Road Test: Audi A6 allroad quattro 3.0 TDI (204PS) | Fleet World

18 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Road Test: Audi A6 allroad quattro 3.0 TDI (204PS) | Fleet World
Audi A6 Allroad quattro

Road Test: Audi A6 allroad quattro 3.0 TDI (204PS)

Alex Grant finds out if this all-terrain Avant could be the ultimate all-season executive car.

Sector: Executive Price (August 2013): #163;43,805 Fuel: 46.3mpg CO2: 159g/km

The third generation of Audi#8217;s A6 allroad quattro joins a confusing world of off-roaders. Amid the SUV-styled hatchbacks, two-wheel drive crossovers and four-wheel drive superminis, that subtly applied rugged-looking bodywork is a hint this is an estate car with genuine go-anywhere ability.

Audi#8217;s quattro branding seems to have a ubiquitous sense of identity. People understand it whether it#8217;s making an RS-branded estate cling to the road, or a Q-branded SUV scrabble over mud, snow and slop.

The A6 allroad quattro sits somewhere between the two. Now in its third generation, it#8217;s a great compromise for those who want four-wheel drive for site visits or the UK#8217;s increasingly unpredictable winters, but without moving up to an ungainly SUV.

It#8217;s a handsome machine, with its stainless steel guards front and rear and contrasting plastic body cladding to protect metal parts when the road gets rough. The A6 wears its rugged bolt-ons rather well, looking a bit like it#8217;s slipped into some Hunter wellies and a waxed Barbour jacket.

When the surface underneath requires it, the allroad boats quattro all-wheel drive with a 60% rear bias and air suspension as standard. The latter allows the ride height to be hiked up 35mm to wade through ruts and streams, or dropped 15mm for improved economy at high speeds, and comes paired with hill descent control to limit speed on slippery declines.

Coupled with aluminium bodywork and new engines with stop-start, it means the allroad now achieves as much as 46.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 159g/km. That won#8217;t win it any fuel efficiency awards, but it#8217;s pleasingly light on diesel for a large four-wheel drive estate car.

There are four engines on offer in the allroad, and with most set to be used for towing or off-road work Audi hasn#8217;t seen fit to equip this with a 2.0-litre TDI. So the choice comes down to four V6 engines, three of which are diesels, ranging from the thuggish, earth-moving 3.0 BiTDI to the single turbo unit tested here.

Audi A6 Allroad quattro

While this is technically the eco-minded model in the range, it#8217;s far from short of pulling power. There#8217;s 202bhp available when the need arises, with a handy 332lb.ft to give it useful towing ability.

Otherwise, there#8217;s very little to separate this from an equivalent A6 Avant on the road. It#8217;s incredibly quiet and stable at high speed, while the quattro system is proven for those needing to pick their way through loose surfaces. This isn#8217;t a car for crossing tundras and scrabbling over rocks, but that extra traction is ideal for those who don#8217;t want the weather to get in the way of more important tasks.

Audi could style a two-wheel drive version this way and sell them buy the bucketload, but the allroad offers the best bits of tarmac and mud-crossing ability in one visually-appealing body. Among the broadest-ever selection of fashionable off-roaders, there#8217;s a pleasing honesty to Audi#8217;s all-weather, all-terrain estate car.

Without an ultra-efficient diesel engine, the A6 Allroad will always be a niche car in the fleet sector. But it#8217;s got all the right functionality to be a great executive carrier. Fast, refined and fairly efficient for long trips, but near unstoppable for the worst the British climate can throw at it.

Added by Alex Grant

Motoring Editor, Fleet World Group

Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro
Audi A6 Allroad quattro

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