The Audi A6 Avant is as relevant as ever

It just does everything well!

5w ago

Who doesn't like a good old estate, or how our American friends call them station wagons. The long roofline gives them an appealing look, the practicality and boot space in unprecedented, and some of them drive really well. Personally, I am huge fan of these cars as they seem to always be ready for whatever life throws at them. They are the family car by excellence and even though I do not have children, I simply enjoy having abundant space to put some friends or a bike in the back. Unfortunately, the sales numbers are constantly decreasing more buyers tend to favor the more popular SUVs, which is a big shame as some of them are rather excellent. Like this one we are reviewing today for example.

This is an Audi A6 Avant and it is pretty much Germany's estate benchmark. It first appeared in 1994 as a replacement of the Audi 100, and through the years it has become techier and better. Also more beautiful. I must say that I am really liking the design of this new A6. That Tango Red colour fits it very well, just not sure about those fake exhaust tips. Anyway. Audi introduced this state-of-the-art fifth generation in 2018, and even though the impressive RS6 Avant is still available, the car manufacturer from Ingolstadt now made room for a much greener plug-in hybrid version called the 55 TFSI e Quattro. This luxurious estate can now drive in full electric mode for 51 km and reach, on paper, a fuel consumption between 1.9l and 2.1l per 100 km.

Even though these impressive numbers could not be replicated because I don't have a plug anywhere near my parking spot, the A6 Avant still averaged around 6.0l/100 km, which is more than decent for a car that big. Indeed, the 4.93 meters estate and its extra battery weighs 2'325 kg, which is not what I would call lightweight. Moreover, because the battery is hidden underneath the trunk, you lose quite a big chunk of space (565l vs. 405l). In my opinion, it's still plenty, but I could understand why it might turn some people off. After all, you buy an estate because you need a lot of room.

This is an Audi A6 Avant and it is pretty much Germany's estate benchmark.

Jonathan Yarden

The rest of the cabin didn't have to go through the same restrictions as the trunk. It's family heaven in here with enough leg and headroom for everyone. The A6 Avant will comfortably sit five people in one of the nicest interiors we have seen in a long time. Audi might be well-known for their plush cabins that come with the finest materials and high standards built-quality. With this new car, they simply took everything to a whole new other level. Every single panel or knob feels nice to touch and to look at. There are so many details that you feel that you're in a car from a segment above. There is absolutely no need to do an A8 Avant, because that's basically it. The sportier S-Line seats and the Band & Olufsen sound system are perfect for long trips and really I enjoy the Range Rover style overlaid screens on the center console. The one at the bottom for controlling the settings of the car and the one above for infotainment purposes. I was a bit worried about the software since Audi and Volkswagen just share so many resources, but here everything worked perfectly. The design of the menus is intuitive, the resolution is sharp and the system is generally very responsive. The screens also offer haptic feedback, and even though it annoys me because it usually has delays, here it's a the same excellent level as what a high-end smartphone could provide. Even though it feels very high tech in there, it's more intuitive than I thought and things just work. My grandmother could easily navigate through the menus and set the car the way she likes. All in all, it's a beautiful and airy cabin that really allows you to get your destination with more energy than when you left.

Then comes the driving and I feared that this heavier A6 would lose some of its legendary comfort. In my honest opinion, despite the large wheels and extra weight, I absolutely did not feel a difference. That A6 Avant really is an Autobahn destroyer and will eat up miles like nothing happened. The petrol 2.0l four-cylinder is surprisingly quiet and smooth at all speeds and that EV mode really adds even more serenity to this ride. In fact, the engine and battery seamlessly work hand in hand to avoid any hiccups while driving. As relaxing as this car can be it can also move fast when you want to. With a combined power output of 367 horsepower, it allows the car to go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.7 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h. But keep in mind that the objective here is not to go fast, you can leave that to the RS6.

The A6 Avant 55 TFSI e Quattro may have a painstakingly long name, however Audi have proved us that estates can still be relevant to this day by offering its flagship long roof the latest tech and all the necessary equipment to take on whatever life throws at it. It's honestly not far from the perfect family car. The Quattro system allows you to constantly have grip whatever the conditions, the cabin is comfortable enough for everyone, the technology is the best to date, and the plug-in hybrid tech can really lower your CO2 emissions and taxes. On the other hand, that battery and the complexity it brings comes at a steep price of CHF 94'450.- (£74'500) and our press car had 10 extra grand of options. Moreover, not charging the battery will mean that you will just uselessly carry dead weight around and end up consuming more fuel than a non-plug-in hybrid car. Therefore, if you drive the A6 Avant 55 TFSI e Quattro wisely you will realize that, yes, perfection is not that far.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Audi Switzerland for allowing us to experience the A6 Avant 55 TFSI e Quattro. Without them, this article would have never been possible, and we cannot wait to do some more articles with them in the near future.

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Comments (47)

  • Having to go hybrid compromises the estate, all three Germans have smaller boots and some are better packaged than others.

    I have an e-class and it’s huge, part of the reason for buying it and if I’d have bought it’s hybrid counterpart I’d have felt short changed. I’ll keep my diesel eclass estate for as long at legislation allows, if is was an A6 buyer I’d still have the A6 2.0 diesel there too.

      1 month ago
    • Hi mate, thanks for the comment. Yes, I get your point and I'd hate losing space in a car that is basically all about that. Yet, it's still super enormous in there ;)

        1 month ago
    • If forced to go hybrid, the BMW and Audi are a bit better than the merc. Look at the step in the boot and done just for weight distribution. Too many compromises. I’ll stick to my diesel until I have to go full electric.

        1 month ago
  • From far the best posts on DT, always a pleasure to read your work Jonathan!

    Indeed the A6 is a top class car, however I find it a bit dull, or too clinically perfect when I had one for a few days. But that's just my point of view. But it's a good car, almost as good as a v90 😉

      1 month ago
    • Thank you Gilles, always a pleasure to read your thoughts here, and thank you for the warm comments. I think I'd pick the Swede too, just because I'm a Volvo nut

        1 month ago
    • Wise you are my friend, wise.

        1 month ago
  • The A6 is a brilliant car. Up there with the best on sale. And seeing as I don’t like the RS6, it may be the way to go. I daily drive (as you may know) an RS4 Avant, and despite me disliking it when I first took ownership, it’s probably the best car I’ve owned. Nothing more complete. A perfect driving instrument.

      1 month ago
    • Lucky you mate! Driving the new RS4 soon in November, and cannot wait to see how it drives

        1 month ago
    • I’m sure you’ll love it, just as much as I do!

        1 month ago
  • This one looks a little too tech-focussed for my liking, and I'd prefer a diesel powertrain but obviously regulations are forcing them out of contention. Good review though

      1 month ago
    • Thanks for the comment mate :) Each to their own I guess. This one makes more sense for tax reasons

        1 month ago
  • This car looks a bit like a dinosaur. A wagon painted in a bright colour looks something from the past, but this A6 clearly shows it's also the present and can be the future. There is no need of boring dark colored SUVS.

      15 days ago