October 18, 2014 @ 07:08 PM

Review: Audi A6 – Is MMI touch the only good thing here?

Light refreshments brings new toys into an otherwise familiar premium sedan, says Chris Ng

Light refreshments brings new toys into an otherwise familiar premium sedan, says Chris Ng
What comes as somewhat of a surprise is that the A6 has hung around long enough to warrant a mid-lifecycle refresh. Yet, if you count the phases of the moon, the 3.0-litre engined A6 was released here sometime back in 2011 with the ‘more affordable’ 2.0-litre version shortly after. Which puts Audi’s premium saloon in the right window for change.

Before we continue, the enhancement isn’t done to the entire A6 lineup. Only the 2.0 TFSI A6 receives that upgrades. At the time of writing, the 3.0 TFSI quattro A6 remains as is.

What does not come as a surprise is that there are no revisions done to the bodywork, not even the grille as some company wont to do. There’s a scant need for that though, the A6 does not look or feel tired. So you’ll be approaching the same stoic, well-suited three-box car that was launched three years back.
A closer tour round the car reveals that the A6 gets new full LED headlamps and a reverse camera just below the four rings. Audi as also added one-inch to the wheels while removing five spokes from the old design. So the new 18-inch cast aluminium wheels wears the new five V-spoke design; which really looks more like a 10-spoke design instead. Interestingly, both the 2.0- and the 3.0-litre A6s now wear the same sized wheels. 

There is no need to mention that the interior looks and feels the same. In spite of being the ‘base’ A6, you’ll still get the big ticket luxury materials that befit the car and brand. The big change in here comes in the form of the MMI navigation plus system linked to the MMI touch that recognises handwriting, regardless of how pre-school it may look, which only applies if you’re right-handed. The south-pawed should be able to trace out near-perfect script. You’ll find its usefulness when inputting addresses into the navigation – now you can write it in instead scrolling through each letter as how you would with a rolodex. Just so you know, this MMI configuration is only available for the 2.0-litre A6.
Let’s not forget the comfort key. The enhanced A6 now lets you get into the car without ever touching the key. It also comes with push-start button. High time. 
If you’re hoping for a bump in power, I’m sorry to disappoint. The rest of the specs remain the same. So, you’ll find the familiar 2.0-litre TFSI generating 180bhp between 4,000 to 6,000rpm and 320Nm at 1,500 to 3,900rpm. That the powerplant is mated to an eight-speed CVT, Audi calls theirs multitronic, should hint of its performance. The gearbox chops up the power eight ways and spoon feeds to the front wheels. So the shifts are smooth and never punchy. 

The result makes for respectable pace, especially when considering the A6 tips the scales at a mere 1,640kg. It will do naught to a hundred in 8.3 seconds and 226kph is the fastest it can go down a very straight, very long road. Fuel economy also doesn’t take a hit; doing a combined figure of 6.4-litre/100km is quite good.

Now, you can alter the way you want to drive this car by diving into the Audi Drive Select that adjusts the steering, throttle and transmission is various ways. But you have to choose between having more power or more efficiency; there’s no way to have it all. 

Here comes the sticky bit: the price. With the upgrades, the price of the A6 you see in these photographs has swelled by RM30,000 (the total price of the new equipment) to a grand RM375,000 on-the-road. A steep hike for sure. But if you break it all down and tick the option list yourself, the bill would have come up to RM46,600 instead. So essentially, you’re really saving yourself RM16,600. And that’s value?
The MMI touch makes it easier to input addresses
Handwriting looks horrible on the screen, even when you’re not right-handed
Additional features enhances the 2.0 A6, but we wonder if the RM30,000 could be better spent?

3.5/5 Stars
On sale
RM375,000 without insurance
1984cc, 4 cyl, in-line petrol engine with direct petrol injection, turbocharged, 180bhp @ 4000-6000rpm, 320Nm @ 1500-3900rpm
8-speed multitronic, front-wheel drive
8.3sec 0-100kph, 226kph, 6.4l/100km, 149g/km

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