Audi A6 Avant full 9 point review
The most basic engine is a 2.0-litre diesel, but even that gives a decent turn of pace. As you step up the engine range, you're struck not just by the stronger performance, but also by how effortless that performance becomes. The 3.0-litre bi-turbo TDI barely needs to be revved to keep up with traffic – but when you do, it's astonishingly quick.
Ride & Handling
The A6 Avant feels planted and secure on the motorway. What's more, it grips well through bends and remains calm and assured unless you lift off the accelerator suddenly mid-corner. SE models generally ride well, albeit with a slightly firm edge at low speeds, but S line cars and above have lowered sports suspension and larger wheels that give a noticeably firmer, less comfortable ride.
There's too much road noise over coarse surfaces, but otherwise the A6 Avant is a hushed cruiser. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is smooth and refined, and there's hardly any vibration through the steering wheel or gearlever. In fact, it's so good, we'd question the need for one of the six-cylinder engines.
Buying & Owning
Every diesel version is efficient and economical compared with rivals, and strong resale values help to make most models sensible choices. The exception is the petrol, which is expensive to buy and run.
Quality & Reliability
The A6 Avant more than lives up to Audi's reputation for excellent cabin quality. The materials, build and attention to detail are faultless throughout, and the overall ambience isn't far off that of Audi's pricier A8 luxury saloon. The A6 doesn't fare well for reliability, however. In fact, it was rated as poor in the most recent JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
Like the A6 saloon, the Avant is brimming with the latest safety kit, including six airbags and stability control. Optional extras include rear side airbags and a system that steers you back on course if you start to wander from your lane on the motorway. The A6 saloon earned the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, and the Avant should be just as safe. An alarm is fitted to help keep your car safe from thieves.
Behind The Wheel
There's lots of adjustment to the supportive driver's seat and the steering wheel. The upper dashboard is refreshingly clutter-free, too. However, the MMI system – which links a rotary control knob and onscreen menus – takes a bit of getting used to because the four function buttons grouped around the dial relate to different commands depending on which menu you're in at the time.
Space & Practicality
The boot is well shaped and there are lots of practical touches, including straps, lashing points and an optional hands-free opening system that raises the tailgate when you wave a foot beneath the rear bumper. While carrying capacity is slightly up on that of the BMW 5 Series Touring, though, it's still well behind what a Mercedes E-Class Estate offers, whether the rear seats are up or down. The cabin is harder to fault, because there's generous head- and legroom for four.
Every A6 Avant is well kitted; even entry-level SE trim includes satellite-navigation, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, and front and rear parking sensors. There's a hefty premium for S line trim, which adds extras such as lowered and stiffened suspension, larger alloys, sports seats, bespoke front and rear bumpers, xenon headlights and LED rear lights.