Cast your mind back to 2016 when my long-termer was Skoda’s latest Superb Estate, and I had a bit of a moan that some of the car’s features not only seemed rather pointless, but didn’t always work that well. In particular, I wasn’t overly struck by the Virtual Pedal – a way of opening the Superb’s cavernous boot, just by waving your foot under the back bumper when your hands are full. In theory it sounded like a brilliant idea, but I could rarely get it to work, and instead looked like a lunatic doing a silly dance. Well, it’s now three years later, and the Audi A6 Avant also has this feature, but added functionality means that it can now shut the boot. And yes, the Audi version of the software has its quirks, too, with a sensor that’s positioned either too far back or is set to be overly sensitive. I first found this out when sitting on the boot lip to change my shoes. There was a long beep, followed by the boot lid hitting me on the head, and it kept attempting to eat me whole until I pushed the tailgate upwards with enough force to stop it. I thought maybe I had sat on the keys in my pocket and pressed a button, but the same thing occurred just a few days later. While unloading the commodious boot, I heard the familiar beep and threw myself backwards onto the floor as the tailgate came down. Wanting to avoid a repeat performance, now I have to either climb into the boot or stand well back to avoid triggering the sensor and potential decapitation, which isn’t ideal for a car photographer in need of a mobile office.
I love spring. Heated seats aren’t so much of a necessity, along with making sure you’ve always got access to a hat, gloves and a weighty jacket to see off hyperthermia. But most of all, the days are longer, which is a godsend for me; good for the mind and also allowing more time to tick photos off the shot list. The only downside is not getting to use the A6’s LED headlights as often. And that’s a shame because it also has the adaptive ‘Matrix’ lights fitted – it’s standard equipment on the S line model. Effectively a very fancy automatic main beam, a camera monitors oncoming traffic and shuts off individual LED bulbs as you pass other road users – it even works when you’re travelling behind another vehicle, illuminating the scenery around it without dazzling the driver ahead. It reminds me of drawing the curtains on a sunny morning to adjust the light flooding into the room. Marvelous stuff.
Date arrived 18th January 2019
Fuel economy 37.2-39.2mpg (WLTP combined) 42.2mpg (on test)
Our A6 is beating the latest WLTP figures for its economy. ‘Atta girl.
The gamble you take when attempting to retrieve anything from the boot.