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Audi A6 Avant 2.5 TDI SE Multitronic - 5,876 miles

Audi

Review

AS if to prove my belief that Volkswagen Group engines need plenty of running in before they give of their best it is only now – with nearly 6,000 miles on the clock – that our Audi is beginning to turn in the goods on fuel consumption and performance.

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

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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