Audi A6 Avant Review logo

Audi A6 Avant Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Avant-garde and practical estate ”

Best bits

  • Striking styling
  • Colossally capable
  • Exciting interior

Not so great

  • Interior a bit too exciting for some
  • Less roomy than some rivals
  • Could do with a bit more emotion

Read by

 Audi A6 Avant Exterior Front

Overall verdict

 Audi A6 Avant Interior

On the inside

 Audi A6 Avant Driving Front

Driving

 Audi A6 Avant Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

 Audi A6 Avant Exhaust

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A6 Avant

"Launched in 2018, this A6 Avant is the latest instalment in a long-running line of big Audi estates. It has offered an Avant version for decades, far longer than BMW has a 5 Series Touring, for example. For many buyers, it’s a more authentic take on the A6 model line than the regular four-door saloon. This latest one draws proudly from the Audi history books with its striking and classy design."

 Audi A6 Avant Exterior Front

The Avant is more than simply a saloon with a longer load-carrying rear end. Its lines are natural and very distinct from the four-door, particularly the sweep of the rear end, which has more than a hint of coupe about it. The eyebrows of antiques dealers may furrow when they consider how to load in that big, bulky cabinet from the 1850's, but most owners won’t bother as they’re not buying this car for maximum load capacity.


We would even suggest it’s a more successful ‘sportback’ design than the pricier, posher Audi A7 Sportback itself.


Passenger space is vast, as you’d hope from a car with a footprint this large. And the 565-litre space behind the rear seats is extremely well shaped and easy to access. Some default to an estate simply because they find the narrower boot opening of a saloon less practical – they may never even fold the rear seats.


The engine range is fully on-trend, with mild hybrid technology available across the line-up. Audi insists on using a bizarre naming strategy for its cars, rather than actually revealing what’s under the bonnet, so we’ll explain which is which later on. For now, you need to know the 40 TDI is cheapest, the 50 TDI is most appealing, the RS6 is fastest and the TFSI petrol power plants have the highest fuel and tax bills.


To drive, it is as sophisticated as it looks. You get a very real sense you’re driving a car almost to Audi A8 standard in stature and ability. The sheer size of the latest A6 helps, of course, but so too do its effortless controls and discreet engines.


Keen drivers will probably find it a bit frustrating. A BMW 5 Series gives more tactility and involvement, while a Jaguar XF Sportback is more subtle and feedback-friendly. But there’s no denying that if you simply want to get in and switch off, the Audi A6 Avant is the perfect car to eat up hundreds of miles at a time.


The extra confidence you get from all-wheel drive Quattro versions is worthwhile, too. This has been another Audi trademark for decades, and the latest system is the most sure-footed yet. Ideal for horrible wintry weather conditions, then.


Inside, it’s a real spectacle. The subtle approach Audi used to take with car interiors has been replaced by a bolder and more digital-first design. It’s all very modern in feel and does take some time to get used to, but you certainly can’t deny it’s very ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’.


Estates may not be as popular as they once were due to the rise of the SUV, but the latest A6 Avant still delivers. It is a machine with real presence, and feels authentically Audi throughout – even if you do need a course just to learn everything those multiple touchscreens can do…


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Audi A6 Avant (2011-2018) review.


Is the Audi A6 Avant right for you?

If you like standing out in a crowd, the Audi A6 Avant could be for you. Audi has eschewed its previously understated style for a much more avant-garde look, and the A6 Avant is a fine example of that. It has bulging wheelarches, bold strakes and a really distinctive profile that easily stands out alongside its rivals.


It’s not the most commodious load-lugger, so don’t expect class-leading space in the boot. And the interior is a real tech-fest, which can be a bit much for some. But as an example of a modern, contemporary Audi, with the added bonus of low running costs for the best-selling 40 TDI version, it’s a more exciting option than anything Audi has offered in this sector for some time.   


If you want a more rugged version there's the Audi A6 Allroad.


What’s the best Audi A6 Avant model/engine to choose?

Our pick is the 40 TDI. In prime spec, this version emits less than 120g/km of CO2 and can average well over 60mpg. It’s the fleet favourite and it’s easy to see why. You don’t get the purr of a six-cylinder engine, and it is ever so slightly uncouth when driven hard – but most of the time, it’s perfectly fine.


Audi doesn’t bother with an entry-level SE grade these days. People want cars to look sporty, and it has responded with a choice of two model variants – Sport and S Line. Sport looks fine, and has a bit of attitude lacking in the older, more prosaic SE line. But once you’ve seen S Line, you’ll do anything to get one – that’s how appealing it is.


 What other cars are similar to the Audi A6 Avant?

The two direct rivals to the Audi A6 Avant are the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. The BMW is the driver-focused one, while the Mercedes-Benz is the real load-lugger, with the biggest boot and most practical layout. All three are extremely appealing.


Volvo’s latest V90 is a very able and desirable car, though, with svelte good looks of its own. It’s a prettier car than the slightly awkward-looking Jaguar XF Sportbrake, which also doesn’t have the most appealing interior – despite being a great car to drive.


Learn more

 Audi A6 Avant Interior

On the inside

 Audi A6 Avant Driving Front

Driving

 Audi A6 Avant Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

 Audi A6 Avant Exhaust

Prices, versions and specification