Audi A6 Avant

The Essentials

  • Price from £32,455
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 56.5mpg
  • What is it? Gorgeous inside and out, and a great all-rounder, but the A6 Avant is not the most practical executive estate.

Great

  • Great pace and handling - a sporty estate
  • Room in the boot for a team of huskies
  • Undeniable Audi quality for a luxury feel

Gripes

  • Quattro four-wheel drive system increases running costs
  • Some desirable extras are pricey additions
  • Ride can feel a bit too firm
  • Drive

    Thoroughly competent if not wildly exciting ? but the commute to work is hardly the place for high jinks, is it? Not as refined as the best executive estates, either

  • Inside

    Looks and feels suitably gorgeous; some of the control switches are confusingly similar, however

  • Safety

    Standard stability control and six airbags helped the A6 saloon score top marks in Euro NCAP crash tests, which bodes well for the Avant

  • Reliability

    No doubt this is a premium quality product but too many Audi customers have grumbles about reliability for us to be completely happy

  • Space

    No match for the Merc E-Class for space, but it?s still big and practical with plenty of straps, nets and hooks to help secure your luggage

  • Standard and extras

    Leather interior, parking sensors and sat-nav as standard ? optional extras will really blow the budget

  • What's it like to drive?

    Go for an A6 Avant and you'll want a diesel engine. It's not hard to see why - the only petrol needs working hard, and there is plenty of pace on offer from even the entry-level diesel engine.

    Stick with the lower trims if ride comfort is important  the S Line model lowers the suspension and makes things noticeably firmer. All A6 Avants handle well, but a well-specced BMW 5 Series Touring is more fun. The engines are smooth and quiet, but the cabin isn't as quiet as you'd expect at speed, with rather too much road noise getting through.

  • What's it like inside?

    The A6 Avant is a big car, so it's no surprise that there's plenty of space inside. Four adults can sit in comfort, even if each of them is a six-footer.

    There's a large, well-shaped boot that beats the BMW 5 Series Touring for space, but not the huge Mercedes E-Class Estate. Various straps and lashing points help to accommodate various loads.

    Audi has a first-rate reputation for interior quality, which the A6 Avant more than lives up to. It's not far off the standard of Audi's A8 luxury limo, with plush materials wherever you look.

    Audi's MMI control system looks smart, but it's a bit fiddly to use, with a lot of buttons clustered around the centre console.

  • How reliable is it?

    In Euro NCAP's crash tests the A6 saloon scored 91% for adult protection, and an almost as impressive 83% for child protection, putting it up with the best in the class.

    The current A6 is too new to have featured in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey, but the old model sits firmly in the top quarter of the table. This is right next to all the other Audis in the list, so if the new model achieves a similar standard it will be a good  but not outstanding - proposition.

  • Should I buy one?

    If you do go for an A6, the SE trim is the best of the lot, and includes satellite-navigation, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

    This high level of kit makes the A6 good value for money, and resale values should be reasonably good as well.