Audi A6 Avant
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
The age-old argument continues, why buy an SUV when you can have all the practicality you need in a traditional estate car. Are you really going to be off road every weekend to justify the need for all wheel drive and ground clearance? For many the answer is no and if truth be told, all the car you will ever need could be yours buy just choosing the estate option. Today we are looking at the Audi A6 Avant, which is arguably one of the best-known estate cars for sale on Irish roads. Audi are synonymous with producing good-looking and performance orientated estate cars and the new A6 is certainly a handsome machine. For this car Audi leaned heavily on the flagship A8 and incorporated some of the luxuries associated with that car in the build and development of the A6. From advanced mild hybrid drive-trains, more comfortable suspension options to its sublime cabin comfort and exceptional all-digital MMI touch response interface this car is certainly at the sharp end of the sector.
Like the A8 and A7 Sportback models, the A6 was next inline to get the new Audi design language with sharp edges and striking lines making it look muscular on the road. The Avant always had presence thanks to the long bonnet, lengthy wheelbase and short overhangs. It just looks like a motorway mile muncher even when standing still. Modern LED flat headlights and contoured air intakes frame the now even wider, low-slung single frame grille. The rear can only be described as beefy with those stunning digital OLED lights that have that trademark turn signal sequence.
Inside its business as usual and you would be perfectly happy to take on a trip to the south of France in the new A6. Legroom in the rear exceeds not only its predecessor but also the majority of its competitors, while headroom and shoulder room have also grown. From the drivers seat the centre console is directed towards you, as is the top MMI touch response display, which almost disappears into an aluminium clip when switched off. Like the recently tested e-tron you get the MMI touch response system, which is intuitive and easy on the eye. The driver controls the infotainment via the upper display, which measures 8.8-inches in standard form or 10.1 inches where the optional MMI navigation plus upgrade has been specified. The lower 8.6-inch display, located in the console in the centre tunnel, is mainly used for the climate control. Our test car also had the head-up display projecting important information onto the windscreen.
As expected, the Audi A6 is available with both petrol and diesel power plants. All engines in the A6 feature new mild-hybrid technology. Here, a belt alternator starter works together with a lithium-ion battery to allow the A6 coast at speeds of between 54km/h and 159km/h in order to save fuel and to initiate its start-stop function earlier from speeds of 30km/h and below in traffic. The engine is restarted from standstill automatically as soon as the vehicle in front of the A6 starts moving. During deceleration, the BAS recovers up to 12 kW of energy. Audi claim in real world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres. Our test car was the A6 35 TDI variant equipped with a 2.0-litre diesel drive train. This motor is tuned to deliver 187.7bhp power in combination with torque of 400Nm and is paired with a 7-speed S Tronic automatic transmission gearbox. To be honest, this is all the car you need! The 2.0 petrol TSI is good also and not half as thirsty as you might think but for us it’s the diesel lump that suits this car best and if you do have a little extra budget, opt for the 204hp 40 TDI with the all wheel drive Quattro system.
Like the A8 and A7, the A6 is bristling with advanced safety equipment, including eight standard airbags, traffic-sign recognition, driver monitoring and systems that help the chassis deal with corners and crosswinds. A Driving Assistance Package is now standard, with features including blind spot monitoring, lane change assist and evasive steering assist. It also has adaptive brake lights and attention assist to ensure the driver isn't tired or distracted. An emergency call system is there to alert the emergency services automatically if the car is involved in a serious collision.
The Audi A6 is available starting from €51,650 on the road. There are two equipment lines to choose from, SE and S Line. Audi are proud to state that the A6 is now the best-equipped car in the segment. New standard equipment highlights include LED headlamps, mild hybrid engines, Lane Assist, Pre Sense front, Audi Connect, leather interior and smart phone interface. Our S-line car had the black pack, 21-inch wheels and was coming in at a shade over €60,000. Various finance and PCP options are available from your local Audi dealer.
To drive the Audi A6 is nothing short of sublime. Audi use something called progressive steering, which becomes even quicker and more direct as the steering angle increases and it’s really noticeable when you are navigating the twisty Dublin Mountains for photo shoot locations. On sharp bends the length of the A6 feels inconsequential as the all-wheel steering is engaged to further enhance its agility. At low speed, the wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, reducing the turning circle by up to 1.1 metres to 11.1 metres, while at higher speeds the wheels turn in the same direction to offer stability when traveling in a straight line or changing lanes. On the motorway where the Avant will no doubt spend a lot of its life its effortlessly quiet and refined as the miles tick by. How Audi have managed to make the A6 so compliant on 21-inch wheels we are not sure but it feels smooth and surefooted under hard acceleration and braking. Then there is the space! With 565 litres of space that can grow to 1650 litres with the seats folded you can fit so much in. It’s the first vehicle we have tested this year that you can put a mountain bike into the rear without taking off the front wheel. All in all this is an excellent offering from Audi and probably our pick of their entire range. Yes money no object it would be wearing the RS6 badge at the back but you won’t be sniffed at in a 35 TDI.
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