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Audi A6 2.0 TDI and BMW 520d in the test: economical and dynamic

Arturo Rivas
Audi A6 2.0 TDI and BMW 520d in the test
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V we forget all for a moment Savings promises from electric and hybrid cars and instead celebrate this BMW 5 Series. 520d Efficient Dynamics Edition. No six-cylinder thick pants - here a high-compression four-cylinder with just one exhaust gas turbocharger and six-speed manual transmission conjures up a consumption of 4.9 L /100 km. Four point nine!

For all those who just want to mumble 'throttled economy version': The stately BMW 5 Series contains 380 Newton meters of torque, 184 hp and so much desire for freedom when depressing the gas pedal that there is no feeling of asceticism. How do they manage that at BMW? The Audi A6 would like to know, too, who wants to win this comparison test with a two-liter TDI. His common rail four-cylinder also sends 380 Newton meters to the crankshaft shortly after starting up, which is managed by a six-speed manual transmission.

BMW 5 Series with much more effective economy technology

Same key data , same savings success? Almost, because the Audi A6 only needs 0.2 liters more on the consumption lap (mix of urban, rural and motorway routes). BMW gives the 520d the addition of Efficient Dynamics Edition for an extra 550 euros, which includes a bundle of further fuel-saving measures: The four-door model uses its braking energy to charge the on-board battery as standard and closes it with flaps as required to improve the dynamics and reduce the cold running phase of the engine Grille.

In addition to the automatic start-stop system and gearshift indicator, which are already standard, there is now the selectable Eco-Pro drive program, which shows the driver in the cockpit in which speed range he is driving the BMW 5 Series most economically and which kilometer bonus it offers for it learns. In short: no other mid-size sedan currently has so much effective economy technology on board that patronizes the driver so little.

BMW 5 Series creates better performance

Audi is hot on BMW's heels. The Audi A6 does not allow its braking energy to dissipate and, in addition to the automatic start-stop system and a gearshift display, has a so-called efficiency program on board, which shows the energy requirement and the associated consumers in a bar. The driver learns, for example, that closed windows reduce consumption - informative, but the Eco-Pro program in the BMW 5 Series is more convincing to encourage people to save.

The BMW 5 Series has another trump cardWheel house, he creates the better driving performance. Its subtle humming diesel pushes the four-door car a hood length faster when accelerating to 100 km /h, which means little in the real world, but is priceless at the regulars table.

The Audi A6 - a loser? Not at all. The meters he lost in the traffic light duel he regained on winding country roads. Yes, that's right, the car is front-wheel drive. But this is only noticeable in very tight bends, otherwise the Audi A6 conceals any drive influences like no other and follows every steering command with astonishing nimble. Although the BMW 5 Series weighs 1,670 kilograms (Audi despite mixed aluminum construction: 1,637 kilograms) 50:50 on both axles, it appears clumsy when moving in a hurry and noticeably pushes its weight outwards in fast corners.

Audi A6 is cheaper and more dynamic

In terms of driving comfort, this test pairing deserves special attention, as only the BMW 5 Series goes into the race with adjustable dampers. The dynamic damper control devours 1,300 euros and changes the rebound and compression stages of the shock absorbers in three modes at the push of a button. On a special comfort test track with countless short and long, high and extra-high bumps, however, we were only able to determine one difference between Sport and Comfort mode - in the latter, the BMW 5 Series rolls more smoothly than the not uncomfortable A6 with conventional chassis. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether this justifies the 1,300 euro extra charge.

The conclusion begins in a similar way: The BMW 520d Edition needs a little less diesel than the A6 2.0 TDI, but costs around 1,500 euros more with similar equipment. If that doesn't bother you, you get the best economy sedan in the mid-range - less sporty than expected from a BMW, very well made and effortlessly equipped with many expensive extras.

The latter also applies to the Audi, which here is also an exemplary saver, offers noticeably more traction and can be moved a little more dynamically. We would prefer its conventional suspension to the air suspension, which costs 1,950 euros. Only one thing disturbed: the wobbly driver's seat of the test car.


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