Luxury luggage lugger
This Audi wagon is a good reason not to buy an Audi SUV
‘‘ wagon’’— version of the well-received A6 sedan is a designer luggage lugger in which Audi’s compelling look is married to a goodly chunk of practicality.
There are two variants— one petrol, the other diesel— and both turbocharged directinjected fours and front-wheel drive, able to swallow 565 litres of luggage with the rear seats up and a fairly cavernous 1680L folded flat.
With two adults up front and a nipper secure in the Isofix child seat, one half of the back row can be folded down to take a huge trunk, a business class cabin bag, two soft items and a full golf bag, which we loaded within two minutes of the automatically activated rear door being raised and closed.
Priced from a decent dinner for two under $82K, the Avant gets as standard that tailgate, drive select with no less than five modes, the best multimedia system to be had with satnav and touch pad, parking aid system and continuously variable auto transmission.
Being by far the majority choice in their continent of origin, Euro wagons are always as visually pleasing, if not more so, than their four-door siblings. This is no exception, a slightly swollen version of the A4 Avant (so slightly in fact that you should be sure you can’t get by with the smaller car, which starts from just under $58K).
Available in 11 shades, some of which aren’t silver or grey, the A6 is meant to play against the obvious rivals inBMW’s 5 Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo’s XC70. Less obvious but every bit as compelling is Skoda’s Superb wagon in Elegance trim from $47,490. Mad if you don’t at least look.
Various packages add bling but little benefit. The top-view camera in the $3360 Tecknik package is amusing; however, forking out $11,750 for the S Line package with 20-inch alloys is deranged. This is one of the inoffensive and luxurious Audis that shows you’ve thought better of an SUV.
An undemanding introductory drive from Sydney to the southern highlands last Friday demonstrated the Avant in its most likely deployment, urban grinding with the occasional rural escape run.
The newest 2.0-litre TDI is an impressive though incremental improvement on theVWGroup’s familiar fourcylinder diesel— torque matches the equivalentBMW’s 380Nm and juice use, an alleged 5.1L/100km.
The petrol engine appeals mildly more and is certainly a happier match with the Multitronic CVT. This no doubt very clever but still somehow stifling transmission induces lag when combined with a turbo diesel.
In any case, with both using less than 7.0L/100km, the petrol also avoids the punitive caprice of Wayne Swan’s luxury car tax.
On the wagon: Audi A6 Avant has designer looks and practical