filled out with 20-inch wheels and on to a sculpted rear, finished off with a stainless steel underbody guard.
Xenon lights, including daytime running lights, are standard, with the option of LED headlamps featuring an automatic dipping function which takes into consideration the approach of oncoming traffic.
On the downside, from the rear the vehicle has a dated look – a mish-mash of angles and surfaces appear to be competing with each other for attention, while the rear view from the driver’s seat, severely limited, is alleviated only by an efficient rear-view camera and distance warning sensors.
Chromium plating was once considered the sign of class in a European car. In the case of the American automobile, excessive use means the less said about the corrosion resistant decoration the better.
These days such highlights can still be found on the more expensive machines but the use of aluminium has the added advantage of being lighter than steel. Both feature to great effect in the A6 allroad quattro Limited Edition, the chrome as restrained highlights, including twin flat-bottom exhaust tailpipes, the latter in weight-saving aluminium components making up 20 per cent of the body.
A wheelbase of close to three metres means there’s ‘broad acreage’ inside the A6 allroad quattro. Leg room front and back is expansive and shoulder space up front benefits from the seats being 20 millimetres further apart than in the previous model.
The luggage area is impressively versatile with room for 595 litres of kit. With the back seats folded away this is increased to 1680 litres. Loading width is 1050 mm, the lip 624 mm high. Load length is 1181 mm, 785 mm more with the back rests folded.
The test vehicle included Audi’s load-securing kit consisting of a telescopic bar and belt for flexible partitioning of the space. The tailgate is electrically operated at the press of a button and works in conjunction with an automatic cargo cover.
A range of roof racks is on offer to allow for the transport of sports and recreation gear, and modifications to body components and engine management mean the A6 allroad quattro can tow up to two-and-a-half tonnes.
Interior trim of the test car – black leather with brown inserts – had me wondering at the designer’s colour sense but I grew to almost like it. I could have got used to optional head-up display, ambient lighting, front seat ventilation and massage function had it been included.
Limited Edition the new A6 allroad quattro may be, but Audi has loaded it up with active and passive safety and driving aids. There’s vehicle distance warning with the adaptive cruise control, lane assist, side assist and park assist with a camera giving an all-round view close to the vehicle.
Hill start assist, a tilt angle display plus hill descent assist help prevent the bulky wagon from escaping the driver’s clutches on awkward hilly terrain on or off road.
During my stint with the car there was odd time there was some hesitancy to react for a second or two until the turbo spooled up. On the upside, the new motor has cut fuel consumption by 16 per cent over its predecessor.
With an SUV-like ground clearance of 175mm, the air suspension lowers the body by 15 millimetres at high speed and raises it by 35 millimetres at the push of a button.
Without venturing into the wilds, the A6 allroad quattro showed itself to be a relatively spritely performer for such a bulky vehicle but surrendered itself to some understeer on corners at speed, especially if they tightened up late in the manoeuvre.
Over an easy cruise on the motorway the A6 allroad quattro Limited Edition went through a frugal 5.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, most impressive for a big car with a high-power engine. Around town, it hovered around eight litres per 100 kilometres, still an impressively low number.
Audi A6 allroad quattro 3.0 TDI S tronic
Price: from $117,900
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited
Crash rating: n/a
Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl petrol, 180kW/580Nm
Transmission: 7-speed; AWD
Thirst: 6.3L/100km 165g/km CO2
Dimensions: 4940mm (L), 1898mm (W), 1452mm (H)
Weight: 1715kg; 1790kg
|2.0 TDI||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$16,990 – 22,880||2013 Audi A6 2013 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 Tfsi||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$18,200 – 25,410||2013 Audi A6 2013 2.0 Tfsi Pricing and Specs|
|2.8 FSI Quattro||2.8L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$17,000 – 23,650||2013 Audi A6 2013 2.8 FSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 TDI Biturbo Quattro||3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO||$29,988 – 40,800||2013 Audi A6 2013 3.0 TDI Biturbo Quattro Pricing and Specs|