Audi South Africa sent me the A6 45TDI for a few days to test drive. It was during a busy period for me and unfortunately I didn’t get to drive it as much as I wanted to, but managed to take it to Nirox Sculpture Park with a few friends on the weekend. This was between regular driving around my neighbourhood and running errands.
The car went on sale in early 2020, but was officially launched later due to lockdown delays, and the diesel variant I drove, only went on sale in June. So technically, it’s not a brand new model, but I was sent it to test for about five days.
- 3L turbo-diesel (45TDI)
- 183kW and 600Nm
- automatic 8-speed quattro tiptronic
- 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds; top speed 250km/h
- 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway plan
- Starts at R1 059 000 base model
The A6 45TDI is a fairly large vehicle that comes standard with Matrix LED headlights, daytime running lights, black decorative trims, 18″ alloy wheels, and mine was in brilliant black. I don’t know what it is about this vehicle but people kept staring. It gives off that chauffeur vibe about it; like if you own this car, you probably have a driver.
I loved the design of the back lights but it was a bit too big for me and what I’m used to. As always, I was extra careful when parking it in my garage but having those side cameras and warning beeps really helped.
I loved the black interiors, everything was modern. The car seat colour was called “black-black”; I’m not too big on light colours for the insides. It has 2-zone climate control as standard; electric air heaters; operating buttons in matte black; ambient lighting package; and four way lumbar support in the front. It always remembered your settings when it adjusted it and you got back in the car – for the driver’s side.
My friends who sat in the back said it was very roomy, more so than regular cars (remember, chauffeur vibes). There was sufficient storage and also the middle seat has the foldable bit that has the cup holders and another small compartment. Also, the boot is massive at 530L.
Also by default the back seats were locked to my passengers no matter what we tried. It appears to have child lock features as standard, and I have to admit, when I get test cars, I can never sit in the back – I’m signed on as the driver – so I’d never know. They had to be let out when we got out and opened for them. A friend who also drives an Audi suggest we take the manual key out of the main fob and insert it on the panel of the door, which looked like it could be inserted, but we didn’t come right. I’m sure there’s something I’d need to Google to figure that out.
The insides have a smartphone-like display with Audi’s MMI touch operating system. It features the same two large displays seen on the Q8 that I’ve experienced, which replaces most of the buttons. If you’re the type who likes physical buttons to adjust things in your car, it will be an adjustment. I do like the touch interface, but it attracts a lot of fingerprints unfortunately. It’s not completely touch like a phone though, you have to press down hard until you feel a click as the display is touch sensitive.
The buttons on the main 10.1-inch infotainment display can be personalised; this is something I’ve also experienced on the new Audi A4 last year. You can drag and drop like a mobile operating system. The bottom 8.6-inch display supports up to 27 individual shortcuts for vehicle functions (think phone numbers, GPS destinations, radio stations, etc). If you’re a creature of habit and like things a certain way, you can set it to how you want.
The vehicle I drove had the technology package and it was my first Audi that had wireless Apple CarPlay. This is great because most of the time I just hop in and drive off, so it was great for my phone to just pair with the car. However, the one thing I didn’t find intuitive was removing my phone from the paired device list. I tried and didn’t see anything that was straightforward so I left it.
The virtual cockpit is a rather large 12.3-inch high-res display. It can be accessed with the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, which also supports voice commands. The A6 I drove also had a head-up display. The whole system is smart enough to learn your habits via its self-learning function based on routes you take regularly. You can also control the temperature with voice commands.
If you’re into car sound, the A6 has a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 16 speakers and 3D sound support that has a total output of 705w.
The Audi A6 seems to be suited to a specific driver, and likely one who wants to also be driven around. The diesel variant is suited for the long distance highway driver. I found it to be comfortable with the familiar luxurious touch of an Audi, and tech that I’m used to. However, I was still aware I’m driving a diesel – but I think it’s safe to say I’m more of petrol and EV kinda person. That said, this car will not disappoint in terms of the efficiency you get from a diesel and for distance driving. Plenty of room in the front, back and boot. A great family car.
As mentioned earlier, pricing on the A6 45TDI (3L) starts at R1 059 000 for the base model.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org