Used car review

Audi A6 2.5 Turbo Di Quattro


Diesels are slow, noisy, dirty, smelly, unsophisticated, the work of  the devil, better suited to taxis and tractors. Or are they? 

This  turbo diesel 5 cylinder boasts 140bhp and pushes the big  graceful A6 to 130mph. Now I  know what your going to say, a decent 4 cylinder petrol could push out the same kind of horsepower without resorting to turbos and Audis own later 1.8 petrol turbo can and does make more horses.

 But that doesn't tell the whole story. What the 0 to 60 , top speed and peak BHP figures don't tell you is how that power is delivered, how the TDI has a massive torque advantage, how it has more real power at all points other than the very top of the rev range. This Audi A6 Quattro Turbo Diesel. means that keeping up any kind of speed is so much easier in the diesel,  it means it pulls harder out of slow and medium speed corners, it means your very unlikely ever to get caught in the wrong gear, out of the power band. It means a meaningful spread of power from low-rev tick over all the way around the rev counter. It means not having to rev the nuts off a small bore unit to make good progress

Strange then that Audi have chosen to fit their six speed box into the diesel when in reality 5 or maybe even 4 would have been perfectly adequate and an Auto possibly preferable. Peculiar it maybe but its not something your going to complain about. The shift itself is excellent, light yet crisp and positive. For normal work it's maybe a little on the overkill side as first is rather low and just revs thru almost instantly, whilst Top is truly massive, really just for steady cruising, and all but blunts in gear acceleration, but its an easy swift shift to fifth for normal service to be resumed. What you get most of the time is a choice of two or even three gears for any situation it may sound like a recipe for confusion but in reality you can make more than adequate progress no matter which gear you choose. With its gear range and huge torque the Drive unit would be perfectly suited to towing duties, though it would be a shame to hook  something ugly to such a good looking car. 

The A6 also carries Audi's Quattro four wheel drive system too, If the looks, the engine and the gearbox don't tell you that this is no ordinary car , then surely the Quattro system must.  In the kind of light spring drizzle that normally has you tip toeing around corners the Audi feels totally secure and planted, almost as if it has spikes biting into the tarmac.  The ride is still a little lumpy like other Quattro's (although the sprung extra weight of the Diesel maybe just improves it a tad). But that's the price you pay for the Quattro's added grip and poise, you pays your money and ................................. 
Of course if you have decided the engine makes a good tractor unit, for that caravan or speedboat the four wheel drive will help haul you out of any sticky non tarmac situations that might arise. 
By the time you have squeezed the intercooler, turbo, Quattro and gearbox into the price , your obviously going to lose  some of the superfluous extras. It depends on your point of view as to whether quality engineering is worth more than a shed load of little used electronic gadgets. Personally Id say the engineering your buying is more than worth leather covered electric seats and Air con.
The seats may not be leather trimmed but they are no less comfortable. The cloth trim may look a little fragile but it well proven to last a good long time in many other Audi. The only minor disappointment was the adjuster was slightly tricky to use in this example, but lets be honest  how many time does your car seat really get adjusted, is it enough to really warrant electric memory seats.
Like the exterior the rest of the interior is up to Audi's usual impeccable standards. Subtle and not overtly flash but with enough little touches to convince you that it wAudi A6 Quattro 2.5 5 Cylinder 140 bhp Turbo Diesel well designed and thought out , rather than just slung together from a pile of parts.  Lumps of planking are thankfully kept to a minimum but what little there is has quality written all over it. 
An A6 interior is a truly pleasant place to be, on the move engine and wind  noise are well muffled , you really are not aware that your in a diesel, until the engine runs out of puff well before the red line in the intermediate gears and gives the game away. That's not to say that you notice any performance deficit, remember this thing will out run a 12 valve V6 Granada/Scorpio whilst nearly doubling its fuel economy.
Audis steering wheels remain a lesson to other manufactures, perfectly shaped, styled and sized despite the air bag squeezed into its centre. No matter what other advances car makers  squeeze into their model, the steering wheel remains a primary focus of the interior and an ugly one downgrades the whole of the car.  
Whilst It may look great the steering wheel  is still attached to Audi somewhat over assisted power steering set up. This is great around town but could do with a dose more feel/weight on the move, the Quattro may develop massive grip, but the steering gives little feed back and it goes round fast corners on faith rather than positive signals being returned by the wheel. To be entirely fair  it does suit the relaxed nature of the engine, and seems to have become an Audi trademark, so if your happy with other Audis you will be happy with this. 
Its only a shame that more of these cars don't exist in Britain. Unfortunately most Managing director's who get a 30 grand plus company car don't give two hoots about fuel economy.  Add that to our governments overtly anti-diesel policy and we Brits are missing out on some superb European diesel models. Roll on European monetary union and tax harmonisation , perhaps we will then get diesel fuel at Spanish prices ........ or may be not?





Engine 5 Cylinder Turbo DI 
Max Speed 130 mph
Max Power 140 bhp
Performance 0-60mph in 10 sec
Insurance Group 16


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