Audi A6 Avant estate
Price £35,095 - £59,315
- Efficient, powerful diesels
- Spacious boot
- Desirable image
- Expensive options
- BMW 5 Series is more fun to drive
- Firm suspension on S line models
At a glance
"The Audi A6 Avant estate is practical, economical and fast, with enough room in the back for two adults and all their luggage."
The Audi A6 Avant is the more spacious, practical version of the popular A6 saloon. It has the same high quality interior of the saloon and its powerful yet efficient diesel engine range, but with added versatility thanks to a big boot and more space for passengers.
It goes up against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class estate, and Volvo V70 and, until recently, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, but high-riding premium crossovers and SUVs are increasingly tempting buyers, so the A6 Avant needs to be good to draw in buyers also looking at this trendy type of car.
The Audi Avant disguises its bulk well, with a sleek look and neat design features, including sharp LED lights at both the front and rear. Inside, it's the same story as the A6 saloon, so everything looks and feels expensive, and it's intuitive and easy to use.
There's the same choice of engines and trim levels to choose from – a 2.0 TDI Ultra, a 3.0 TDI with two power outputs and a bi-turbo 3.0 BiTDI. All diesel engines are smooth and powerful – the 2.0 TDI Ultra is the one to go for if low running costs are your priority, though. It's also available with a choice of manual and S tronic automatic gearboxes in this engine, as well as Quattro four-wheel drive. All other engines in the range come only with the S tronic gearbox.
If you prefer petrol power, your only options are the Audi S6 and Audi RS6 Avant, which are powered by 4.0 TFSI petrol engines. The RS6 is incredibly quick, but you can read all about that in its own review.
There are three trim levels on offer – SE Executive, S line and Black Edition. SE Executive models are very well equipped, with sat-nav, heated leather seats, four-zone climate control, cruise control, and LED daytime running lights as standard. S line models add a bit more style to the A6 Avant with a sporty bodykit and larger alloy wheels, but these models do come with firmer suspension. You can deselect this and have softer, standard suspension fitted for no extra cost, which is what we’d recommend doing.
In terms of space, the A6 Avant is a great family car. Tall passengers will have no problems getting comfortable in the back, plus the boot is big, square and very versatile.
Part of the A6 Avant's appeal is the Audi badge on the grille. Audi has a strong reputation for building desirable, high-quality cars, and the A6 is no different. It has a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, but it's 81st place in the 2016 Driver Power survey is slightly disappointing when you consider it fell from 54th place in the 2015 survey.
The Audi A6 Ultra diesel model can return up to 64mpg, but general maintenance is pricey
The Audi A6 Avant is a quiet and accomplished motorway cruiser, especially on the standard suspension
Audi A6 SE models have comfortable suspension, but S line models are firm
The Audi A6 Avant's boot is very spacious and versatile
The Audi A6 Avant uses tried-and-tested components from other models in the range