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The Top Gear car review:Audi A6 Avant
For:Looks good, drives well, copes with everything life can throw at it
Against:Some of the options are expensive and pointless
What is it?
Evolution rather than revolution for the new Audi A6 Avant, but that’s definitely not a bad thing in this case: a handsome, capacious estate car that’s at home pretty much anywhere.
Bigger picture stuff comes from the external redesign to keep it in-line with Audi’s ‘angry robot’ aesthetic and a whole raft of small and not-so-small changes. What doesn’t change is the fact that this is a car that can cover a lot of bases, even if most of the improvements feel incremental.
There’s more room inside, despite looking a little less bulky than it used to and having the same carrying capacity as before (565 litres seats up, 1,680 litres seats down). There will be a choice of engines with improved efficiency across the board, with all cars coming with a little mild-hybrid system (12-volt for the four-cylinder cars, 48v for the six-cyl variants).
At the moment, the UK gets a pair of diesels from launch, a 2-litre four cylinder with 201bhp and 295lb ft and a bi-turbo 3.0-litre six-pot with 283bhp and 457lb ft, the latter good for 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a limited 155mph), and there’ll be four- and six-cylinder petrol versions along later, with the sixes getting quattro and an eight-speed auto and the fours remaining front-wheel drive with the seven-speed S-tronic ‘box. There’ll even be a four-cylinder diesel with quattro and ‘Ultra’ technology later on to make it even more fuel efficient. So there’s a fair few to choose from.
Phew. And that’s not all, because as ever with Audi, there’s a fair bit of spec digging you have to do to understand it all. Along with all the usual options of Sport and S-Line trims, there are four different suspensions to choose from: standard steel springs, S-Line - which is 20mm lower - optional damper-control and full adaptive air suspension.
There’s ‘Progressive steering’, increasing the rack speed and making the car swivel more quickly the further the steering wheel is turned, and optional all-wheel steering, turning the rear wheels by as much as five degrees to increase agility.
There are wheel choices, options for the LED headlights as well as Comfort, Sound, Technology, Tour and City Assist packs, all of them bundling various options together. Honestly, it’s a bit of a minefield. The basic message? The A6 Avant is a good-looking wagon that will carry all your stuff, and be thoughtful and convenient.