What is it?
Why will I buy it?
Smooth and refined engine, competitively priced
Why will I avoid it?
Lacks charm, Limited powertrain choices
What is it?
This is the new Audi A6 that was recently launched in India at a starting price of Rs 54.2 lakhs, ex-showroom. However, this over here, is the top-of-the-line Technology Plus trim that retails for around Rs 70 lakhs on-road. Is it worth this price tag? Let's find out.
This is the eighth generation A6 that boasts of a fresh set of cosmetic and feature updates. However, this premium sedan is available only as a petrol model for now. It comes in three trims – 35TFSI Technology, 45TFSI Premium Plus and what we have here is the top-spec 45TFSI Technology. It's a new model that is underpinned by the parent company Volkswagen’s MLB platform. As a result, it is larger than the model that it replaces. Its overall length creates a strong impression in itself, while the dual-tone alloy wheels add more appeal.
We have seen over the years as to how the A6's design has evolved from rounded edges to a sharper design. This one looks even sportier now. A larger grille flanked by angular headlights and prominent creases gives it a more aggressive look. I particularly appreciate the futuristic LED lighting package. Then, the chrome strip that extends across the LED tail lamps and the simple bumper manage to keep things minimal yet elegant.
How is it on the inside?
Once you get inside the A6's cabin, you will instantly feel at home. The overall design and layout are typical Audi. And it pampers you with some luxury equipment. The fit, finish and quality throughout the cabin are top-notch. Any element you lay your eyes or hands onto, be it the leather, brushed metal, piano black or wooden inserts, hint at premiumness and luxury. Yet, there's something amiss which probably could have made you feel even more special.
The USP here is the two touch screens that are a part of the brand's latest MMI system. Interestingly, the upper screen runs Audi’s latest MMI system and the lower screen is for climate control and other functions. But it does take some time to get used to and the fact that it deviates the driver's attention is a bit of a concern. Otherwise, in terms of in-car and infotainment functions, there's a lot on offer. There's a sunroof, then Audi's typical Virtual cockpit all-digital instrument cluster and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. What's more, you get powered front seats with memory function for the driver, a four-zone auto climate control and even a hands-free parking function. Still, it could probably have done better with a pair of screens to keep the rear occupants entertained.
Coming to the seating, the front seats are quite comfortable with a large squab and good support. The same is the case with the rear seats. But, I'm impressed with the space that it offers. The second row is spacious owing to the increase in cabin length by 21mm, rear legroom by 17mm, and now there's more headroom too - 8mm in front and 11mm at the rear. It also makes for a good chauffeur-driven car.
How does it drive?
There's no diesel model on offer and the Audi A6 is limited to a petrol engine. This, however, is a BS6-compliant 2.0-litre petrol in the 45TFSI guise. This engine produces 241bhp of power and 370Nm of torque, which is on par with its rivals. And it comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels. What quickly impresses you is the refinement of the engine. It's barely audible. And despite you flooring it, the gear shifts are so smooth and there's only a slight buzz of the engine. That said, it’s evident that the gear shifts are not the quickest but never let you wanting for more.
The different driving modes including efficiency, comfort, auto, dynamic and individual help alter the throttle response. There is ample power and torque to keep the momentum going and yet it just takes a downshift to make a quick overtake. In entirety, it sums up to a tractable engine, be it in the city or the highway.
How is it to handle, you may ask? I would say very easy, despite being such a long sedan. The steering is light and quick and never makes you feel you are manoeuvring a big car. It might seem like the absence of the air suspension here might be a bummer. But it certainly isn’t. The suspension is nicely tuned to absorb bumps and takes the post-monsoon marred roads with ease. It sure doesn't feel as good as it would have with the air suspension, but it still sails comfortably at high speeds. That said, the tyre noise becomes audible in the cabin.
Should I buy one?
Despite the cosmetic changes, for me, it still lacks the appeal of the 5 Series or the E-Class. And with the limited powertrain choices, I still wonder if it will work in Audi's favour. But then, this new-gen model gets most new-age goodies, is bigger than the outgoing model and most importantly, is slightly more affordable than its direct rivals. So, the new Audi A6 is indeed a well-packaged product. It has adopted many evolutionary changes that make it a mature looking car; it is well-equipped with new tech, gets a spacious and comfortable cabin and even rides well for the most part. Owners who like to be driven around in the comfort of the rear seat will surely consider this given its competitive pricing.