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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
44 December 2010 / January 2011 Best Large Car over $60k Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro $105,514 Driveline: Quattro AWD, 3.0litre V6; 6-speed automatic Fuel economy: 7.1/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA, HAB, ABS, TCS, ESC ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG: ★★★★ The Audi A6 has taken the title in this re-jigged class (formally luxury cars) for the second year in a row. Although the exterior looks the same, there is a big difference under the bonnet. This year’s w inning A6 is powered by Audi’s cracking 3.0 -litre V6 diesel engine. Developing 176kW of power and 500Nm of torque and coupled to Audi’s Quattro permanent AWD system, this luxury sedan has few peers in this class when it comes to performance. It scores an impressive eight out of 10 while retaining respectability at the fuel bowser. That’s part of the attraction that’s increasingly drawing buyers to these latest-generation diesel-powered executive expresses – fantastic performance but miserly fuel consumption. Another appeal is that, unlike their predecessors, which were noisy and not environmentally-friendly, this A6 3.0 TDI scored high marks for smoothness and quietness with an eight out of 10, and seven out of 10 for environment. Safety-w ise, it’s 10 out of 10 with a full complement of safety gear including six airbags, ESC, ABS with EBD and BA and a five-star ANCAP safety rating. All this is boosted by the sure-footedness of Audi’s per manent all-wheel-dr ive system. The interior finish and ambience sets the benchmark in this class. Build quality and finish is what we have come to expect from a luxury carmaker such as Audi, and the A6 3.0 TDI doesn’t disappoint. With 500Nm of engine torque under the r ight foot, the last thing you want to be driving is an average-handling luxury car. Ride quality is important in this class and the A6 scores impressively with an eight. The ride quality is equally matched to a steer ing and suspension package that’s communicative and sure-footed. And for those out there who are wonder ing what happened to last year’s winner, the A6 3.0 TFSI? We test the volume-selling model and this year the 2.0 -litre four cylinder petrol model was scored. It was a sound performer and an attractive value-for-money proposition at $76,114 (that’s almost $30k cheaper than the winner) but it was no match for the 3.0 TDi Quattro in terms of performance, handling and standard features. Best People Mover Hyundai iMax $42,490 Driveline: 2.5 litre; 4 cylinder turbo-diesel; 5-speed automatic Fuel economy: 9.8 L/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFA, ABS, TCS, ESC ANCAP: ★★★★ GVG: ★★★ The People Mover class is all about function – the ability to transport more passengers than a normal family sedan – and this is where the Hyundai iMax really shines. It is the best in class for design and function, while it also rates well in the value for money stakes w ith affordable pricing, low ser vicing and repair costs and a reassur ing five-year or 130,000km war ranty. There is no denying the iMax is a big van with commercial origins but the massive interior space has been put to good use and a few additional mechanical refinements transfor m it from a solid workhorse into a family-fr iendly people mover that is ideal for ever yday use. Having enough width to fit three child-seats across the middle row seat is also a major plus for parents, while the iMax’s cavernous interior space makes getting the kids in and out a lot easier than in most other vehicles. Large sliding doors on either side provide easier access to the second and third-row seats than most others in the class. Even though it doesn’t have all the clever folding seats of some people movers, the iMax will seat eight adults in relative comfort and there is still plenty of space for luggage behind the third row. The on-road ability and driving ease is a lot better than might be expected for such a big, rear-wheel-drive van. The dash layout is straightfor ward and all the controls are simple to operate. A high driving position provides a commanding view of the road and parking sensors are an enor mous help when reversing, but you are very aware of the iMax’s size in tight shopping centre carparks. In the iMax range buyers have a choice of 2.5 -litre diesel or 2.4 -litre petrol engines. Performance of the diesel, although not quite class-leading, is good for a people mover and streets ahead of the petrol version, par ticularly if you want an automatic, as the petrol model only gets a four-speed box while the diesel has a five-speed unit. The iMax has a solidly constructed feel and its fit and finish is in keeping with the class standards.
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011