2018 Audi A6 Avant – price, specs and release date
New estate will look more dramatic without losing any of its practicality – here's everything you need to know about it...
On sale:Summer Price from: £40,000 (est)
The new Audi A6 Avant will maintain its boot size despite a dramatically different – and, Audi says, much sportier – look when it is launched later this year.
2018 Audi A6 Avant features
The slope from the top of the roof to the end of the boot is at a noticeably sharper angle than in previous models, but boot space has been preserved because the car is longer than before. The styling effect is emphasised by a roof-extending spoiler and a chrome line down the side of the car that gives the illusion that the roof falls away more sharply than it really does.
The resulting boot space – 565 or 1680 litres, depending on whether the rear seats are up or down – remains short of that offered by rivals including the BMW 5 Series Touring (570 or 1700 litres) and Mercedes E-Class Estate (640 or 1820 litres), but it’s more than adequate for most needs.
Because the car is longer and wider, Audi has also been able to stretch the interior space, improving elbow room in the front and rear. Rear knee room, which was criticised by some in the outgoing model, is also better.
Given its extended length, the upcoming A6 Avant is available with a new four-wheel steering system that not only significantly reduces its turning circle but also boosts agility and stability at higher speeds.
2018 Audi A6 Avant interior
Elsewhere, the car draws heavily on the format set by the saloon launched earlier this year. The interior layout is near-identical and includes a dramatic screen arrangement that dominates the space and utilises Audi’s MMI infotainment and voice control systems, which aim to make the car’s functions more intuitive to use. In our experience of this set-up in the larger A8 saloon, we’ve found that the lower screen can be difficult to use on the move.
Semi-autonomous functions that support the driver are also available, from automatic braking if the car detects a potential impact to lane-keep assistance. The car can also automatically accelerate and brake in slow-moving traffic.
2018 Audi A6 Avant engines
From launch in the UK, the A6 Avant will be sold with the choice of a V6 diesel or V6 petrol engine, both linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and mild hybrid systems to improve fuel economy. More frugal, smaller engines will be launched later, likely around spring 2019.
While prices are still being decided, an entry-level figure of around £40,000 has been mooted. This makes the new A6 estate significantly more expensive than the current car, but more closely matched with its BMW and Mercedes rivals.
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Looking for a spacious estate car? Read on for our current favourites, as well as the ones to avoid.
10. Audi A4 Avant
The Audi A4 saloon was our Car of the Year for 2016, so it makes sense that the estate version, the A4 Avant, should be good as well. Its comfort and refinement make it an excellent long-distance cruiser and its superb interior quality and space make it an ideal choice for families. The 3.0-litre diesel engine we recommend is smooth and refined, while Sport trim gets you all the kit you're likely to want.
Our pick: 3.0 TDI 218 Sport
9. Seat Leon ST
The Seat Leon ST does everything you need an estate to do very well. It has a big boot and plenty of equipment and it's good to drive. Every version of the car is competitively priced against its key rivals, and those with a keen eye for a deal will be able to find some tempting finance offers. It has a slightly jarring ride and its interior feels a bit cheap in places, but it's still a very capable all-rounder.
Our pick: 1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive
It doesn't pull off any fancy tricks, but the Skoda Octavia Estate is a no-nonsense workhorse with bags of room. It has one of the biggest boots in its class and our favourite 1.6-litre diesel engine is extremely economical. Best of all, the Octavia Estate is available at a bargain price.
Our pick: 1.6 TDI 110 Greenline III