Diesel King of the Hill: Audi A6 TDI vs. BMW 535d vs. Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec

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The Audi A6 TDI is one of six diesel models that the Ingolstadt-based automaker sells in the United States (the others are the A8, A7, A3, Q7, and Q5).

The Audi comes only as an all-wheel drive car, which somewhat impacts its fuel economy rating and the A6 is less efficient that the (optional) all-wheel drive versions of the Bimmer and Benz. However, the quattro all-wheel drive does give the A6 an edge in acceleration. Paired with 240 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, it goes from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 5.5 seconds.

It trails the Benz in fuel economy with city/highway/combined rates of 24/38/29 mpg (9.8/6.2/8.1 l/100 km).

The Audi’s interior reflects the fastidious attention to quality that Ingolstadt is famed for. The leather, the rich materials, everything feels soft to the touch and the knobs and buttons (with the possible exception of the buttons on the MMI cockpit controller, which, while improved still can’t be used without glancing down) are in just the right place.

The Audi starts at $58,700, the most expensive of the three and a hefty $13,900 premium over the base A6 since the diesel is only available in the more expensive Premium Plus trim level. The comparably equipped gasoline-fueled A6 3.0 TFSI is $56,300.

Click here to continue to Page 3BMW 535d, Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec, and Who Won

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