The SUV might be threatening to take over the world, but large estate cars remain popular thanks to their blend of practicality, good looks and keen dynamics. This latest version of the A6 Avant, introduced in 2018, is one of the best of the breed and the most accomplished version of Audi’s large estate car to date.
Which means that while Audi might appear to be focused on delivering an increasing number of Q-badged SUVs, its large executive estate remains as relevant as ever. It’s wider and taller than before, which equates to a larger cabin, although curiously, the luggage capacity remains unchanged at 565 litres.
A more rakish and stylish exterior houses a quality-rich cabin filled with cutting edge technology and up to three digital screens. Based on the interior alone, the A6 Avant can rival the best in the segment, feeling like a smaller version of the A8 flagship.
Engine options are limited, although more petrol, diesel and high-performance versions will be added in time. The entry-level 2.0-litre four-cylinder 40 TDI is mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and front-wheel drive, while the larger 3.0-litre V6 50 TDI gets an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and all-wheel drive.
Two trim levels are available, but neither version is what you’d class as ‘entry-level’ with equipment levels high on both. Prices start from £40,000 for the A6 Avant 40 TDI Sport, increasing to £53,000 for the A6 Avant 50 TDI S line. Predictably, buyers can choose from a wide range of comfort, technology and safety upgrades, many with a four-figure price tag.
All models benefit from a 48-volt mild hybrid system that allows coasting at speed to improve fuel economy while delivering a power boost to aid initial acceleration. It means that the 40 TDI can achieve as much as 60mpg on a combined cycle, which is an impressive figure for a car of this size.
Impressive is a rather apt word for the A6 Avant. It’s almost as good to drive as the BMW 5 Series Touring, features a cabin to rival the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate and Volvo V90, and feels fresher and cooler than the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. Only the relatively small boot lets it down. If you’re looking for maximum space, the E-Class Estate remains the default choice in this segment.