Audi A6 2.0 TDI - Performance Review
Expert Reviews : DesignUser Experience Performance Safety
Performance Review of Audi A6 2.0 TDI
Last Updated at 03:16 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
Even the base model impresses us with the 2.0-litre diesel motor, thanks to its balance of frugality and eagerness. | Photography: Eshan Shetty.
As I mentioned earlier, the engine settles into a silent burble in a jiffy. In fact it feels so silent that for a moment you’ll forget that it is almost the same engine that you get in the A4, the VW Passat or Skoda Superb (and many others!). I say ‘almost’ because in spite of being the popular 2.0 TDI oiler, this engine puts out 177 PS of power and 380 Nm of torque as opposed to the 140 PS / 320 Nm tune of the mill that powers the aforementioned cars. While that power output may not sound too optimistic, the A6 manages to sprint from naught to 100 km/h in less than nine seconds – which is pretty quick. Add to it the torque which is available from as low as 1,750 RPM and A6 builds up speed instantly when you step on the pedal even when cruising at double digit speeds. Helping this cause is the class-leading eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It is also available with paddle shifters – just in case you prefer having a more personalised control over the engine.
It isn’t just the eight-speed transmission that creates news though – the A6 is also the only car in this range to have the air-suspension as a standard fitment across the entire line-up. It basically trades in the springs and uses compressed air to provide the damping. Since all the four dampers are controlled electronically, the ECU gains the ability to change the firmness of the setup on the go. The A6 will also take into account the laden weight inside the cabin and the driving style to run an optimum suspension setup. Its level of comfort or sportiness will depend on what settings you choose on the MMI.
Speaking of which, the difference between the comfort and sport modes is evident as soon as you make a selection on the MMI screen. Stay in comfort mode and the suspension soaks up the undulations and bumps on the road with ease and with an occasional thud. The steering also feels light and the engine will not go anywhere close to the red-line in any of the eight gears – no matter how hard you step on the throttle.
Point the dial to the sport mode though and the steering immediately gains weight and feels more precise. The engine will wander into the reds and the suspension will become stiffer. The ride height will be reduced too for better handling and lesser body roll. We preferred to keep the dial on automatic mode though and the computers did all the hard work of maintaining the optimum settings. Increasing the ride height manually was mandatory though to make sure we do not scrape the underbody on the tall speed humps.
Since this is the base model, you do not get the ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive system either. So what you have is a front wheel drive mechanism that makes the car more agile. The lack of grip isn’t evident on your regular driving-cycle, however, there is a slight hint of understeer when you push the limo really hard into the corner. The steering lacks feedback too, but this electronic power steering has evolved and isn’t as bad as the earlier car.
Overall, the A6 maintains a comfortable ride in the city, on the highway and around the twisties too – but it can also behave like a sporty machine if it has to. The tyres provide a good balance of grip and comfort and their low-resistance nature also contributes to fuel economy. Speaking of which, the A6 2.0 TDI returned an overall fuel economy of over 16 kmpl, which is phenomenal for the kind of performance and luxury it offers.
The older Audi A6 was undoubtedly a very good car. The new one pushes the envelope further. The A6 2.0 TDI that we have tested here starts at very tempting price - and in spite of being the base model it still packs in a potent engine and a decent set of features in the standard trim.
So if you have always wanted an aggressive Audi in the 40 to 60 lakh rupee range, well, your search should end with the new A6. However, if you are the kind who thinks that the understated charm of the A6 is lost in the transition, then you'll need to look for one of the older models in the used car market or look for new options elsewhere.
First Published on 06:45 pm, May 29, 2012