Inside the Audi A6 is almost a complete replica of the beautiful A7, except we have a more comfortable 4-spoke steering wheel rather than the sportier 3-spoke steering of the A7.
Peek behind the leather stitched wheel and you’ll have a look at the seemingly minimalist dash. Apart from the tachometer and speedometer it seems that there’s just blank space in there. But turn on the car and you’re greeted with beautifully high-res screen that shows you the car details (detailed reports from the trip computer), currently played song (or radio station), telephone directory and the navigation system (with minimal details).
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Peak a little higher, or rather, look straight out the windshield as you normally would and the Heads-Up Display shows up. The HUD shows up in a white light, which basically shows you your current speed in the form of a digital speedometer. You can even have the option to show up the navigation system whereby you’ll see arrows guiding to your destination. I chose to keep it off (which was default state anyways) as it got a bit too distracting for me. Just seeing the speed in my peripheral vision was enough. The height and brightness of the HID can also be adjusted.
Moving to the center console we’ll see the main technological playground of the new A6. The 8-inch screen pops up from just above the aircon grills. Seeing as it’s a bit of a stretch for the driver to reach, Audi has decided to make it completely button operated; buttons that are placed around the gearbox.
The MMI Plus navigation system is a bit confusing at first, but using it for a day or two will make you feel comfortable with it. My only complaint is that for some of the menus you really have to dig into submenus to get to what you need. This is a moot point; however, as not everyone wants access to, say street names, instantly.
Now the MMI system is popular for the small touch-panel on the left of the gear. This is usually occupied by 6 buttons that will instantly select your pre-programmed radio channels. However this touchpad can be used for actual handwritten input to search for contacts in your phone list, or entering destinations for the satnav system. The idea is that you’re typing what you want without having to take your eyes off the road. The best part about the MMI touch-based input is that the handwriting recognition was exceptionally well, even when my letters came out like something written by a 1st grader (due to the moving car!).The downside to such brilliant input traction is that you can only write one character at a time. More often than not I found myself entering two or three characters and then scrolling through the list using the central control knob.
Apart from the Satellite navigation system, media source selection and telephone directory, you can make in-depth customization to the A6, ranging from how the lights behave in different conditions to the dynamic behavior of the car.
The gearbox is interesting to use, in that the Sports mode is actually used via a toggle button. With Volkswagen and their DSG gears, the Sports mode is notch below the normal Drive mode. In the Audi you just push the gear down and it switches between Sports and normal Drive modes. While cool in theory, this gets a bit irritating as often times when I took out the A6 from Parking, the gearbox accidentally (probably due to my fault) selected the Sports mode and I was getting outside of the parking lot rather aggressively. Just pay attention to the S or D in the central trip computer and you’ll be fine.