Our Cars: Audi A6 Allroad

13 January 2020: Matrix LED headlights - a genuinely brilliant innovation

The Details

Current mileage 3266
Claimed economy 47.9mpg
Actual economy 35.7mpg

Sit inside any modern car like our A6 Allroad and you'll be surrounded by technology. Vehicles have certainly come a long way since my 1981 Ford Fiesta which sported an MW/LW radio, one wing mirror and a three-speed heater but little else.

Audi has certainly been one of the key leaders in introducing new technology into its models, usually starting with the expensive stuff like the A8, before eventually filtering down. It means that even the A1 is available with things like adaptive cruise control and a park assist system that actually manouevres it into the space for you.

Of course whether we need all these extras is debatable. You can go and buy a brand new Dacia for £7000 which despite no radio and manual windows will still get you from A to B safely and comfortably. And this is how I felt about Matrix LED headlights when they first came along.

They're not actually new, Audi debuted them several years ago. I remember seeing the video below on an event and thinking to myself that they were just a gimmick. After all, automatic dimming headlights already exist so why is this needed?


But when I chose our A6 Allroad I decided to go for the HD Matrix LED headlights as an optional extra. It cists £600 and includes LED rear lights and headlight washers too. In the grand scheme of the A6 Allroad, it's one of the more reasonably priced options...

The video above explains how they work but essentially the headlights sense anything ahead (i.e another car) and adjust individual sections of the lights, the rest remaining on full beam. A gimmick? I thought so until the first time I drove our Allroad at night on a country lane. And then I realised that they are actually brilliant.

On a dark unlit country lane they provide superb illumination and if you come up behind a car, you can still see all around it, the hedges and ditches either side of the road are fully lit. Yet the car in front isn't dazzled. It works the same for cars coming the other way and will automatically adjust when you come into a town or a well lit area.

What I like the most is simply how well it works. I've not had one person flash me coming the other way, the system is that quick to dip the beam. If you live somewhere remote or often travel on dark roads, I can't recommend it enough.

« Earlier: A6 Allroad or S6 Avant - which would be our choice?    

13 January 2020: Matrix LED headlights - a genuinely brilliant innovation
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