Last time I reported a noticeable improvement in engine smoothness and response and now it's even better. Fuel consumption has improved markedly from the disappointing 33-34mpg when we first got the car to a far more palatable 38-39mpg. Most of that motoring hasn't been achieved at the expense of performance either. Admittedly, spirited cross-country driving has seen the overall average dip to 35-36mpg, but the payback is easy cruising at 75-80mph and at least 38.5mpg.
The Multitronic transmission is a genuine pleasure to use: smooth and unfussed around town, it turns into a highly effective sequential shift when tipped over into manual mode.
Some readers have contacted us over the hesitation in initial pick-up from a standstill, which seems to be a characteristic of the CVT transmission. This is something I have mentioned before, and it is a noticeable intrusion into the overall driving experience: exiting from a roundabout can be mildly disconcerting with a momentary delay in 'take-off'.
But with experience, it is something I have grown to anticipate: depressing the throttle fractionally earlier than one might with a conventional auto seems to do the trick, and allows the gearbox to 'spool up' to operating speed at just the right moment.
Some reports have criticised the A6 for being a little dull, and in truth it is not as entertaining as our previous A4 2.5 TDI quattro – but then it is a completely different kind of car.
Company car tax bill 2002(40% tax-payer): £203 per month