The Audi A6 Avant is a capacious, good-looking, premium-badged estate car of enormous suavity and more than decent road manners.
Under its elegantly lengthy bonnet, you’ll find a wide range of engines, including a 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel (badged 40 TDI) and a 282bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (50 TDI). Petrols are a 2.0-litre in either 201bhp 40 TFSI or more potent 261bhp 45 TFSI form and a 335bhp 3.0-litre (55 TFSI) for proper poke. There’s also a 344bhp diesel-powered S6 super-sporting version if you want to scare the dog silly.
Sport-spec A6 Avants come with most of the luxuries you are likely to want, including heated front seats, part-leather upholstery and 18in alloy wheels. Upgrading to S line trim brings 19in alloys, sportier looks and leather and Alcantara seats. Black Edition increases the wheel size to 20in and gets you plenty of black trim on the exterior, while Vorsprung models have the kitchen sink thrown at them in terms of kit, including 21in wheels, extra safety technology and an upgraded stereo.
On the road, the 40 TDI version is the more logical choice because it’s a good compromise between power and economy. The 50 TDI is a real flyer and, like the less powerful engine, remarkably quiet.
There were differing suspension options when the car was new: Sport trim uses conventional steel springs and dampers, S line models are stiffened and lowered, and Vorsprung versions have adaptive suspension with switchable dampers that can be softened or stiffened to suit your mood.
When you approach a corner, the Avant feels lighter and more agile than its size would lead you to expect. Some cars even come with four-wheel steering, which makes things sharper still. There’s plenty of traction, whether front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive.
Inside, there’s a dashboard of unimpeachable logic and some good-quality materials. Find one where the Technology Pack has been added and the analogue dials are replaced by digital dials on a 12.3in screen.
Audi’s latest generation of infotainment system swaps a rotary controller for a touchscreen with haptic feedback, which is a bit of a retrograde step in our view. The screen is sharp and 8.8in diagonally across as standard, but if you add the Technology Pack, the upgrades include a 10.1in screen.
There’s plenty of cabin space in the front and rear and the boot is positively massive, a good shape and easily accessible. So overall, it’s one of the best estate cars in its class.
Need to know
Avant of 2018/2019 vintage for between £25,000 and £30,000. Spend £30,000 to £35,000 on a 2020 model or £40,000 to £50,000 on the faster versions. The 40 TDI is the most economical, with a combined figure of 49.6mpg. The 50 TDI isn’t quite as good, at 40.4mpg. There’s not a huge amount of difference between the petrol models, with the best being the 40 TFSI at 38.2mpg, followed by the 35.8mpg 45 TFSI, while the 55 TFSI drops down to 33.6mpg. A small number of cars made between July and September 2020 were fitted with faulty crash sensors for the front side airbags.
2.0 TDI 40: The 2.0 TDI four-cylinder diesel imbues the A6 Avant with remarkable refinement, such that there are times when you wouldn’t know it was a diesel. It’s the cheapest in the range and also the most economical.
3.0 S6 TDI Vorsprung: Okay, okay, go on then: if you really want max thrills, go for the punchy S6 in top-spec Vorsprung trim. It’s a diesel-powered hoot, and you’ll get quattro four-wheel drive, too.
Ones we found
2018 A6 Avant 2.0 40 TFSI SE, 30,000 miles, £25,500
2019 A6 Avant 2.0 40 TDI S line, 10,000 miles, £26,150
2021 A6 Avant 2.0 45 TFSI Black Edition quattro, 2000 miles, £45,000