Buying guide: Audi A6 Avant
BUYING GUIDE A luxury estate provides space, quality and comfort in equal measure – and the Audi A6 Avant is a prime example In production 2011-2018 Price from £7000 Our favourite 2.0 TDI Ultra SE Executive
A posh and spacious estate for just £7000
THE AUDI A6 saloon has always been an extremely popular luxury car, and with good reason: it’s smooth, refined and comfortable to ride in. However, there are those who prefer, or need, the practicality of an estate, so Audi offers an Avant version of the A6 for them.
The A6 Avant is a front-wheel-drive car in its standard form, with four-wheel drive (quattro) being optional in most cases. Under the bonnet, there’s a good choice of engines. The most prevalent is the entrylevel 2.0 TDI Ultra, but other diesels available include 215bhp and 268bhp 3.0-litre V6s, the latter with standard four-wheel drive. There’s also a 187bhp 1.8-litre turbo petrol option.
There are four trim levels to choose from, with even the entry-level SE coming equipped with leather upholstery and cruise control; it was replaced in 2016 by the SE Executive, which added a few more fripperies. S line and Black Edition models add sportier styling and suspension and larger wheels but not much extra in the way of kit.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
On the road, the A6 Avant is just as suave as the saloon. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is smooth and refined at all speeds and delivers plenty of punch. The V6s feel even more muscular and are also very quiet. The seven-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly, too, with just the occasional jerkiness betraying it on downshifts.
The ride on SE and SE Executive cars is smooth and comfortable, but the larger wheels
‘The diesel engines are smooth and re ned at all speeds and deliver plenty of punch’
and firmer suspension of S line and Black Edition models don’t do the ride quality any favours. However, some of these cars will have been specified from new with the softer suspension; they’re worth seeking out.
Even front-wheel-drive A6s feel grippy and secure. The steering isn’t the most communicative, but it’s light and fairly precise. Handling is safe and predictable, even if the A6 Avant isn’t as much fun to drive as some rivals.
Inside, the dashboard and trim are all of the highest quality, with everything laid out logically and feeling good to the touch. Every A6 Avant comes with Audi’s excellent MMI infotainment system, with a central screen controlled by a dial between the front seats.
There’s plenty of space up front and a good amount in the rear, so passengers should find it easy to get comfortable. Meanwhile, the boot is a practical shape and a good size, although it isn’t as big as the Mercedes E-class Estate’s.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
You can pick up high-mileage A6 Avants for around £7000, but we’d recommend spending more to secure one with an average mileage for the year and a full service history. Between £11,000 and £13,000 will buy you a good, clean 2013 car. Upping the wedge to between £14,000 and £16,000 will bag you a 2014-2015 car from a trader or an independent dealer, while a good 2016 model bought from an Audi dealer will cost you between £17,000 and £20,000.
Not surprisingly, the 2.0-litre diesel is the most economical, with the front-wheel-drive versions capable of a claimed average of up to 62.8mpg. More powerful versions and those with four-wheel drive get progressively less economical, with the petrol-powered S6 the least efficient at 30.2mpg.
Tax for A6 Avants registered before 1 April 2017 will be quite moderate – for the diesels, at least. Those registered after that date will pay an annual charge of £140. However, be warned. If your 2017-on A6 Avant cost more than £40,000 new, as many of them did, you’ll also have to pay a supplementary luxury car tax, currently £310 a year until it’s six years old.
Audis tend to be expensive to service at franchised dealers, but once a car is three years old, it qualifies for Audi’s fixed-price servicing deal, which is good value.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
The number of reported faults is relatively low, although there have been problems with the infotainment system, including phones not connecting and flickering screens. There have also been some issues with rattling parcel shelves and buzzing trim, despite the A6 Avant’s reputation for having a great interior.
In the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, the A6 ranked fourth in the luxury car class, with an overall score of 86%.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
The 2.0 TDI Ultra has enough performance for most road conditions, plus outstanding refinement and fuel economy. We’d try to seek out an example in SE Executive trim, because this is well equipped and comes with the best suspension option.
GOOD Re ned engines High-quality interior Well equipped
BAD Some rivals are more practical Not much fun to drive
Entry-level SE trim is well equipped, providing all the kit you’re likely to want
Boot is a practical shape and you get an electric tailgate
Quality is high; infotainment can be troublesome, though
There’s enough space here for adults to travel in comfort
Full digital instrument panel was available as an option
Although it’s big, the A6 Avant’s boot isn’t a match for the E-class Estate’s