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Long-term tests

Audi A6

I'm sorry but it just won't wash! In last week's magazine, our Products section reported on the latest 'soft' car washes. While I can't vouch for the piece of kit used by our own Max Glaskin, I can tell you that for all the hoo-hah, in my experience car washes do just as much damage as they ever did. The long-term Audi A6 bears the scar to prove it.

  • Bold looks, brilliantly made cabin, super torquey engine, massive boot, great cruiser
  • Firm ride in town, vague steering, grabby brakes, slow electric windows
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I'm sorry but it just won't wash! In last week's magazine, our Products section reported on the latest 'soft' car washes. While I can't vouch for the piece of kit used by our own Max Glaskin, I can tell you that for all the hoo-hah, in my experience car washes do just as much damage as they ever did. The long-term Audi A6 bears the scar to prove it.

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In the worst of the weather, I have taken it to my local car wash, which has a jetwash/mechanical wash combo. This gets the car gleamingly clean. But after the last visit, I noticed that the lacquer on the Audi's passenger door handle had been broken and the paint chipped. The metallic grey had turned milky white - the same colour that has stained the front and rear number plates.

Thankfully the A6's beauty is more than skin deep. The 3.0-litre TDI continues to impress in terms of economy, refinement and performance. This is one awesome engine, with loads of torque providing instant acceleration when required.

The super smooth auto box and limo-like high speed ride simply adds to the luxury feel. Motorway cruising is a joyful, relaxing experience. However, the A6 is less impressive over pitted town roads, with the ride becoming a little too harsh.

But this is a minor gripe, as any driver would feel special sitting in this Audi. The cabin is real luxury and wonderfully screwed together. Does anyone make a better interior? I don't think so!

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