Rethinking Diesel

The Audi A6 TDI: where form meets function



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

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

In a car that abounds with high-tech goodies, the “TDI” translates as the latest in diesel engines. This offers two divergent thrills: instant, guilt-free throttle response and the pleasure of getting 24 mpg in traffic and 38 mpg (or higher) on the highway. 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.

Aside from a slight growl at low speeds, there is no audible difference to the diesel. It costs $3,000 more over the gasoline version, and the fuel also costs more. But it does work, and splendidly, too. Audi also offers it in its A8 sedan and the Q-series sport utes.

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