The Road Report

Audi’s A6 TDI is eco-friendly and elegant



Audi A6 TDI

Emotionally—even viscerally —the Audi A6 TDI makes a lot of sense. Your accountant might give certain aspects the gimlet eye, but just let that number cruncher get out there for a spin on our fair country lanes and he will fall in love with it as swiftly as I did.

Anyone knows by now that an Audi sedan is going to come at you with its sense of steely German discipline and athletic accomplishment. The interior will wrap you in fine leather and formal richness. The handling will appeal to hawk-eyed sharpies of the road as well as folks who simply prefer serene elegance. The new A6 delivers all of that.

While the car has many high-tech goodies, the TDI nomenclature signifies one more interesting leap forward—the latest in diesel engines. Popular in Europe for some time, the new, smooth eco-friendly diesels have slowly been making new friends in the U.S. with their offerings of two divergent thrills: the instant throttle response of a very powerful engine and the haughty pleasure of sailing past filling stations. Stop-and-go on the Post Road gets about 20 mpg, and a cruise up Route 7 earned 38 mpg. A sedate turnpike cruise might get you into the mid-40s. That’s not quite Prius territory, but hybrids don’t provide the athleticism and safety of Audi’s all-wheel-drive Quattro system. Heavy snow is child’s play to the A6. Its imperceptible eight-speed transmission always seems to have you in the right gear.

Aside from a slight growl at low speeds, there is no audible difference to the diesel. However, your accountant will point out that this option extracts a $3,000 premium over the gasoline version, money that could be used for more fill-ups. Diesel fuel also costs more. But it does work, and splendidly, too. It’s so good that Audi now offers the thriftmeister TDI option in its A8 flagship sedan and the Q-series sport-utes.  

The A6 has enough navigation features and Wi-Fi connectivity to astound a NASA engineer. But if you can master a smartphone, you can make an Audi work. Thankfully, the dashboard is all buttons and knobs, and not the touch-screen displays on other luxury brands. That alone makes me respect the Audi. Add that power plant and all-wheel-drive, and I’m smitten. Contact Danbury Audi, danburyaudi.com

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