Audi A6 Avant

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Audi A6 Avant front tracking

Our verdict on the spacious new Audi A6 executive estate

Verdict

4

The Audi A6 Avant has long been a popular choice with UK buyers, but this latest model is set to be the most successful yet. Although it’s not as dynamically polished as its main rival, the BMW 5 Series, the mix of space, performance, efficiency and four-wheel drive availability adds up to a hugely capable estate car that looks like another winner for Audi. The Audi A6 saloon is our current favourite executive car, so how does the new A6 Avant fare?

For a £1,840 premium you get 565 litres of boot space. That’s 35 more than the saloon and identical to the space in the old version. Fold the rear seats down and this rises to 1,680 litres – 20 more than before.

A variety of straps, nets, hooks and rails makes the Avant more practical, and for those with their hands full, the optional advanced key lets you open the tailgate by waving a foot under the bumper.

From the driver’s seat, not much has changed over the saloon, save for the view through the rear mirror. But that means owners still get to enjoy the best built cabin in the class.

Clear instruments and a wide range of adjustment for the driving position make for a comfortable and easy-to-use cabin. Plus, there is plenty of standard kit, including leather upholstery, climate control and sat-nav. The long list of options includes massage seats, a Bang & Olufsen stereo, a head-up display, a panoramic glass sunroof and night vision.

Audi’s Drive Select system is fitted as standard. This allows owners to adjust the steering, throttle and gearbox responses to their individual taste, or else they can choose from several factory presets.

Our test car featured air-suspension, adaptive dampers and optional 20-inch alloys. But although this set-up coped well, a conventionally sprung car on standard wheels offers a better compromise. As on the saloon, well weighted steering allows drivers to place the car accurately through bends, but there’s little in the way of feedback.

We tried the 3.0-litre diesel and 3.0-litre petrol engines, and although the TFSI is more agile, the TDI makes more sense. With 500Nm of torque available from 1,400rpm through a quick-shift, dual-clutch, seven-speed auto; 0-62mph takes only 6.3 seconds.

It’s the combination of this punch and 47.9mpg economy that really impresses, while the 156g/km CO2 figure adds to the appeal. But those looking for efficiency should consider the 2.0-litre manual TDI, which offers 56.5mpg and 132g/km. Audi expects that to be the top seller, accounting for up to 75 per cent of registrations in the UK.

It also expects the Avant to make up 43 per cent of all A6 sales in the UK, and based on this evidence, we can see why.

Key specs

* Price: £40,950
* Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl turbodiesel
* Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch, four-wheel drive
* Power: 242bhp
* Torque: 500Nm
* 0-62mph: 6.3 seconds
* Top speed: 151mph
* Economy/CO2: 47.9mpg/156g/km
* Equipment: Leather seats, sat-nav, parking sensors, 17-inch alloys, adaptive chassis, Bluetooth, stop-start, climate control
* On sale: Now