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Used test: Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes E-Class Estate vs Volvo V90 verdict

These used estates are all luxurious, hugely practical and available for around half what they cost new, but which is the best buy?...

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

Our verdict

The Audi A6 Avant deserves plenty of credit for its smooth engine, slick gearbox and premium interior. It's also extremely practical, and if we were to leave it at that, the A6 would be a strong contender for first place in this test. However, it's let down by a below-par reliability rating and a dated interior, to the point where our other two estates are able to swoop in and rank above it. 

The Volvo V90 offers greater dependability and feels significantly more modern. It features a plush interior, spacious rear seating and low running costs, although it, too, isn't perfect. It has the smallest boot of the three, as well as the least refined engine. It doesn’t handle particularly sharply, either. With this in mind, the V90 places second.

In first place, we have the Mercedes E-Class. It impresses on the road, with poised handling complemented by a capable diesel engine. Its interior looks and feels luxurious and its infotainment system is clear and easy to use. From a practical standpoint, it's excellent, offering plenty of passenger and boot space. Overall, the E-Class is one of the best used estates you can buy.

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1st – Mercedes E-Class Estate

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

For Biggest boot; tidy handling; well-controlled ride; quiet cruiser
Against Minor ergonomic issues; some flimsy interior trim
Verdict An easy winner, but lesser models in the range are even better value for money

What Car? rating 5 out of 5

Read our full used Mercedes E-Class Estate review >>

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2nd – Volvo V90

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

For Best rear leg room; cheap to run; plush interior
Against Clattery engine; small boot; crashy ride
Verdict Despite some notable flaws, its posh, roomy interior and good fuel economy make it a compelling choice

What Car? rating 4 out of 5

Read our full used Volvo V90 review >>

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3rd – Audi A6 Avant

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

For Refined engine; solidly built; practical boot
Against Dated interior; below-par reliability record
Verdict A practical choice, but that reliability rating is a concern

What Car? rating 3 out of 5

Read our full used Audi A6 Avant review >>

Find used Audi A6 Avants for sale >>


Specification: Mercedes E-Class Estate E220d AMG Line

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Power 191bhp @ 3800rpm
Torque 295lb ft @ 1600-2800rpm
0-60mph 7.8sec
Top speed 146mph
Fuel economy 61.4mpg (official NEDC combined)
CO2 emissions 120g/km


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

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Power 187bhp @ 3800rpm
Torque 295lb ft @ 1750-3000rpm
0-60mph 8.3sec
Top speed 140mph
Fuel economy 61.4mpg (official NEDC combined)
CO2 emissions 120g/km


Specification: Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Power 187bhp @ 4250rpm
Torque 295lb ft @ 1750-2250rpm
0-60mph 8.0sec
Top speed 140mph
Fuel economy 62.8mpg (official NEDC combined)
CO2 emissions 1119g/km