I've got 193bhp of Quad cam 30 Valve V6 under my right foot, it will more than double our paltry speed limit and scoot to 60mph in around 8 seconds, its a bank holiday weekend, and where am I ? Stuck in traffic that's where. Not the stand still type but the lets drive about aimlessly, 25 in a 30, 35 in a 40 and sit behind a bus and pause at every stop type. Every time one of the long procession of doddering fools slows gently to a halt too negotiate a left turn off the main road, the following car stops politely to allow another couple of dodderers to crawl out into the convoy. Every time one wants to turn right they seem incapable of hugging the white line and the following vehicle refuses steadfastly to squeeze through the bus sized gap.
With the sun beating down and the windless crawl testing my patience, The Air con comes into its own soothing my irritations with its icy blast. At least the big Audi is a doddle to drive in these conditions, the pedals and the steering are light and the 5 speed gearbox a delight. Despite constant movement from first to fourth and back the car requires not the least bit exertion. The strong silky smooth motor helps mask the uneven pace by pulling strong low down so you can miss the occasional change completely.
With so much time to spare you can instead spend your time admiring the interior. Not a hint of tree in sight yet it still oozes class. The slim semi-metallic strip breaks up the expanse of gently curving dark plastics. Plastic it may be but its built to remarkable standards of both construction and ergonomics. I'm not sure if the new binnacle layout is an improvement over the older A6. The dials are all perfectly located tightly within your immediate field of vision in a much more compact design, and its more than adequately instrumented but its somehow a little less exciting, just a little under whelming maybe?
Want to witness Audi's pathological fascination with quality, depress the cup holder and marvel at the mechanical masterpiece which glides gently from the dash. Much too nice to just stuff a cup of Maxwell house into, mines an Earl Grey in a large paper cup please. Check out the chromed interior door handles these are better than most of the efforts fitted to car exteriors never mind interiors.
Equally pleasing is the triangular hazard button with pride of place on the dash and sits flanked by the cup holder and three secondary buttons proportioned in perfect symmetry. Also a nice choice is the wide hi-fi with large on off buttons and easy to use controls, perfect for those of us who don't have small childlike hands and pencil width fingers.
Just as well thought out and even more useful are the separated hinged door bins which allow easy extraction of items normally lost in the shadows of the arm rests. On the interior there is only one Minor point the lack of a centre arm rest but it really should be there on a close on 30k luxury car
At the mid point of our journey I get a chance to stroll around the exterior. Personally I don't think its as good looking as the older version, but I think I'm probably in the minority. The rounded slightly bulbous flanks and the semi-circular impression of the roof line give just a hint of Audi TT. From the front which I think is its best angle, the smoothly integrated bumper is overlaid by a strong centre grill and Audi badge flanked by large headlamp clusters with a jewel like collection of bulbs within. The only minor let down is the wheels which a little on the low rent side for a £28 k car. I would happily swap the illuminated vanity mirrors and the pollen filter for one, but then I don't wear makeup or suffer from hay fever.
When I set off for the return journey my convoy appears to be waiting a head to ambush me again, So I take a chance on the back road. Here its quieter and traffic thinner, top gear can be held for long spells, I'm not speeding as such just cruising at a sedate pace which won't attract the plod. The V6 comes in to it own here, with good response in top gear of the manual box, and an easy shift to fourth or third just to jet past slower moving traffic. that would make an Auto seem superfluous to requirements. At sensible speeds the A6 displays good poise and stability, only a sharp turning start through a set of traffic lights betrays the front wheel drive chassis as it momentarily spins its wheels under a medium rev take off. Slipping onto the dual carriage way give the first chance to put pedal to metal, and the V6 responds with in Audi fashion, grunt gives way to revs , the A6 engine aurally giving little indication of its current revolution speed as it slices from three thousand to the rev limiter in one long smooth 30 valve push.
The one criticism of the A6 that always seem to come from friends who could afford one, but choose alternatives, is that its a bit of an erm "middle aged " drivers car.
I could only find one shred of evidence to support this theory,
that's the seats whilst they are firm, supportive and comfortable, they seem
very wide and are rather flat and would need some considerable width to fill
Other than that the A6 really is a very fine car indeed, Spacious, Safe, Secure, Slick and Speedy, if you don't see the need to have your cars interior decorated with high tech 21st century materials like wood and leather then I'm sure you will rather like it too.
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