A6 3.0 TDI
3rd Aug 2011 7:00 am
There is no doubt that Audi has taken the game considerably forward with the new A6
With its new stiffer chassis and adjustable air springs and dampers, Audi has found a happy compromise as far as ride and handling is concerned. The dampers set in ‘Comfort’ are extremely indulgent and the A6 really did surprise us with how well it rode. Helping the secondary ride in no small measure are the 225/55-R17
tyres whose relatively high profile provide considerable cushioning over bad roads.
The A6 glides over rough sections silently and with very little movement of the body, low speed ride is better than expected from an air suspension system. Even wildly undulating surfaces are ridden over with a very high degree of body control. Large holes, however, do result in a sharp thunk due to the short-travel suspension and the lightweight A6 does shudder a bit over particularly bad patches. Most disconcerting was the fair amount of tyre and road noise which is a problem that afflicts other Audis
like the A8 and A7 too.
Audi, however, has done well to make Sport mode quite comfortable and useable. It’s not as hard-edged or bone jarring as you would imagine and you can enjoy the best of what this car has to offer on some of our better surfaced roads.
The A6 is quite adept at shrink-wrapping itself around you. It feels no bigger than an A4 from behind the wheel, acts like a car with only half its mass when asked to change direction and the Quattro system provides it prodigious grip too. The A6 is fun to drive but not brilliantly so. There’s a lot of understeer to deal with when pushed hard but the biggest party pooper is the steering which feels numb and devoid of feel, even in ‘Dynamic’ mode. As a result, it’s not a very engaging drive and the brakes feel mushy too.
Also unique for a car in this class is the lift feature that makes the air springs raise the car 20mm to help it clear bad roads or extra large speedbreakers at low speed. Very practical.