Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes E-Class Estate vs Volvo V90

Looking for a large and luxurious load lugger? We pit the new Mercedes E-Class Estate against the Audi A6 Avant and Volvo V90 to find out which is best

Words By What Car? team

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Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate vs Volvo V90

Our verdict

The new Volvo V90 certainly charms you with its handsome styling, plush interior and capacious rear seats. Factor in cheap running costs for private and business users, and you’d expect it to do well. The problems begin when you start driving it. The engine is clattery, sending too many vibrations through the controls, it isn’t overly comfortable and to make matters worse, it doesn’t handle that well, either. The final nail in the coffin is a carrying capacity that lags behind that of these two rivals.

In spite of its age, the Audi A6 Avant scrapes into second place. It still feels like a quality item inside and it has the most refined engine and a smooth gearbox. It also beats the V90 on boot space and importantly on monthly PCP finance costs. Even so, we’d wait for the new model next year.

That leaves a clear winner: the Mercedes E-Class Estate. On the road, we were impressed by its poised handling and the punchy yet hushed diesel engine. The E-Class’s interior might not be quite as solidly built as the A6’s, but it looks much more modern, and it has a better infotainment system.

Then there’s the boot. It isn’t just a bit bigger than those of its rivals; it’s significantly more spacious, especially with the rear seats folded down. We suspect a smaller-wheeled SE trim car would ride even more smoothly, plus it’s even cheaper to buy, costs less to run and still has all the equipment you need. Whichever version you choose, however, it’s clear the E-Class is the new king of posh estates.

Read more – The best and worst estate cars 2016

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1st – Mercedes E-Class Estate

For Biggest boot; tidy handling; well controlled ride; quiet cruiser

Against SE spec cheaper to run; some flimsy interior trim

Verdict An easy winner, but lesser models in the range are better value for money

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Mercedes E-Class Estate review

Find great Mercedes E-Class Estate deals

2nd – Audi A6 Avant

For Refined engine; high quality interior; cheap on PCP

Against Dated infotainment; most expensive to run

Verdict A practical choice, but can’t match the E-Class

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Audi A6 Avant review

Find great Audi A6 Avant deals

3rd – Volvo V90

For Huge rear leg room; cheapest to buy and own

Against Clattery engine; small boot; crashy ride

Verdict Appealing for company car drivers, but flawed

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Volvo V90 review

Find great Volvo V90 deals

A cheaper alternative:

Specifications: Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDI Ultra 190 Black Edition S tronic

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£41,600

Target Price Β£37,816

Power 187bhp @ 3800rpm

Torque 295lb ft @ 1750-3000rpm

0-60mph 8.3sec

Top speed 140mph

Gov't fuel economy 61.4mpg

True MPG 40.7mpg

CO2 emissions 121g/km

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate E 220 d AMG Line

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£40,430

Target Price Β£38,442

Power 191bhp @ 3800rpm

Torque 295lb ft @ 1600-2800rpm

0-60mph 7.8sec

Top speed 146mph

Gov't fuel economy 62.8mpg

True MPG 41.2mpg

CO2 emissions 120g/km

Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£37,555

Target Price Β£34,784

Power 187bhp @ 4250rpm

Torque 295lb ft @ 1750-2250rpm

0-60mph 8.0sec

Top speed 140mph

Gov't fuel economy 62.8mpg

True MPG 40.2mpg

CO2 emissions 119g/km

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