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

What Car? - - Contents - Mark Pear­son Mark.pear­[email protected]­mar­ket.com

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

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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

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