Given the frequency with which the CAR test team encounters premium models packed to the gunnels with flashy optional extras, it comes as something of a breath of fresh air to sample, and consequently enjoy, a sparingly specced Audi A6 such as our long-term tester.
The most satisfying aspect of this particular car has to be the 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel mill in its nose. It’s a refined unit whose operation scarcely registers in the cabin at motorway speeds, except for a satisfying V6 snarl when the accelerator pedal is stowed flat. The power delivery from the 180 kW unit feels near-instant and linear, while the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is smooth in its operation and feels perfectly matched to the powerplant. There’s that typically-Audi heavy but progressive feel to the steering and a slightly nose-heavy/understeery bent to the handling, but there’s also tonnes of grip and the car feels wonderfully planted at motorway speeds.
So with the nuts and bolts stuff out of the way, mention has to be made of just how relaxing and satisfying this particular A6 is. As was stated earlier in the article, this car does not bristle with features; we’re talking electrically adjustment for the leather seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, high-beam assist and MMI minus sat-nav, but the car doesn’t feel any worse for it.
You still have that beautifully crafted facia with its satin chrome highlights and matte grain walnut trim inserts as part of a quiet and spacious cabin and a powerplant/dynamic set-up that feels equally at home munching up the motorway as it does tackling the twisting Constantia Nek road that leads to my house. I agree with Stuart’s previous report stating that the lack of rear drinks holders is a noticeable omission for a car that’s likely to transport coffee-loving execs and their juice-box toting kids, but a similar minor detail – the adoption of a more conventional HVAC dial set-up that doesn’t require MMI-fiddling to regulate the fan and temperature – is a boon.
This car is evidence that when you have the basics of the engine and drivetrain set-up right, the rest basically falls into line to provide a package that manages to feel satisfying and special without ostentation. The keys to my trusty GWM H5 diesel automatic are going to feel particularly heavy when Stuart drops them into my hand and asks for his Audi back this week!
Current Price – R661 000
Mileage on delivery – 1 875 km
Mileage now – 9118 km
Fuel consumption to date – 8,7 L/100 km
We like – strikes a neat balance between comfort and some fun, gorgeous cabin, less –is-more approach to spec in this particular model
We don’t like – lack of rear cupholders, having to hand the keys back to Stuart