SUVs might be at the front of most people’s minds when they need a large and practical car with plenty of space, but if you want a real load carrier, then it’s hard to beat a large estate.
Audi’s A6 Avant is the company’s largest family station wagon in the range and marries all the luxuriousness of its sedan sibling, with all the practicality you get with a large estate.
Audi A6 Avant: Design
- Nice balance of elegance and brawn
- Almost 20 cubic feet trunk capacity
- Automatic tailgate is a nice touch
Engines: 3.0-liter 6-cylinder petrol or 3.0-liter 6-cylinder diesel
Power output: 335bhp (55 TFSI) | 282bhp (50 TDI)
Max speed: 155mph (55 TFSI) | 155mph (50 TDI)
0-62mph: 5.3 seconds (55 TFSI) | 5.7 seconds (50 TDI)
Fuel economy: 37.2mpg (55 TFSI) | 47.9mpg (50 TDI)
The A6 Avant is a handsome looking car with Audi’s designers striking a great balance between elegance and brawn. It’s nicely proportioned, with a large hexagonal grille that dominates the front of the car giving way to some refined lines and a gently tapering roofline. It sits on the road really satisfyingly, especially on the 20-inch 5-V-spoke star alloy wheels that our S Line spec test car came with, while the Matrix LED headlights come with Audi’s slick dynamic front and rear indicators.
It’s a large car as well, at just under 17ft in length, but it’s large footprint does make it incredibly practical. If you’re looking at an estate like this, then trunk space is going to be one of your main concerns and the A6 Avant doesn’t disappoint. While not quite as large as the boot in the Mercedes E-Class Estate or BMW 5 Series Touring, the square design employed makes it easy to pack. That's not forgetting the impressive 20 cubic feet capacity that should be more than adequate for most.
On those occasions when you need some extra space, the rear seats can be folded down to provide you with a vast boot space with a 59 cubic feet capacity. We really like the automatic tailgate that opens and closes at a touch of a button, while we’d recommend opting for the optional sensor under the rear bumper that simple requires a swipe of your foot to raise the tailgate. Perfect for those times when you’ve got your hands full.
Audi A6 Avant: Interior
- Beautiful interior finish
- Dual-touchscreen interface
- Ambient lighting is a nice touch
The quality of the cabin is a place where the A6 Avant really excels and features plenty of tech from the flagship A8.
The centre console is dominated by a large dual-touchscreen configuration that really does look very impressive. Our test car featured the Technology Pack that among other things sees the main infotainment display grow from 8.8-inches to a large 10-inches, and provides you with easy access to the A6 Avant’s suite of sat nav, phone and stereo settings. The system is really intuitive to use, will the secondary 8.6-inch display below providing access to the car’s multi-zone climate control and driver settings.
Physical buttons are kept to the bare minimum, with even the instrument display enjoying Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. This is standard on all trim levels and substitutes conventional dials for a very modern digital display and not only displays key driving information, but also relays the sat nav and other key info, all of which can be controlled via the steering wheel.
Elsewhere, and the A6 Avant’s interior oozes quality, with a high gloss finish over most of the interior that’s complemented but some pleasing brushed aluminium. A really nice touch is the ambient lighting that provides the cabin with a really snug feeling when the light levels drop.
It’s not just about the tech as the A6 Avant is incredibly comfy, with plenty of space front and back. The seats offer plenty of support - we managed to complete over 2,000 miles in under a week with no hint of any aches or pains, while it was a joy to return to each day.
All A6 Avant’s come with what Audi calls Parking System Plus, with both front and rear parking sensors (along with a rear view camera), with a graphic representation of the distance to any obstacles detected outside and within the driving path. Our test car came with Audi’s Comfort and sound pack that includes a really useful 360-degree set of cameras that covers the entire car. You can switch between cameras via the touchscreen, including a live ‘bird’s-eye view’, to help maneuvering around tight spaces and making parking much less stressful.
As well as this, all versions of the A6 Avant feature Audi’s automatic emergency braking system that can cleverly not only recognise pedestrians stepping out into your path, but also stationary cars in front, automatically applying the brakes to help reduce the risk of an accident or collision.
Audi A6 Avant: On the road
- V6 diesel is a fabulous engine
- Available with a variety of different suspension options
- All-wheel steering also available
That A6 Avant comes with a wide range of powerful petrol or diesel engines, and both available as either four of six-cylinder options.
Our test car was the top spec diesel, or as Audi calls it, the 50 TDI. This translates to a powerful 282bhp 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel unit that really impressed. It’s both effortlessly quick and smooth, hitting 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. It’s a fabulous engine that’s only a fraction slower than the range-topping 335bhp 3.0-liter petrol (0-62mph in 5.3 seconds), while the petrol can't match it for fuel economy. Either way, all engines feature Audi’s latest mild hybrid technology to enhance the fuel economy further. This sees energy captured under deceleration and fed into a lithium battery to be redeployed when needed.
The A6 Avant is available with a variety of different suspension options depending on the trem level you pick - regular for the entry-level Sport, while S line and Black Edition models having a lower and stiffer sports setup. You can also have a more sophisticated air suspension if you opt for the range-topping Vorsprung model. Our S Line spec car came with additional damping control and the ride was very good - firm enough on smooth roads, but supple enough when presented with some ruts and bumps.
With Audi’s four-wheel drive Quattro technology, the grip is very good (base models rely on front wheel drive only). There’s no doubt that it’s more at home chewing through swathes of motorway miles in great comfort, but it’s still very capable on a twisty road, feeling smaller than it is thanks to the all-wheel steering.
Audi A6 Avant: Verdict
The A6 Avant proves that if you need plenty of space, then you still can’t beat a large estate. Not only does it have a large tick next to it when it comes to practicality, but the A6 Avant also delivers big in other areas too. The interior is one of the best around and comes with plenty of tech, while the handsome looks means it has plenty of presence too. Factor in some excellent engines to choose from and you have one of the best premium estate cars going.