If you are in the market for an executive class luxury saloon with the ‘German’ tag, then there’s three options. You can go down the heritage route and opt for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Those with a sportier bent of mind, would prefer 5 Series from BMW. But then there are those that want it all, these then have all but to make a beeline for the Audi A6. Audi India has recently launched the Matrix edition of the A6, essentially, a facelifted A6 for the 2015 model year. The car makes more power than before, looks better thanks to those reworked bumpers, sports some trick suspension bits and comes with futuristic lights, fore & aft, that live up to its ‘Matrix’ moniker.
Audi A6 Design
On the outside, the Audi A6 ‘Matrix’ gets a host of revisions over the old car. You start off with the signature grill at the front, which juts out a bit, without looking too beaky – and it gets some premium looking chrome accents too. The revised bumper is a lot more aggressive than before. But the star of the show at the front is the ‘Matrix’ all-led headlamps. Featuring individually-switchable LED’s in a horizontally split pattern, the A6 has gone all futuristic. The Matrix headlamps work in conjunction with a night-vision camera system, wherein the on-board computer tracks on-coming traffic and switches on-off the individual LED’s in real-time, so as to maximize on-road visibility, without blinding on-coming traffic. There’s a total of nineteen diodes and four reflectors working full-time to bring you the magical headlight beam-spread.
Even the turn indicators at the rear, seem to ‘flow’ linearly towards the outside from the left and the right, as per the direction in which you are turning. Phew! Sounds mighty complex and it sure is, though you’ll never notice this behind-the-scenes trickery, as everything seems all natural out there.
Audi A6 Interior
Come around to the side and you notice that the new-design alloys not only look better than the older ones, but have also grown an inch larger and come shod with meaty, eighteen inch diameter Bridgestone Turanza’s. At the back, the tail-lights carry on with the Matrix treatment and look absolutely stunning when lit-up. You’ll notice the reworked badging and the chrome-strip running along the boot-lid bottom. All-in-all, the A6 Matrix edition looks absolutely stunning in this 2015 refreshed avatar.
Step inside and you’ll be greeted by classy un-veneered wood trimmings which immediately up that luxury feel by a few notches. The chrome accents used only serve to heighten this feeling and coupled with the beige interiors, go on to give the cabin an aura of understated luxury. The seats up front come with four-way electronic adjustments and finding the sweet-spot behind the wheel or as a co-driver is a breeze.
The Bose sound-system thumps loud and clear, no matter how high you wish to crank up the volume. With over 14 speakers on-board, this 5.1 system may be a tad biased towards bass, but is crystal clear across the entire frequency range. The rear seat is equally well appointed and gets dedicated air-conditioning controls as well as a 12V socket and a cigarette lighter. They also get an exclusive remote through which, passengers at the rear can control the MMI system. There’s plenty of leg-room, with close to four inches of space between the back of the front seat and the knees of the passenger at the rear. However, the seat-back is a tad upright for comfort and the under-thigh support feels inadequate on longer rides.
Audi A6 Engine
Thumb the starter and you’ll feel the seat-belts tighten for a moment, before easing up. This is the on-board computer weighing in on the parameters basis which it’ll then program the desired values for the deployment of the airbag, in-case the unfortunate need arises. Moreover, with the doors shut, the engine is pretty much silenced, with just a distant thrum that one is hard-pressed to identify during regular road usage.
On the outside though, there’s no mistaking the diesel motor under the hood. If you like a motor that does its job then you’re going to love driving or being driven in the A6 Matrix. At low to mid-range, the surge from the 2.0 litre, 190 bhp engine is simply delightful. It may not have that sporty edge a-la the BMW or the locomotive-like feel that you get in a Mercedes, but it’ll keep doing its job. You do however feel that beyond ton-up speeds, the A6 Matrix would be happier with a larger heart under the hood. There’s a new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission that’s connected to the somewhat plain-looking, stubby gear-lever to transfer all the power to the wheels. It feels more responsive going through the paces, and a vast improvement over the sluggish CVT that came in the earlier avatar. Under the hood, the 2.0 litre, quad-cylinder motor now makes more power & torque than before.
Audi A6 Drive
The A6 Matrix comes with three drive modes: Comfort, Dynamic & Automatic. Best used when commuting within the city, the A6 in Comfort mode feels pliant enough, at low speeds. But there’s this ‘floating’ feel to the ride and though the car soaks up bumps adequately, you do feel the need for a slightly more ‘taut’ and sporty ride. The ‘Dynamic’ mode provides just that, as the steering loses its vagueness and becomes a bit weightier in the hand. While the comfort mode is good and the Dynamic mode improves things a bit, you do find yourself wishing for an easier option, and that’s exactly what Audi have provided with the ‘Auto Mode’. Here, the computer wizardry gets into the action and varies the ride, handling and steering feel between the two modes, as per the changing road conditions.
Since it works so brilliantly, it is best to leave the settings in ‘Auto’ and let the car work out the details while you enjoy the drive. Given the relative ease with which the engine spins up to ton-up speeds and beyond, Audi have dialled in brakes with a great amount of bite and progressive feel, which do justice to the A6 Matrix’s performance. Pity, that Audi have chosen to leave out the Quattro- All Wheel Drive system and kept the A6 Matrix as a front wheel drive runner.
Audi A6 to buy or not to?
At the end of the day, Audi have done a commendable job in what is essentially a mid-model refresh on the A6 Matrix. Costing about INR 55 Lakhs (on-road), you get a car that’ll please you in most respects. You’ll be thrilled with the bells and whistles on offer with the A6 Matrix – a happy customer who’ll fall in in love with the power, the interiors and tech-trickery on-board. The more performance oriented ones however would rather trade in the cosmetic and the trick-tech upgrades for a more powerful engine and the Quattro moniker at the back.