Looks good, drives well, premium cabin, generally copes with everything life can throw at it
Ride not as polished as we’d like, 5 Series more involving, E-Class more spacious
What is it?
A handsome, capacious, high-quality estate car that feels at home pretty much anywhere. And providing you don’t need seven seats, probably a better all-rounder than that Q7 you had your eye on. Yeah, we see you.
I'm assuming 'Avant' means 'estate'?
Got it in one. This generation of A6 Avant has been around since 2018, and is entirely new relative to the car it replaced. What hasn’t changed, though, is the fact that this is a car that can cover a lot of bases, even if most of the improvements feel incremental. It sits on a version of the ubiquitous Volkswagen Group ‘MLB’ platform that also underpins the A7 four-door coupe, Q7 seven-seat SUV and countless others, and directly competes with the BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes E-Class Estate, Volvo V90 and Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
Is it spacious?
Yes, because it’s a big estate and, well, that’s the point. How does 565 litres seats up and 1,680 litres seats down sound? For context, that’s more than the Volvo V90 (560/1,526 litres) and about the same as the 5 Series (560/1,700 litres), but less than the cavernous Mercedes E-Class (640/1,820 litres). Head to the interior tab for more.
What engines can you get?
Your engine options now consist of a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols and one diesel (the 3.0-litre six-cylinders are no longer available) in mild-hybrid form, plus a full-on plug-in hybrid. No full-electric version, at least not yet anyway – the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept should make production in 2023 or thereabouts. Hurrah!
Audi’s naming strategy assigns a number to an engine based on how much power it produces, with the four-cylinder ’40’ and ‘45’ getting 201bhp and 261bhp respectively. After the number comes a string of letters telling you whether it’s petrol, diesel or hybrid – ‘TFSI’ means petrol, ‘TDI’ means diesel and ‘TFSIe’ means plug-in hybrid.
In any guise the A6 is a pleasant thing to drive, and which engine you choose will come down to general use, but a BMW 5 Series Touring is both more comfortable and involving behind the wheel. Full details over on the buying tab.
Is there a fast one?
Audi does indeed do a fast A6 Avant, the S6, which with its 339bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine can do 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and top out at a limited 155mph. But the RS6 is VERY fast. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre petrol V8 with not much less than 600bhp. Audi conservatively claims 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. Take the limiter off and no doubt it could pass 200mph.
Is it expensive?
Relative to the competition, no. You’ll pay about the same for an A6 Avant as you would the equivalent BMW, Mercedes or Volvo, which is from around £40,000 before any discount/deal you’re able to negotiate. Of course the S6 and RS6 are pretty pricy – £64k and £110k respectively at time of writing – but again no more so than rivals.
As with any big, plush German car, what you do need to watch out for is the spec. Go crazy with the options list and you could get caught out paying way more than you’d planned to. For a full breakdown head over to the buying tab.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
Handsome, very well made, reasonably comfortable and superbly practical, the A6 Avant will make a lot of sense to a lot of people.
It’s not perfect, the BMW 5 Series is arguably a better all-rounder while the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is more engaging to drive and the Mercedes E-Class more spacious, but the Audi still has plenty of appeal.
Particularly so for that cabin, which is as excellent as ever, and offers just as much practicality as almost all of its five-seat SUVs competitors.