Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Premium Tastes but with Frugal Appeal

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Premium Tastes but with Frugal Appeal

Article excerpt

WHAT happens when you have a champagne income but beer tastes?

Something like the South Australian millionaire who used to order tinnies at the bar, crush them, take them home and then combine the fruits of his drinking labour to get his five cents refund per tube.

It seems there are enough frugal drivers shopping in the prestige large sedan motoring aisle to warrant answering the question.

The luxury big guns have all fired shots with enticing entry-level models that are low on fuel usage and have asking prices in the vicinity of $80,000.

That may still sound too hefty for many, but when the range-toppers are pushing well into the $100,000 realm it makes these sound like bargains.

Audi launched its sleek A6 sedan in July, but the four-cylinder petrol and diesel models were only added late last year.

At $78,900, the turbo-diesel A6 is $1000 dearer than its petrol sibling, but undercuts its key German rivals.

Comfort

Salubrious and spacious surrounds are delivered in spades. While you are in the base model, this derivative of the A6 retains the premium feel. It looks and feels expensive and there are no real cues highlighting its position on the A6 tree.

Adults will appreciate the room front and back, and up front there is an array of seating and steering adjustment.

We were spoilt with some expensive optional extras, like Milano leather-wrapped front seats with a massaging function that cost $8850 and a pumping $12,340 Bang & Olufsen sound system which improved the ambience.

Storage areas are good, along with the two cup holders in the centre console, while there is also a cool touch pad where you can write letters with your finger when entering things like sat-nav destinations. It can also be used to change radio stations quickly.

Everything is simple to read, but getting used to where various dials and controls can take some time. We've driven just about every Audi in the range, and it still takes analysis to find various bits and pieces.

On the road

Under the big premium skin is a small but courageous turbo four-potter diesel. It powers only the front wheels and is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission.

It performs surprisingly well, and despite missing Audi's trademark Quattro all-wheel drive, it feels well planted.

When summoned to accelerate hard there was some torque steer and on one occasion we even managed some tyre squeal.

Yet under most circumstances, the A6 feels composed and every bit the premium deal.

Armed with a stop-start system to improve fuel consumption, this version was one of the slowest we have sampled and there were several times when we had to wait for things to fire back up before getting back under way.

The ride is firm but not compromising, while coarse bitumen can cause some road noise in the cabin. …

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