Morgan Highfield & Land
Road testing the latest

Audi A6 Avant

Audi’s largest estate car, the A6 Avant, offers a great blend of practicality and onboard tech

SUV’s might be at the front of most people’s mind 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.

A6 Avant is the Audi largest estate in the range and marries all the luxuriousness of its saloon sibling, with all the practicality you get with a large estate car.

Elegant and practical

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. The look is especially racy, on 20-inch 5-V-spoke star alloy wheels that our S Line spec test car came with, while the Matrix LED headlights to include slick, dynamic front and rear indicators.

It’s a large car as well, at just under 5m in length, but a large footprint does make it incredibly practical. If you’re looking at an estate like this, then boot space is going to be one of your primary 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, while the 565-litre capacity 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 capacity of 1,680-litres. We 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 requires a swipe of your foot to raise the tailgate. Perfect for those times when you’ve got your hands full.

Futuristic interior

The quality of the cabin is a place where the A6 Avant excels and features plenty of tech from the flagship A8.

Dominated by a large dual-touchscreen, the centre console and configuration does look impressive. Our test car featured the Technology Pack (£1,495) that among other things sees the central 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 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 to a bare minimum, with even the instrument display enjoys Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. The Virtual Cockpit is standard on all trim levels, and it substitutes conventional dials for a modern digital display. This display provides vital driving information, and it relays the satellite navigation and other essential info, all controlled via the steering wheel.

Elsewhere, A6 Avant oozes interior build quality, with a high gloss finish over most of the interior complemented by brushed aluminium. A nice touch is the ambient lighting that provides the cabin with a 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.

Driver aids?

All A6 Avant’s come with what Audi calls Parking System Plus, with both front and rear parking sensors (along with a rearview 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 (£1,895) that includes a handy 360-degree set of cameras that covers the entire vehicle. You can switch between cameras via the touchscreen, including a live ‘birds-eye view’, to help to manoeuvre around tight spaces and making parking much less stressful.

The automatic emergency braking system also comes as standard. This system automatically detects a pedestrian stepping out into your path, and stationary cars in front. When it does, the emergency braking system automatically applies the brakes to help reduce the risk of an accident or collision.

Finally, the A6 Avant scores a 5 star Euro NCAP rating, offering occupants excellent levels of protection should the worst happen.

Out on the road

That A6 Avant comes with a wide range of powerful petrol or diesel engines, and both available as either four or six-cylinder options.

Our test car was the top-spec diesel, Audi calls this model, a ’50 TDI’. A confusing way to badge-up a new vehicle for sure! But the badge translates to a potent 282bhp, 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel unit – this engine impressed us. The powerful motor is effortlessly quick and smooth, hitting 60mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph. A fabulous engine, only a fraction slower than the range-topping 335bhp 3.0-litre petrol (0-60mph in 5.3 seconds).

If you’re looking for something a little more frugal, then the 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel makes the most sense, especially with an official 60.1mpg. Either way, all engines feature Audi’s latest mild-hybrid technology to enhance the fuel economy further. Mild-hybrid technology sees energy captured under deceleration and fed into a lithium battery, and this power is re-deployed to the drivetrain when it’s needed.

A6 Avant is available with a variety of different suspension options depending on the trim level you pick – regular for the entry-level Sport, while S line and Black Edition possess 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’ specification car came with additional damping control (£1,150)ve and the ride was very good – firm enough on smooth roads, but supple enough when presented with some of the UK’s more inferior road surfaces.

With Audi’s four-wheel-drive Quattro technology, the grip is excellent (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 competent on a twisty road, feeling smaller than it is thanks to the all-wheel steering.

Audi A6 Avant: Our Verdict

The A6 Avant proves that if you need plenty of space, they can’t beat a large estate car. Not only does this type of Audi have a massive 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 gadgetry, while the handsome looks mean it has plenty of presence on the road. Factor in some excellent engines to choose from and you’ll have one of the best premium estate cars going.

Vehicle specification for our test: Audi A6 Avant 50 TDI Quattro Tiptronic

Tested: November 2019

Engine: 3.0-litre V6 diesel

Power output: 286PS

Max speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.7sec

Fuel economy (combined): 37.2 – 39.2mpg

Trim level: S Line

Options include: Comfort and sound pack (£1,895), Technology pack (£1,495) and Tour pack (£1,950)

The total retail cost of our Audi A6 Avant: £63,430

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