I moved from the test fleet’s Saab 9-3 Convertible, which itself is no Amish homestead when it comes to luxury, but the Audi is overpowering in its grandeur and presents a definition of prestige motoring.
Outwardly, its appearance is deceptive. You would not know from looking at it that the latest incarnation of the A6 is the longest and widest car in its class. And it is 120mm longer and 45mm wider than its predecessor.
Inside, there is a massive amount of space to the point of being Tardis-like. But unlike Dr Who’s dated time-travelling box, the Audi is a vision in subtle opulence and superb construction.
The twists in logic continue when you drive it. The light steering, whisper-quiet diesel engine and seat comfort make the driving experience of the A6 like that of a smaller car.
There is plenty of choice in the A6 range of engines. The entry-level model comes with the 177bhp 2.4-litre V6 SE and then there’s the 255bhp 3.2 FSI SE and the newly-introduced 2.0-litre turbodiesel and 176bhp 2.7-litre TDI, with the range topping off with the 335bhp 4.2-litre V8 in the quattro SE.
Our model is powered by the 3.0 TDI engine, delivering a maximum 225bhp at 4,000 revs and a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds.
Being an automatic, there is a frustrating lag in initial acceleration but then be prepared to re-live the scene in Star Wars when the Millennium Falcon goes into hyperspace. It is that impressive.
There is no loss of composure, however, thanks to the latest model’s extra length and width. Speed-related power steering stops the steering wheel feeling too loose at high speeds, though this leaves little for thrill seekers who are after ‘seat-of-the-pants’ motoring.
But if you want to get somewhere as fast as the UK legal system allows and arrive cool and calm for a meeting, the A6 is the car to choose.
Model: Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro SE Tiptronic
Price (OTR): £31,930 (£37,025 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 229
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £328 per month
Insurance group: 16
Combined mpg: 33.2
Test mpg: 31.1
CAP Monitor residual value: £12,250/38%
HSBC contract hire rate: £630
Expenditure to date: £55 (bumper repairs)