Review: Audi A6 Avant (2018)

Rating:

Premium interior with lots of space. Mild-hybrid technology contributes to low running costs.

Dim-witted eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Expensive.

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11 April 2019 Audi S6 announced with 3.0 TDI diesel engine

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Audi A6 Avant (2018): At A Glance

The confident launch of the 2018 Audi A6 Avant shows that not everyone wants an SUV, and premium estate cars like the Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series prove that you can combine practicality with a plush interior and an enjoyable driving experience.

Of course, the Audi A6 Avant is very similar to the saloon model. That means you get an excellent interior loaded with technology, including a twin-screen infotainment system and optional Virtual Cockpit. It feels very upmarket, while there's loads of space for the whole family - including a huge boot (if not quite as big as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class's). There's more headroom in the back than the A6 saloon.

There's a choice of petrol and diesel engines, all with mild-hybrid technology contributing to reduced running costs. This allows the A6 Avant to coast with the engine off between 34mph and 99mph - although you'll hardly notice it kicking in and out.

With the advent of new electric, hybrid and mild hybrid drivetrains there is some new, initially confusing nomenclature to get used to that eventually starts to make sense.

The majority of buyers initially opted for the 40 TDI for its low running costs. It's a good engine - quiet and refined, with a reasonable amount of performance on offer. Its seven-speed S tronic dual wet clutch gearbox is better than the eight-speed torque converter used in the 50 TDI, too.

For those wanting a little more performance, the 50 TDI is surprisingly rapid - although noticeably heavier. There's also a plug-in hybrid version due late in 2019, for those ready to turn their back on diesel.

Whichever engine you choose, the Audi A6 Avant is a very refined car that'll take the pain out of long journeys. It's got a big boot and plenty of space in the rear for carrying children (or adults, if you wish). The interior, although slightly sterile, feels of high quality with lots of soft-touch materials and plenty of technology to keep you entertained.

The biggest issue with the Audi A6 Avant is its price. Starting at close to £41,000, it's one of the most expensive cars in its class, means £465 annual VED for years 2 to 6, and by the time you've raided the options list you could very quickly have a very pricey estate car. If you can justify it, though, it's also one of the most desirable cars in its class.

What does a Audi A6 Avant (2018) cost?

List Price from £39,375
Buy new from £55
Contract hire from £276.18 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Audi A6 Avant (2018): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4931–4939 mm
Width 2110 mm
Height 1430–1467 mm
Wheelbase 2925–2928 mm

Full specifications

If you prefer an interior full of buttons that can easily be found to adjust things like the temperature of the climate control, the Audi A6 Avant may not be the car for you. Audi’s gone big on screens with the A6 - there are two in the centre of the dash, as well as an optional one replacing the dials behind the steering wheel.

We like the techy approach, though. The two middle screens are quick and intuitive to use, each providing haptic feedback. You can control climate features such as the air conditioning and the heated seats using the 8.6-inch touchscreen located low down in the centre console, while above this is the usual 8.8-inch display providing access to navigation, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Upgrading this to the 10.1-inch display as part of the Technology Pack is a worthwhile cost, in our opinion.

The finish of the A6 Avant’s cabin is up to usual Audi standards - by which we mean exemplary. It might not quite have the wow factor of the Mercedes-Benz, but it all feels extremely well made and looks pleasingly minimalist.

It’s also very practical. For the driver, it’s one of the most comfortable cars on sale, with plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel making it easy to find a good driving position for drivers of all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, electric adjustment is an optional extra - an expensive one, at that.

Things are good in the back, with plenty of head and legroom for adults and big windows providing a good view out for children. There’s a caveat - a transmission tunnel running along the length of the car means an adult sitting in the middle seat in the back will find getting comfortable slightly awkward.

On paper, the A6 Avant’s 565-litre boot falls short of rivals - particularly the E-Class’s huge 640-litre luggage space. If you’re after outright practicality, the E-Class is the better option, but don’t dismiss the A6 Avant solely on these figures. Its boot is big and a good shape, while the wide opening makes it easy to load bulky items. Should you need even more space, the rear 40:20:40 split rear bench can be dropped easily.

Standard specification (from launch):

Audi A6 Avant Sport features 18-inch alloy wheels, standard suspension, quattro all-wheel drive with self-locking centre differential (50 TDI), Audi Drive Select, progressive steering, LED front and rear lights, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, aluminium roof rails, leather seats, heated front seats, split-folding rear seat bench, split-folding rear bench (40:20:40), LED ambient interior lighting, power-operated tailgate, MMI navigation with 8.8-inch colour display (top screen) and 8.6-inch touchscreen (bottom screen), seven-inch driver infomation display, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Audi Pre-sense front, lane departure warning, cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera, keyless go, ISOFIX child seat mounting.

Audi A6 Avant S line adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, Audi Matrix LED headlights, S line exterior styling, folding exterior door mirrors, front sports seats, electrically adjustable front seats, perforated leather steering wheel, stainless steels pedals.

Child seats that fit a Audi A6 Avant (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.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Audi A6 Avant (2018) like to drive?

There are currently three engine options - two diesels and a petrol, all with mild hybrid assistance. The petrol offering is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol producing 340PS and badged the 55 TFSI. The 204PS 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel (badged the 40 TDI) will cater for most buyers, although there’s also a 286PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder model (50 TDI). The latter might take you by surprise - its 620Nm of torque means its mid-range acceleration makes overtaking a breeze.

The 50 TDI is let down a bit by its eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, which can be irritatingly dim-witted at times. Hit the accelerator for a quick getaway - when joining a roundabout, for example - and it can stutter for a second. Using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel gets around that to an extent, but no one wants to bother flicking between eight gears in a car like the A6 Avant.

Both diesel engines are very refined, although the V6 can be a little noisy when worked hard. You won’t notice the mild hybrid system kicking in and out, however, with the engine switching off entirely when coasting in a bid to save fuel.

There’s a variety of suspension options available, ranging from the standard springs and dampers on the Sport model to the optional air suspension on the 50 TDI. All models ride surprisingly well, even with large alloy wheels, although the optional adaptive dampers provide the best combination of comfort and sportiness.

In terms of handling, the A6 Avant isn’t as sharp as the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, and the steering isn’t as pleasant as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, but it does the job perfectly well. Quattro all-wheel-drive is standard on the 50 TDI, ensuring you’ll never struggle for grip - while four-wheel steer is available as an option. This makes the A6 Avant feel more agile at low speeds by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction as the fronts. It does the opposite at high speed, resulting in a more stable drive. In reality, the rear wheels only turn fractionally, and you’re unlikely to really notice it.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
40 TDI quattro S tronic - - 117–122 g/km
40 TDI S tronic 60 mpg 8.3 s 124–128 g/km
45 TFSI quattro S tronic - - 151–155 g/km
50 TDI quattro 49 mpg 5.7 s 151 g/km
50 TDI quattro tiptronic - - 155 g/km
55 TFSI quattro S tronic - - 163–168 g/km
S6 44 mpg 5.1 s 171 g/km

Real MPG average for a Audi A6 Avant (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.

Average performance

82%

Real MPG

39–55 mpg

MPGs submitted

4

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.