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Used test: Audi A6 Allroad vs Volvo V90 Cross Country interiors

These posh, four-wheel-drive estates have more go-anywhere ability than plenty of SUV. We've put them head to head to see which is the better used buy...

Audi A6 Allroad interior


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

Both cars have excellent driving positions with a wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustments. However, the V90 has the advantage with its more comfortable seat and extra space for your left leg. It also provides a head-up display that beams essential information onto the windscreen, so you don’t need to look down at the instrument panel as much.

The A6 is noticeably easier to see out of, though, with thinner front pillars and a bigger rear glass area that makes reversing and changing lanes easier. Both cars have front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera to help with low-speed manoeuvring, and both have LED headlights that can adjust the shape of their main beams automatically to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.

Volvo V90 interior

Our contenders score equally highly for interior quality, with plush materials and a similar sense of solidity. However, they compromise on usability by incorporating some major features, such as their climate controls, within touchscreens – the V90 on its main infotainment screen, the A6 on a second screen below. These are more distracting to operate while driving than dial controllers and physical buttons, such as those in the BMW 5 Series.

The A6’s 10.1in touchscreen impresses with its sharp resolution and colourful graphics. It reacts quickly to inputs and its menus are relatively easy to navigate through. We also like the super-detailed sat-nav maps that it provides, courtesy of Google. The touchscreen isn’t as easy to use on the move as the dial controlled system used in most BMWs, though. Smartphone integration for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto devices is standard.

Audi A6 Allroad rear

The V90’s smaller (9.0in) touchscreen falls down in several areas. It’s slower to respond to inputs than the Audi system and some of the icons are too small to hit accurately on the move. Add to that menus that make an Ikea instruction manual seem straightforward and the usability drawbacks outweigh the visual benefits of the screen’s portrait orientation. While not awful, it’s not as intuitive or easy to use as the A6’s system.

Space and practicality 

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Up front, there isn’t much between our contenders in terms of space; both are easily big enough to accommodate occupants of most shapes and sizes. In the back, two 6ft-tall adults will be able to lounge about in both cars, but the V90 is particularly well endowed for leg room. The optional panoramic glass roof fitted to our test example reduces head room a little, but it’s still fine, and the V90 is better for seating three abreast in the back – again, mainly thanks to that extra leg room. Both cars have a sizeable hump in the floor for the middle passenger to straddle, though.

Volvo V90 rear

Our contenders’ boots can each swallow a respectable eight carry-on suitcases below their tonneau covers, but there’s more space left over in the A6, which also has a lower floor for easier loading of heavy items. Rear seatbacks that split 40/20/40 in the A6 are more flexible than the V90’s 60/40 configuration

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