Lux­ury lug­gage lug­ger

This Audi wagon is a good rea­son not to buy an Audi SUV

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

‘‘ 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

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