Review: Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018)
Refined and comfortable. 2.0 TDI is strong yet economical. More headroom than previous A6 Avant. 3.0 BiTDI is stunningly quick.
Mercedes E-Class Estate has a bigger boot. Less standard equipment than before and options quickly add up to thousands.
Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018): At A Glance
The Audi A6 Avant of 2011 proved that style and practicality don't have to be mutually exclusive in an 'executive' estate.
Its body isa long way from the boxy traditional 'grocery getter', making it arguably one of the best looking estates on the market. It follows the previous A6 Avant with an even higher quality feel and more efficient engines, along with some great high-tech features.
The trademark Audi lightweight design (around 20 per cent of the body is made up of aluminium) benefits both handling and fuel economy making this one of the most efficient large estates on the market.
The 2.0 TDI is the most popular model by far and the improved engine is not only more powerful, it's also more economical and can average more than 60mpg in some versions, helped by fuel saving measures such as engine stop/start which are fitted to all models.
Perceived quality is everything you'd expect from Audi with a luxury interior, very comfortable seats and impressive refinement on the move. Then of course there's the 565-litre boot which is available with a useful luggage rail fixing system and can be equipped with a tailgate that automatically opens when you swing your foot under the back bumper.
On the road the A6 Avant strikes a good balance between comfort and handling, making it a great car for covering long distances in. All the engines are refined and punchy but the stand out model is the new 3.0 BiTDI twin-turbo diesel that has 650Nm of torque and offers thunderous performance with a 0-62mph time of just 5.3 seconds.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate may trump the A6 for outright bootspace but the Audi is better equipped as standard and represents more value for your money. It's also a better car to drive. As an all-rounder the A6 Avant is pretty much the complete executive estate.
What does a Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018) cost?
Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
Despite a marginally shorter overall length, this A6 Avant has a longer wheelbase than the previous model and it's wider too. The result is more headroom even though the overall height of the car is actually lower. It certainly feels more spacious in the back, helped by the comfortable yet supportive seats which are upholstered in leather as standard, just as in the latest BMW 5 Series.
Of course the main focus is practicality and the A6 Avant has an incredibly easy to load boot thanks to the absence of any boot lip. The boot area itself is wide and not hampered by wheelarches, giving it a nice square shape plus it's available with Audi's luggage rail fixing system - a clever system that's made up of a moveable bar and strap for keeping luggage (and anything else you want to thrown in there) secure, to stop it sliding about in corners.
The boot capacity is 565 litres with the seats in place which is on par with the BMW 5 Series Touring (five metres bigger actually) but it looks pretty ordinary when you compare it with the Mercedes E-Class Estate which has a mammoth 690 litres of carrying capacity. However, the A6 Avant does come with the option of an electric tailgate that opens when you 'kick' your foot under the rear bumper - very useful when you have your hands full of shopping.
As we've come to expect from Audi, the interior is exceptionally high quality with a lovely feel to all the materials along with satisfying-to-use switches and buttons. The design is stylish but easy to get on with with most functions controlled through the MMI system via the dial and buttons behind the gear lever and displayed on the 6.5-inch screen that neatly slides out of the dash (an 8-inch screen is available as an option).
It's easy to get the ideal driving position thanks to a low slung seat and plenty of adjustment in the steering column. The standard seats are very comfortable but the S line sports seats are even better with extra support and a more snug feel.
There's a wide range of options available in the A6 Avant with some advanced kit like adaptive cruise control (which maintains a set distance between you and the car in front), night vision assist, and a head up display which projects information such as speed onto the windscreen so it looks as though it's floating in front of you.
One of the neatest options is the touchpad that comes with MMI Navigation Plus. This allows you to actually write out letters and numbers with your finger which the sat nav will recognise, so you can spell out your destination without taking your eyes off the road. MMI Navigation Plus also comes with Google Earth for the -sat nav plus through its wi-fi network, up to eight devices can link to the internet at once.
Standard equipment from launch (June 2011):
SE comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, Audi Drive Select, tyrep pressure monitoring, parking sensors, aluminium roof rails, Bluetooth, Milano leather upholstery, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, a front centre armrest, the luggage rail fixing system and a four-spoke multi-function steering wheel.
S line models add 18-inch wheels, S line body styling, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, headlight washers, sports suspension lowered by 20mm, S line embossed sports seats in Valcona leather, electric four-way lumbar support, S line interior styling, brushed aluminium silver interior trim, black cloth headlining and a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel.
Child seats that fit a Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.8 TFSI 190 S tronic to 3.0 TFSI quattro
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 22–57 mpg
Refinement is a real strength of the A6 Avant. It's very smooth and quiet on the move with suitably hushed engines while there's barely any wind noise so even at higher speeds the A6 Avant is incredibly serene. The ride quality is very good and while S line models come with lowered sports suspension which is noticeably firmer, it's not overly stiff and is forgiving enough to live with day to day.
The standard spring suspension strikes a good balance between ride comfort and sharp handling while there's an optional adaptive air suspension system that includes electronically controlled damping and can be switched for a firmer set-up or a more comfortable ride.
All models come with Audi Drive Select as standard which lets you alter the characteristics of the throttle, the shift points of the automatic transmission and the power steering assistance. It comes with a new 'efficiency' setting for maximum fuel-efficiency.
The steering doesn't quite have enough feel but it's still well weighted and very responsive. The A6 certainly never feels like a 'big' car from behind the wheel, with impressive agility in bends and very little body roll.
It doesn't struggle for grip in corners either, helped by its light overall weigh. About 20 per cent of the body is made up of aluminium components, so the 2.0 TDI tips the scales at just 1640kg. An equivalent Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate weighs 1845kg.
The vast majority of A6 Avant models have the 2.0 TDI engine and it's easy to see why. It's a great engine and works well in the A6 Avant with the latest versions boasting 190PS and capable of averaging more than 60mpg in many versions - according to the official figures at least.
The standard gearbox is a decent six-speed manual but the TDI is better suited to the eight-speed multitronic gearbox - a CVT transmission with built in 'ratios' that is smooth and effortless. This gearbox also comes as standard in the 3.0 TDI model with front wheel drive and 204PS while the more powerful 3.0 TDI quattro has 245PS and an S tronic double clutch gearbox with seven-speeds.
The V6 diesel is a lovely engine that's delightful smooth yet still punchy when you want it to be and it doesn't hang around either, accelerating from 0-62mph in just 7.2 seconds but still averaging a claimed 47.1mpg in the quattro version and 54.3mpg in the front-wheel drive model.
However, that's put into the shade by the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo TDI which goes from 0-62mph in just 5.3 seconds. The BiTDI has an impressive 313PS but it's the 650Nm of torque which gives it bite and it feels very nuch the performance model with a sporty and gruff exhaust and amazing grunt from low down, all the way through the rev range.
It's astonishingly quick from a standstill and the new eight-speed tiptronic gearbox gives crisp and rapid changes.
The final engine in the line-up is a 3.0 TFSI petrol with 300PS that comes with quattro as standard. It's a very enjoyable engine to drive and revs freely but compared to the diesel it looks thirsty with an official average of 34.4mpg.
|1.8 TFSI 190 S tronic||47–50 mpg||8.2 s||134–142 g/km|
|2.0 TDI||57 mpg||9.0 s||132 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 quattro||63 mpg||8.7 s||118 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 quattro S tronic||54–64 mpg||7.9–8.5 s||114–138 g/km|
|2.0 TDI multitronic||55 mpg||8.5 s||135 g/km|
|2.0 TDI Ultra||60–63 mpg||8.7 s||118–124 g/km|
|2.0 TDI Ultra S tronic||61–64 mpg||8.5 s||114–121 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 252 quattro S tronic||40–41 mpg||6.7 s||157–163 g/km|
|3.0 BiTDI 320 quattro Tiptronic||46 mpg||-||164 g/km|
|3.0 BITDI 320 quattro Tiptronic||44–46 mpg||5.2 s||164–169 g/km|
|3.0 BiTDI quattro||45 mpg||5.3 s||166 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 204||53 mpg||7.9 s||139 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 204 multitronic||54 mpg||7.4 s||136 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 204 quattro S tronic||49 mpg||7.2 s||152 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 218 quattro S tronic||52–55 mpg||6.8 s||138–144 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 218 S tronic||59–63 mpg||7.3 s||117–130 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 245 quattro||48 mpg||6.3 s||156 g/km|
|3.0 TDI 272 quattro S tronic||52–53 mpg||5.7 s||138–144 g/km|
|3.0 TDI quattro 245||48 mpg||6.3 s||156 g/km|
|3.0 TFSI quattro||34 mpg||5.6 s||190 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018)?
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