Audi A6 Avant estate (2011-2018)
"The Audi A6 Avant is a large executive estate car with great performance and practicality, along with surprising economy"
- Efficient, powerful diesels
- Spacious boot
- Desirable image
- Expensive options
- BMW 5 Series is more fun to drive
- Firm suspension on S line models
The Audi A6 Avant is the roomier version of the A6 executive saloon, with a well finished interior and powerful diesel engines. Featuring a practical hatchback boot and huge luggage space, the Avant is particularly spacious for passengers, providing impressive legroom.
Despite a recent boom in SUV sales, there are still plenty of contenders in the estate class, with models including the BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes E-Class Estate and Volvo V90 all proving tempting if you value handling and fuel economy over a high seating position and off-road ability.
While looks are subjective, we’d argue the A6 Avant is even more handsome than the saloon, with sharp lines and contemporary features like LED lighting and tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper. The interior is similarly modern, with lots of soft-touch materials, metallic trim and an emphasis on technology.
The engine line-up consists of an economical 2.0-litre diesel, a smooth 3.0-litre diesel with two power outputs, a 3.0-litre ‘BiTDI’, which gets two turbochargers for greater performance and a 1.8-litre petrol. The entry-level diesel comes with a manual six-speed gearbox, but every other version has an automatic, which suits the car well, along with several versions coming with Audi’s famous quattro four-wheel-drive system.
The high-performance Audi S6 Avant and even faster Audi RS6 Avant have a 4.0-litre TFSI V8 engine under the bonnet, with up to 597bhp in the RS6 Avant Performance model. This is the fastest estate car money can buy, with so many mechanical changes it’s practically considered a separate model.
Back in the standard A6 Avant range, there are three core trim levels – SE Executive, S line and Black Edition, and unlike many cars, the entry-level version has just about all the kit most people should need. Highlights include leather upholstery, heated front seats, four-zone climate control and a 6.5-inch infotainment display with sat nav.
S line gains LED headlights, 20mm lower suspension, larger wheels and sports styling inside and out, while the Black Edition sees exterior chrome trim painted gloss black and includes 20-inch wheels and a Bose stereo. It’s worth noting the stiffer S line suspension can be deselected at no extra cost – we’d recommend doing this if you like a comfortable ride.
With plenty of room for tall adults in the front and rear seats, the A6 Avant is a great place to spend time, even on longer trips. Your passengers should have no trouble with their luggage either, thanks to a large and well shaped boot with a low loading lip.
Many will choose the A6 Avant because of Audi’s engineering heritage and a five-star crash safety rating from Euro NCAP, with a 91% score for adult occupant protection, just goes to show the manufacturer still builds very sturdy cars. The Audi A6 range finished 34th out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK.