You’ve probably seen the commercial, the one where the “know-it-all” guys are yelling at the female motorist telling her she is about to pump diesel fuel in her tank. Not sure how that campaign worked for Audi getting its point across that an attractive, quiet automobile can be a diesel, but driving the 2014 Audi A6 TDI sure works.
We recently spent a week in one of Audi’s new “TDI Clean Diesel” cars, the Audi A6, and it was a very pleasant experience. The “other” German luxury brand has gone to great lengths to get this model right, and with this new addition of a turbocharged diesel powertrain to the mix the competition for consumer’s dollars (or Euros) has surged to the next level.
Modern diesel engines share little with the diesel engines of the past that tainted consumer’s opinions of the technology. Even the fuel has changed some as new clean air standards call for ultra-refining of the fuel to keep pollutant by-product to a minimum. The side effect is higher fuel prices, especially when comparing to regular-grade unleaded gasoline but with the enhanced fuel economy most diesel engines now exhibit the tradeoffs are nil.
Recently I reviewed the new EcoDiesel engine offered by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in its new Jeep and Ram models, but this 2014 Audi A6 TDI engine is significantly quieter and smoother than the FCA motor and under the hood of the 2014 Audi A6 it really shines. By the numbers the Audi 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine produces 240hp and a whopping 428 lb. ft. of torque capable of propelling the car 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds via eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive and the car will deliver 24 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.
I last reviewed an A6 shortly after Audi released this seventh-generation platform in 2012. It was then, and it continues to be now, one of my favorite mid-size sedans in all categories and I might just prefer this new TDI version over its gas counterpart. There is something to be said for all of the low-end “grunt” inherent in diesel engines that is on fine display in the 2014 A6.
The recent tester we enjoyed was loaded to the gills including S-line sport package, 20-inch 10-spoke wheels and sport tires, Audi side assist blind spot monitoring, four-zone climate control, front seat ventilation, adaptive headlights with cornering lamp, Bose premium audio system and Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise control with stop and go, pre sense plus brake assist, active lane assist and top view camera.
Pricing for the 2014 A6 TDI begins at $57,500, so there is a bit of a premium for the new clean diesel powertrain. The final sticker of our test model came to $66,795 and the new Audi connect infotainment system is standard on all A6 3.0T, TDI and S6 models. It features WiFi connectivity for up to eight wireless devices and the onboard MMI navigation system is enhanced with Google Earth maps, real-time localized weather, news and fuel prices and Google Voice local search.
And thanks to the large TDI Clean Diesel decals on each side of the test vehicle, I never once needed a bunch of know-it-all guys telling me that the 2014 Audi A6 TDI is a diesel. Without the stickers however, that might not have been the case as this car is so smooth, and quiet you might not even know it’s a diesel.