This facelift trims the Audi A6 range down to just one variant, but you can be sure it’s one that you’ll really want.
What is it?
A facelift of the Audi A6. Although Audi has decided to throw a new suffix – Matrix – on to the end of the car’s name, be in no doubt that a facelift is what it is. The classic traits of any facelift are ever present. New bumpers front and rear – both of which look very aggressive in the standard-issue S-Line specification by the way – new alloy wheels, new headlamps and tail-lamps, new upholstery colours, a new gear knob, and a bit more equipment. But there’s more to this one than just surface treatment.
Those alloy wheels are a size larger now (18 inches), which not only gives the car a much more planted look, but should also impact its dynamics. The headlamps are not just full-LED, but are of Audi’s ‘Matrix’ variety – hence the new model name. They use an adaptive high-beam assist that detects oncoming cars and shuts off individual LED diodes so as to not blind them; we’ve seen it on the A8, R8, RS6, RS7 and TT before. The other new Audi trend implemented here is indicators that sweep in the direction of the turn, which are quite cool, as are the new smoked tail-lamps. I’m also a fan of the faux diffuser in the rear bumper and the rectangular twin exhausts.
Inside, there’s a new un-veneered wood trim that looks really classy, and you can choose from a handful of leather colours too. There’s the latest MMI system with better connectivity and a full colour screen between the dials, which pumps out its tunes from a 10GB onboard hard-drive through a 600W, 14-speaker Bose 5.1-channel sound system. The A6 now gets rear side airbags, for a total of eight, which Audi says is class-leading. This is a small change, I know, but it’s very welcome – USB ports in the central cubbyhole, which means no more silly accessory cable required to plug in your iPod. At the back, you can now control the front passenger seat through a dedicated set of buttons. And finally, that new gearlever – it looks a little plain but is much nicer to use than the old unit. The lever isn’t as innocuous as it seems though, as behind it hides an all-new gearbox. Yes, Audi has finally ditched the tired old Multitronic CVT for an up-to-the-minute seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox, something the A6 always deserved. The motor it’s connected to is a 2.0-litre diesel (or 35 TDI in Audi’s unfathomable new naming practice). The good news is that it now makes more power and torque; the bad news is that it’s the only engine you can get for now. In fact, Audi has elected to offer the A6 Matrix in one singular trim level too, which limits your choice.