Anyone who knows me will be aware of my penchant for cool wagons, which is why I recently bought an E34 525i non-Vanos Touring that you’ll be seeing a lot of on the channel soon.
My love of load luggers also explains why I asked Audi if I could live with one of its new S6 Avants – you know, the one with the 3.0-litre diesel and quad fake exhausts – for a few months.
Well, I’ve had the car a couple of weeks now, and although I’m still getting to know it, here are a few early observations…
1. Hate to bring it up, but the fake exhausts really are naff
I promise, I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon and point out the obvious, but when you get up close and personal with the fake exhaust tips, and when you look underneath at the real deal, you can’t help but think ‘there must have been another way’.
I get why they’re there though – they look good from afar and 99 per cent of the general public won’t know any better – but for us car lovers, they’re borderline offensive. In fact, when I posted about “exhaustgate” recently, your opinions were, shall we say, pretty brutal, and included words like ‘tragic’ and ‘sad’.
2. The interior is classy, but there's a lot to take in
The image above represents 26 years of progress. It also shows how much us drivers have to think these days, from changing heater settings left to right, connecting to Bluetooth, navigating, changing the colour of the ambient lighting, adjusting sensitivity of the parking sensors and, and, and…
Thankfully, though, Audi interiors are among the best for being classy, intuitive to use, very well finished and attractive. Now sure, I’m a firm believer in less is more when it comes to cars, but put me in any modern Audi, and I instantly feel relaxed and ready to smash out hundreds of miles.
3. It's more sensible than I expected
When I read the news that Audi’s S models were moving to diesel power, I looked forward to mountains of torque and a diesel exhaust note that would make people think ‘holy hell, what was that?!’
The reality is different, however. Sure, there’s plenty of twist (516lb ft) when you’re moving, but the automatic gearbox is sometimes slow to kick down when you want the torque most, and the noise that’s pumped through the speakers, doesn’t inspire me to want to hear more.
For that reason, I treat the S6 as a high-powered luxury wagon, and not a sporty estate.
4. I need a lot more time to understand the S6…
I plan to use the S6 for daily duties, long trips and everything in between, meaning that I’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to understand its real character.
So far, my hopes of it being fun, sounding good and inspiring me to drive it hard have fallen short of the mark, so I’ll adjust my expectations and treat it less like a sports car and more like ‘all the car you’d ever need’, which is what the S6 is probably very good at.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what you want to see me do with the car, including performance tests, daily driving, load lugging etc.
Until then, let me know what you think of the car!
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