The Audi A6 Avant is a very practical, very high-tech estate car that comes with a futuristic cabin and hybrid engines as standard, but most alternatives are more enjoyable to drive
The Audi A6 Avant is a very practical large estate car with a roomy cabin that’s packed with plenty of high-tech features you won’t find in the likes of the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class estate. It doesn’t come cheap, however…
Thankfully, most of the Audi A6 Avant’s fancy interior features come as standard. You get a futuristic dual-screen infotainment system and all the plush leather, soft plastic and glossy metal trims feel very nearly as upmarket as those in the more expensive A8 limo.
Reach down by the door bins and around the centre console and you’ll find a few more scratchy plastics than in the 5 Series Touring, but everything else in the A6 Avant’s cabin feels absolutely bulletproof.
There’s absolutely bucket loads of space in the front for tall drivers to stretch out and enough seat adjustment for people of all sizes to get a good view out. Space in the back is just as generous. There’s slightly more headroom than you get in the A6 saloon, so passengers over six-feet tall have enough space to stretch out behind equally tall drivers. The central rear seat isn’t quite as comfortable, but there’s still enough space for three passengers to sit side-by-side.
Unfortunately, the Audi A6 Avant’s practicality isn’t quite on a par with some alternatives, Sure, you can easily squeeze a few sets of golf clubs into its 565-litre boot and a bike will fit if you fold the back seats down, but both the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate have slightly more generous load bays.
The A6 Avant’s cabin looks very similar to the uber-posh A8’s. Turn around, however, and you’ll notice the Avant has a whopping great load bay the A8 can only dream of…
Unlike the BMW, the Audi A6 Avant doesn’t come with rear air suspension as standard to help iron out bumps when you’ve packed its boot to the brim. Thankfully, it’s still comfortable to drive with its standard suspension fitted, or can be had with adaptive air suspension for a wafty high-speed ride if you’re happy to pay a bit extra.
This is definitely an option you should consider if you plan on driving the Audi A6 Avant for long distances. Combine this with the smooth 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine in 50 TDI models and you’ve got yourself a quiet, relaxing and fairly efficient motorway cruiser.
The latter is thanks (in part) to the Audi A6 Avant’s standard mild-hybrid system. This uses a compact electric motor to assist the petrol or diesel engine when you’re accelerating and cruising to improve performance and reduce fuel consumption.
If you spend more time driving in town, however, you should check out the Audi A6 Avant’s optional four-wheel-steering system. This helps make it impressively manoeuvrable for such a large car and no more difficult to drive in a city than a medium-size hatchback.
Even without this feature, the Audi A6 Avant’s large windows and light steering mean it isn’t particularly tricky to drive in town, and you get a host of cameras and parking sensors across the range to make parking pretty stress-free, too.
Unfortunately, you have to hand over some extra cash for most of the A6 Avant’s driver-assistance technology, including automatic emergency braking that helps prevent low-speed collisions. That said, if you don’t mind paying extra for a few must-have features, the Audi A6 Avant makes an excellent upmarket estate car.