You’ve hung up your racing gloves and its now time to look for a comfortable sedan for the family. You’ve got a reasonable budget of RM500k and you’re on the look-out for something more luxurious. With that sort of money, three big premium brands always come to mind: Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. We drive Audi’s A6 3.0T and put it to the test of our stringent four questions.
First, what’s it going to be used for every day in your own terms?
Cars like these are probably going to be daily driven. It has to be visually pleasing and it has to age gracefully over time. The front and rear profile has been facelifted, and you’ll note some sprinkling of Lamborghini in the LED designs. Can’t find fault here as the A6 looks like a sharp dinner suit, fit for all occasions. The driving position is comfortable enough for long drives without destroying your back and despite its size, there’s an expansive view out the rear without any major blind spots. A huge plus that it leaves a lasting positive impression on people; after all, Audis are a far less common sight compared to Mercs and Beemers. First impressions count and the A6 makes an impact and ticks all boxes here.
Question two: Can I live in here for the rest of the car’s life?
Yes, and this is where the A6 shines the brightest. Driving requires the operator to be on point while behind the wheel and this requires good design; and with good design, the A6 is one of the nicest places to be in. It feels really comfortable in the driver’s seat and you’re able to intuitively figure out how things work within the first ten minutes without ever needing to whip out the owners’ manual. The MMI is simple to use and easy to set up with its large 8-inch TFT colour display clearly relays visual information to the driver. The screen can be hidden away with a simple touch of a button. The A6 also comes with Audi Connect Wi-Fi hotspot and Navigation with Google Earth.
Love music? Then you will enjoy being inside the A6; sound reproduction is clear and crisp thanks to the Bose surround system with 14 loudspeakers and a total output of more than 600 watts with subwoofers for a powerful bass reproduction. It’s what I could describe as having a home theatre system in a car.
Passenger comfort is bar none and I’m sure that Audi would keep it that way for a very long time; the front and rear seats are wrapped in Milano leather feels plush to sit in and nice to the touch. The seats are supportive with plenty of leg and headroom to spare, the rear bench seat comes with a centre folding armrest with hidden cup holders and ISOFIX tether points as standard. The rear dual climate control adds comfort to rear passengers who could possibly be a polar bear or a camel. The top bit of the dashboard is made of soft-to-the-touch low-density polyurethane, with other leather soft touch areas are at the right spots.
Question three: Does the A6 deliver driving pleasure in terms of daily driving?
Let’s be honest, even though the missus doesn’t approve of a two-door sportscar, you still want a bit of fun in your daily driver. With the 3.0-litre supercharged TFSI V6 lump, mated to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission, you get a healthy 333hp from 5,300 to 6,500rpm and 440Nm of torque from 2,900rpm up to 5,300rpm. In simpler terms, with the A6 3.0T, you have the ability to effortlessly reach maximum cruising speed in a civilized manner. But plant your foot in the throttle and the A6 tears off the suit and reveals its darker side. Perfect for those with split personalities.
For the environmentally conscious, Audi claims that the A6 3.0 can achieve a lowly fuel consumption of just 5.7 l/100km (17.5 km/l) combined cycle, however as tested, I have managed to achieve 6.5 l/100km (15.4 km/l) on highway, and 8.5 l/100km (11.8 km/l) in the city including the typical KL rush hour, which is impressive for a car this size, my very own Kia Picanto averages at 7.2 l/100km (13.8 km/l).
Question four: Does it provide driving enjoyment?
Most certainly so. This 3.0 version comes with quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a self-locking Centre Crown Differential and torque vectoring, which splits the power between the front and rear by 40:60. This translates to driving dynamics similar to that of a rear-wheel driven car with plenty of front-end bite in corner entry. The century sprint is dispatched in just 5.1 seconds. Yes, almost 3 seconds quicker than the 1.8 TFSI A6 and more fiery than most hot-hatches being sold today.
Not that we’re keeping tabs, but this luxo-barge could easily demolish a Mk7 Golf GTI out on open highways. It might sound silly, but we would happily hoon this car through Ulu Yam roads. At speed, the car shrinks around you, making it easy to place. No, it won’t be as sharp as a hot-hatch up these roads, but you have to remind yourself that this is a luxury saloon and you’re actually keeping up with that hot-hatch ahead of you.
Priced at just under RM500k, this is a lot money for the Audi A6 3.0T. But let’s be honest; there’s a lot of car and this is money well spent. There’s an expansive list of standard equipment as well as safety features. Compared against its rivals, the A6 3.0T easily bests the E400 and 528i M Sports in terms of performance, and walks a tightrope in terms of price; slightly cheaper than Merc’s E400. Yes, significantly more money than the Beemer, but remember that the 528i M Sport has a 2.0-litre fout-pot turbo under its hood.
We think this car will appeal to the high-flier who doesn’t like the idea of compromising quality over practicality and sensibility, one who sets high standards for him or herself. Someone who wants to stand out a little more in the crowd. Yes. Yes, we like.