The Road Ahead : December January 2010
visit www.roadahead.com.au/motoring MORE INFO MOTORING AUSTRALIA'S BEST CARS luxury audi a6 tfsi quattro IT TOOK SOMETHING special for a newcomer to upstage three-time consecutive champion Lexus GS 450h, but the new Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro did it. Tickle the throttle and the supercharged V6 responds with an enthusiastic surge and, unlike some turbocharged units, there's no hint of lag. The powerplant has an able partner in the slick and smooth six-speed DSG transmission. Putting such accomplished driveability to the ground in all conditions is Audi's lauded quattro all-wheel-drive system. Add this to its long safety inventory and little wonder the A6 gets a maximum safety rating. The A6 falls down a little in quality of ridde, as it lacks consistency of smoothness over the patchwork quilt that is the fabric of Australian roads. Audi interiors are a benchmark and the A6 maintains the standard, excelling in seating comfort and spaciousness, intelligent but understandable dash and switchgear, and ambience. Size does count when it comes to boot space, and with a capacity of 546 litres, the A6 has one of the biggest in class, despite fitting in a full-sized alloy spare. And if a diesel rather than petrol engine is your thing, there's the 3.0-litre TDI A6 (for $4000 less) that finished just six points behind its sibling. RRP: $112,500. recreational 4wd subaru outback 2.5i SUBARU HAS DONE it again with the new Outback -- created a class leading 'soft-roader' that drives like a car and yet performs more than adequately off-road. Based upon the newly revised Liberty, fourth-generation Outback boasts much more space than the previous model, a refined drivetrain and additional equipment. Remarkably, this has all been achieved without a price increase. And fuel consumption is lower than the previous model. Outback's exterior has become a little fussier on the way to being bigger and better. Key changes, however, are on the inside, particularly in the rear where the amount of leg room and headroom is exemplary. It shares the competent 'car-like' characteristics of Liberty on-road, yet is capable off-road thanks to a combination of sufficient power, CVT transmission and 213 mm of ground clearance. Safety has been one of Subaru's core brand attributes for years, and the maximum five-star ANCAP rating has helped it stay at the top of the rankings. The use of DataDots to assist with vehicle security has helped it achieve a perfect score for this criterion. In any good family wagon, storage and a functional interior are vital and Outback provides numerous options. RRP: $37,990. SCORES TOTAL: 841. 2nd: Jaguar XF 3.0 D 787. 3rd: Lexus GS450h 783. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 7 M, Depreciation 4 M, Running costs 6 L, Fuel consumption 2 L, Warranty 5 L, Standard features 8 C. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 10 C, Security 10 H, Environment 7 C, Comfort 9 C, Space 9 H, Practicality 8 M, Ergonomics 9 C, Build & finish 9 C. ON THE ROAD: Performance 9 H, Ride 8 C, Handling 9 H, Braking 9 H, Smoothness/quietness 9 C. WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 50 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2009/JAN 2010 SCORES TOTAL: 773. 2nd: Volkswagen Tiguan 103 TDI 769. 3rd: Audi Q5 2.0 Tdi 727. CRITERIA (OUT OF 10): VALUE FOR MONEY: Pricing 6 C, Depreciation 7 M, Running costs 3 H, Fuel consumption 8 C, Warranty 4 M, Standard features 6 H. DESIGN & FUNCTION: Safety 10 C, Security 10 M, Environment 7 C, Comfort 9 H, Space 9 M, Practicality 8 H, Ergonomics 10 H, Build & finish 8 H. ON THE ROAD: Performance 7 M, Ride 10 M, Handling 9 H, Braking 8 H, Smoothness/quietness 9 L, 4WD ability 8 M. LEVEL OF WEIGHTED IMPORTANCE FOR EACH SCORE: L=LOW,M=MEDIUM,H=HIGH,C=CRITICAL.
February March 2010