Car group tests

Audi A6 S line review

Audi A6 S line adds sporty looks and plenty of equipment, but stiff suspension is no good

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Audi A6 S line is our pick of the range - provided you avoid the stiff and uncomfortable suspension by adding the optional air suspension (particularly on the Avant estate model).

The Audi A6 S line is a sporty-looking executive that is a great alternative to the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class. Upgrade from SE to S line trim, and you get a sporty looking bodykit and bigger alloy wheels, while the stiffer suspension is lowered by 20mm to deliver a more focused drive.However, that stiff suspension plays havoc with the car’s ride, and unlike S line-equipped versions of the A3 and A4, you can’t specify the standard suspension from the SE for a more comfortable ride. Instead, Audi offers electronically controlled air suspension which has four settings to choose fromS line trim is available in A6 saloon and A6 Avant estate guises, while the A6 is the only car in this sector available with four-wheel drive. The A6 Avant estate offers 565 litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,680 litres with them down.Going for S line trim doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fuel efficiency, either as it’s available with the 2.0 TDI Ultra engine, which boosts performance and efficiency without a hike in price.The A6 S line comes with LED daytime running lights, which give it a classy feel, while xenon lights are standard and full LED lights are available as an option. There are 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, while Audi offers 19 and 20-inch options available.The class-leading interior borrows much of its style and quality from the flagship A8, with upmarket instruments and Audi’s intuitive MMI control system. As well as cruise control, leather, sat-nav, park assist and auto lights and wipers, S line trim adds sporty aluminium interior trim and a sports steering wheel and seats.Aluminium construction helps the Audi A6 feel agile, but the steering isn’t as communicative as that of a BMW 5 Series. The S line model’s ride is on the firm side, too, while the larger optional wheels can really thump and jar over potholes.There is a range of diesel engines available but the 2.0 TDI Ultra offers the best compromise in terms of performance and efficiency. It comes with a seven-speed S Tronic auto that delivers effortlessly smooth changes and there’s very little engine noise in the cabin. If you want more power, there’s 201bhp and 242bhp 3.0 TDI diesels, while the 309bhp 3.0 BiTDI twin-turbo packs almost as big a punch as the high performance S6. In addition, the latter gets Quattro four-wheel drive, and it’s also offered with the more powerful 3.0 TDI.

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