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Refreshed Audi A6 has all the hallmarks to be new executive saloon class leader

PUBLISHED: 09:59 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 29 August 2018

Refreshed Audi A6 gets revised looks, mild hybrid engines and new technology. Picture: Audi

Refreshed Audi A6 gets revised looks, mild hybrid engines and new technology. Picture: Audi

Audi

The new Audi A6 features some innovative new technology but does this affect the way it drives? Ryan Hirons finds out.

Audi A6 saloon's 565-litre boot is same as Avant estate's load bay. Picture: AudiAudi A6 saloon's 565-litre boot is same as Avant estate's load bay. Picture: Audi

Audi has been refreshing its top-end luxury models. Last year saw a new A8 and A7, now it’s the new A6. It’s more evolution but there’s a lot of new stuff going on.

The A6 is the first-in-class to offer mild-hybrid technology as standard for its turbo diesel engines – 204PS, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder in the 40TDI and 286PS, 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel in the 50TDI quattro, mated to seven and eight-speed automatic gearboxes respectively, while new suspension options aim to create a more agile car.

The A6 now features self-learning navigation to create an optimal route based on driving history along while centre console-based physical controls for functions such as air-conditioning and audio controls have been replaced with a touchscreen.

New 8.6in touchscreen replaces conventional controls for many functions. Picture: AudiNew 8.6in touchscreen replaces conventional controls for many functions. Picture: Audi

Looks and image

Audi are the experts, if not the pioneers in Russian doll car design — with each model taking after the last. The A6 is no exception to the rule, with the German firm’s updated bolder design language introduced on the A8 making a strong impact on the A6’s looks.

That means a hugely wide grille with bold headlights, while a sleeker overall look is seldom interrupted by creases in the bodywork. It’s a handsome thing to look at and has a presence of a car far bigger than it actually is in the flesh. You’re likely to turn heads in a big Audi anyway, but the striking design could do that without the four rings up front.

Audi A6 is a handsome saloon that picks up on new luxury A8's bold styling. Picture: AudiAudi A6 is a handsome saloon that picks up on new luxury A8's bold styling. Picture: Audi

How it drives

Audi has brought a lot of new technology in for the A6 to create a better driving experience. It’s at its most comfortable when cruising long distances. Its plentiful power combines well with the introduction of air suspension to create a relaxing ride when eating up the miles with very little wind noise.

As for more spirited driving, the A6 handles well but it’s not involving to drive.

In the cabin

The A6 is incredibly plush with premium materials, not a scratchy plastic surface in sight and it all feels good to the touch.

The leather seats up front are comfortable but you’re likely to slide about under harder cornering if small.

Physical controls in the centre console for functions such as air-conditioning and seat heating/ventilation have been replaced an 8.6in touchscreen – it works well and responsively at a standstill but can be difficult to use on the move.

The saloon’s 565-litre boot matches the Avant estate’s.

Final say

The Audi A6 has all the hallmarks of a new class leader in the executive saloon segment with bags of technology and a comfortable experience wrapped in a handsome body.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Audi A6 saloon, £38,640 to £50,470 (Avant £40,740 to £52,885)

Engine: 1,968cc, 204PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel with seven-speed automatic gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 8.1 seconds; top speed 152mph

MPG: 60.1 to 62.8 combined

C02 emissions: 117 to 124g/km

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