What's the used Audi A6 estate like?
It might be difficult for younger people to believe – especially if they've seen these pictures of the Audi A6 Avant – but years ago estate cars were viewed very much as the poor relations.
A longer, heavier and more ungainly back was grafted onto a saloon body and the basic rear suspension meddled with until the car could carry half a hundredweight of coal – but often couldn’t deal with bumps or corners satisfactorily.
Choosing the Black edition increases the wheel size to 20in and gets you plenty of black trim on the exterior, while Vorsprung models have the kitchen sink thrown at them in terms of kit, including 21in wheels, matrix LED headlights, extra safety technology and an upgraded stereo.
On the road, the 40 TDI version is the more logical choice because it's a good compromise between power and economy. It has more than enough grunt, although its seven-speed automatic gearbox can occasionally leave you waiting for it.
The 50 TDI model is a real flyer, and, like the less powerful engine, is remarkably quiet. It’s attached to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that can also pause before delivering anything.
There were four suspension options to choose from when the car was new. Entry-level Sport trim uses conventional steel springs and dampers. S line models use the same, but stiffened and lowered. You'll need to run to the top-of-the-range Vorsprung version for adaptive suspension with switchable dampers that can be softened or stiffened to suit your mood.
When you approach a corner, the Avant feels lighter and more agile than its size would lead you to expect. Some cars even come with four-wheel steering, which makes things sharper still. There’s plenty of traction, whether front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive quattro, and the overall balance gives the driver confidence, although one or two of the Audi's luxury car rivals are more precise.
Inside, it’s easy to find the right driving position, thanks to an electrically adjustable seat and steering wheel. The driver is definitely pampered, with lumbar support and a dashboard of unimpeachable logic and good quality materials.
Up front, there’s plenty of space for two, while in the rear passengers enjoy more leg and head room than most rival cars offer. A central third passenger will have to straddle a small central tunnel but otherwise gets a good amount of room. The boot is positively massive, and is a good shape and easily accessible – it’s one of the best in its estate car class.
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