February 18, 2014
Review and photos by Jeff Wilson
A couple of months back the Autos.ca forum was aflutter with “the regulars” decrying the sticker price on our Q5 TDI test car (crossover). At more than 66 grand, it is pretty steep for a cute ute – luxurious or not. Most of those computer commentators conceded that the Q5 is likely every bit as good as we claimed it to be, but for their $66,000, they’d rather have the same engine in sexier A6 sedan.
If I’m honest, I agreed with those who would’ve climbed over a Q5 to get to the A6. That’s why when Senior Editor Yarkony was handing out assignments, I eagerly asked for the A6 oil-burner despite his protests that I’d already had a significant taste of this drivetrain in the cute ute. I was eager to see if I’d change my tune after spending some quality time with the longer, lower and wider sedan compared to the taller and hatchback-practical Q5. Plus, Audi tends to dress their already handsome press fleet of machines with particularly nice wheels making for cars you feel good about being seen in. It’s good to feel good.
2014 Audi A6 TDI Quattro Technik. Click image to enlarge
For 2014, much of Audi’s big news revolves around the 24-valve, direct-injected, turbo 3.0L V6 diesel engine that can be purchased in everything from the aforementioned Q5 to the big daddy A8 sedan. It’s a real honey of an engine, too. Not only unbelievably smooth (and not just by diesel standards, but by measure of any V6 engine), but with 428 lb-ft of torque, it has the ability to move even tech-laden luxo cars with ease.
Aiding this engine’s efficiency is Audi’s use of common-rail technology with injection pressure of up to 2,000 bar, plus an automatic start-stop function. Audi claims the start-stop system alone generates as much as 0.4 L/100 km improvement.
Audi also claims the A6 TDI will hit 100 km/h from a standstill in 5.7 seconds. What that figure does not reveal is how effortlessly the speed builds, or how easy it is to ride that wave of torque in swift passing maneuvers. Were it not for flirting with the redline at just over 4,500 rpm, you wouldn’t even know it is a diesel engine under the hood, the traditional clatter is so well isolated.