Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018) Review

Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The A6 Avant isn’t an overly exciting car to drive – enthusiasts will prefer the BMW 5 Series Touring – but is a thoroughly capable and confident one.

+Good-looking and exceedingly well-built premium big estate, roomy interior and practical boot, diesels offer fuel economy and performance.

-Solid and assured to drive but not very exciting, shape of boot limits load-carrying capacity, sporty-looking S line versions have inferior ride quality.

Insurance Groups are between 27–44
On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure

The Audi A6 Avant is an upmarket car that continues the German brand’s long-running line of Avant estates. Always one of the more svelte-looking wagons, this generation of A6 Avant boasts a rakish rear window line, plus a typically Audi high-quality interior and vast array of engines, gearboxes, trim levels and driven wheel configurations. If you need a spacious, classy holdall, forget the omnipresent SUV and try one of these instead.

Audi has been committed to the idea of large estate cars since the 1970s. It took rival BMW more than a decade to roll out an alternative. However, unlike boxy alternatives from Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, Audi has always infused Avants with a bit more style. It’s the aesthete’s load-lugger, if you like.

This 2011 version was, true to form, an extremely sophisticated proposition at launch. Vorsprung durch Technik was evident from the inch-perfect, sharply-cut design and impeccable interior – and Audi built upon the car’s impressive haul of onboard tech throughout its life.

It feels good to sit inside, thanks to the beautiful finish of the dashboard and controls. Build quality is exemplary, with Audi having an edge here over its premium German rivals.

Even the entry-level SE grade has leather seats, for a luxury feel, plus all the features you’d expect to find on an executive car. Later SE Executive versions are even better in this regard. More desirable is S line grade, though – it offers large alloy wheels, bolder styling and superb sports seats.

The Audi is a very roomy car. It feels big sitting behind the wheel, while those in the rear have an abundance of headroom and legroom. The boot is commodious and easy to use: overall capacity is bettered only by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate. Look out for models with the optional load-lashing kit, using the standard rails built into the side of the boot.

In terms of engines, the Audi’s popularity with company car drivers means most are powered by the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine. That may sound small for a car this size, but with up to 190PS it delivers ample bang for your buck.

It’s also very fuel efficient, officially averaging more than 60mpg (look for models wearing the ‘Ultra’ badge, as these are the most economical of all). You can choose an automatic gearbox as well as a manual.

Comfort levels are high, and it feels made for sitting on the motorway and eating up miles without fuss. Models with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system give extra confidence in winter weather, too.

We also need to mention the range-topping Audi A6 Avant: the monstrous RS6. With a colossal 560PS from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, this is an estate car that can take on Porsche – and one that’s become a cult car in its own right.

Despite being a model that still looks fresh and sophisticated, A6 Avant prices are becoming surprisingly accessible. Early models can now be found from around £10,000, and there’s an abundance of choice if you spend a few thousand more. Built for the long run, it’s easy to see why the Audi A6 Avant is a tempting used car.

Ask Honest John

Do I need headlight deflectors to drive in France?
"I'm taking my 2013 Audi A6 S-line Estate to France next week. Will I need headlight beam deflectors or do Audi lights dip downwards?"
Find out for yourself. Wait until dark, point the car at your garage doors or at a wall. Try the lights on full beam and on dip. If they dip left you need deflectors or an adjustment (check the handbook). If they dip down, you're ok.
Answered by Honest John
Should I sell my 2013 Audi A6 Avant or keep it for possible legal compensation?
"My 2013 Audi A6 Avant was affected by the diesel emissions scandal. Rectification work has been completed and I have had no issues with the car whatsoever. I bought the car through PCP and it was an approved used Audi, three months old with about 2500 miles on the clock. My four year plan is up in early 2018 (or sooner if I like) and I am thinking about what to do next. I'm aware of various legal actions that have come about both in Europe, and still underway in the UK but don't know if I would be better to keep the vehicle as there may be compensation in the future, or if selling the vehicle would mean that compensation is no longer a possibility. I'm happy with Audi and would use any compensation to upgrade but wouldn't want to miss out on a bit of a leg up."
You have no case for compensation because you state there is nothing wrong with your car. So if you want to get rid of it early that will not put you at a disadvantage in extracting compensation that you are not due.
Answered by Honest John
What should I buy as a new tow car?
"I currently own a diesel 2013 Audi Avant A6. It's a 2.0 TDI 177PS for towing our relatively small Eriba Troll (1000kg). The A6 is used mainly for long trips so it only averages about 5000 miles a year. I am pleased with the economy, the looks and the internal space it affords. However, I would like to change the car at some point in the near future and wonder what I should get, bearing in mind all the bad press about oil burners. I like estates but not keen on the larger SUV type vehicles. I fear petrol cars for towing may not live up to the power and torque of diesel units. Also many of the manufacturers are using smaller engines. My budget for a new or second hand replacement is about £30,000. "
Skoda does a number of 2.0 TSI petrol versions of its new Superb hatchback and estate with increasing power outputs up to 276PS and the option of 4WD. That has the bulk to tow well and it's also a very good car: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/skoda/skoda-superb-2015-range-road-test/ and http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/skoda/skoda-superb-2015-estate-road-test/
Answered by Honest John
A6 Avant S-Tronic: Is it better with Shell V-Power Nitro+?
"My previous car, a Grand C-Max 1.6 TDCI 11 reg, which I had since it was 11 months old, had no end of issues with the sensors in the EGR, dealt with under warranty (so without much explanation from the dealer as to what was wrong), and an EGR replacement, doubled up with sudden losses of power at certain points. However, two years ago I started using just Shell V-Power Nitro+ following your advice, and it hasn't missed a beat since. Now I have just received my A6 Avant SE Executive on 17" tyres, part-exchanged my old car. The car arrived with half a tank, which I used, and then today I filled it with Shell V-Power Nitro+ diesel from the local garage, which I intend to do henceforth. The car's driving modes can be selected, between, Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual. Which of them would give me the best fuel consumption to offset part of the extra cost of the better diesel?"
I just drove 14,000 mile sin a year in a Honda HR-V 1.6iDETEC on Shell V-Power and never switched it off 'ECO'. Performance was fine and I averaged 58mpg. So I'd suggest 'Efficiency' in the Audi and that should recognise the improved torque from V-Power at low RPM that allows you (or the s-tronic) to change up earlier to improve mpg.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Audi A6 Avant (2011 – 2018) cost?