Audi A6 Avant

Audi A6 Avant £40,740

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

WE SAY: OK, PANACHE ISN’T ON THE MENU, BUT THERE’S MORE THAN ENOUGH TO MAKE UP FOR THAT...

Anice, big Audi es­tate car. That’s all. No delv­ing into pre­vi­ously un­heard-of new sec­tors, no busting of niches. It’s a new A6 Avant, and it is very nice. So I may have spoiled the ver­dict a lit­tle, but bear with me: this is the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Audi’s do-it-all es­tate and the progress is very much on the evo­lu­tion side of revo­lu­tion.

Say­ing that, it is no­tably new. Sharper sur­faces, the Audi fa­mil­ial face ap­par­ently mod­elled on var­i­ous sizes of faintly an­gry ro­bot, a de­cid­edly tech­no­log­i­cal look, the new A6 Avant is a bit slinkier, but just as prac­ti­cal. Broad brush stuff: it’s big­ger on the in­side for peo­ple, just as ca­pa­cious as be­fore for stuff (565 litres of bootspace seats up, 1,680 flat), and fea­tures a great deal more tech. We get a pair of diesels to start with, one ‘40 TDI’ with four cylin­ders and 201bhp/400Nm and a six-pot with 283bhp/620Nm called the ‘50 TDI’. There’ll be sim­i­lar petrol ver­sions later, as well as ‘Ul­tra’ su­per-eco cars. The smaller en­gines get a seven- speed S-Tronic auto and front-wheel drive as stan­dard; the more pow­er­ful stuff, Audi’s 8-speed tip­tronic and qu­at­tro. You’ll be able to op­tion four-wheel drive on the smaller en­gines later on, and no doubt there’ll be a blood-boil­ing RS6 not too far away.

There’s a ver­i­ta­ble con­fu­sion of op­tions – in­clud­ing four dif­fer­ent sus­pen­sion set-ups – but gen­er­ally, the A6 does ex­actly what you want it to, no mat­ter how you or­der it: the car is com­fort­able, quiet and well thought out. The small diesel is ef­fec­tive, dull, and ca­pa­ble of mid-50s mpg with­out too much trou­ble, thanks to the 12-volt mild hy­brid and ex­tended stop/start. The larger en­gine is much more agree­able – though you do lose about 10mpg on the combined cy­cle. It han­dles neatly, cruises el­e­gantly and ex­hibits the kind of calm com­pe­tence that makes sense in all sorts of sit­u­a­tions – es­pe­cially if you don’t re­sort to op­tions-list FOMO and in­ad­ver­tently drench it in things you don’t re­ally need. The kind of car that makes niches look a bit silly. TOM FORD

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