21 March 2024

Review: Audi A6 e-tron - Trish Whelan, Irish Car

Saloon cars have long been overtaken by SUV/Crossovers yet are the favoured style of car for many motorists, writes Trish Whelan. I believe saloons certainly still have a place both in the executive car park or on private driveways. 

The current generation A6 was launched here in 2018. The 2024 refresh adds a matte black honeycomb grille, silver air blades, new front bumper, some new wheel designs, and refreshed '3D' rear light cluster. My car sat on very smart 21-inch alloy wheels. Build quality is really good. The car is quite conservative looking compared with some of its more adventurous competitors like the new BMW’s 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but perhaps Audi A6 owners prefer styling that won’t date. 

The interior is impressive in design and quality materials, in my car's case a very upmarket dark grey/black colour scheme with inlays in matte brushed aluminium to brighten the look. Front sports seats proved comfy and supportive to my back. There’s simply huge head and leg room for those in the rear seats, though the person in the middle will have to contend with the transmission tunnel. Storage is good here with nets on the front seat backs and good door bins. The mid seat back comes down for some extra storage and two cupholders. 

A fully-digital instrument panel features a big 12.3-inch screen with superb 3D Google navigation maps. The driver's display can be personalised. The centre console is angled towards the driver, as is the infotainment touchscreen display that offers quick access to the car’s functions. A lower 8.6-inch display manages climate control functions. While I usually prefer good old-fashioned knobs, I found this screen worked very well with up and down arrows big enough to adjust while on the move. The front seat heating controls are also there. I appreciated the head-up display that projected my current speed onto the windscreen so I could keep my eyes on the road. I was also very taken with the aircraft-like gear selector on the flat of the central console and it felt in my hand and now neatly it worked. I also liked the blue ambient lighting in the cabin and how, when you open the driver’s door, the four Audi rings logo is displayed brightly on the ground. Cabin storage includes a decent and lockable glovebox, two cupholders, very good door bins, and a tray area below the wide front armrest where there are two type ‘C’ small USB ports. 

The boot with its high floor is more than adequate at 360 litres and a high viz jacket and First Aid Kit are standard. A few things surprised me. Side mirrors stayed put until I turned on the engine and the blind spot monitor was of the basic sort. There was no individual setting for the electric seat adjustments. I hadn’t expected such niggles in a costly, premium Audi like this A6. 

Petrol and diesel units are both offered, with power outputs ranging from 250 to 333hp. My car was the 2.0L 204hp 40 TDI S-Line model, perhaps the last diesel we will see in the A6. Matched to a 7-speed automatic gearbox, it was a joy over all types of roads, but especially so when cruising the motorways. Steering is direct, as I like it. 

My fuel consumption came in at 5.8-6.7 L/100kms depending on the journey. With 1,160kms available, no electric car can beat that for distance and this is why I appreciate diesel cars with no range anxiety to concern me on long journeys. But with diesels you have to keep an eye on the AdBlue levels so as not to be stuck on the road if it runs out. A warning alert should appear on the instrumentation if it is at a low level. 

Standard features were a good rear-view camera, Matrix LED headlights, illuminated aluminium scuff plates, side and rear windows with heat-insulating glass and an electric tailgate. Options were a Black Pack at €2,946, 21-inch wheels at €1,446 which looked terrific, exterior mirrors in gloss black at €170, the ambient lighting pack at €403, and paint at €2,891, bringing an extra €4,965 to the base price. 

On the road, I was able to get a great driving position behind the wheel and travelled in sublime comfort. The engine was so refined, so very quiet and with nicely punchy acceleration that it made all my trips such a pleasure. 

The retail price is from €67,890; with extras my car came to €75,746.