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Audi A6 Avant review

Audi A6 Avant review 2011
Load Lugging With Style

Estate Cars Provide Utility With Driveability
Tough Choice Between BMW, Mercedes, Audi And Volvo
**** out of 5

If Four-Wheel Drive Doesn’t Swing It, Will “Gesture-Controlled Tailgate”? 

“with both arms full of carrier bags, you can approach the rear, waggle your foot and if you have the key in your pocket, the tailgate will open”

For – understated elegance, high quality, excellent drive, utility
Against – an SUV would do all this and more

If you are in the market for a premium estate car, the choices are agonising

There’s the Mercedes E class, the BMW 5-Series Touring, the Volvo V60 or the new Audi A6 Avant. You could spend hours measuring each car’s load lugging capacity or comparing performance or price and still you’d probably be faced with a subjective choice. The game clincher might be the Audi’s four-wheel drive option, but now there’s another attribute that Volkswagen of Germany’s luxury subsidiary has conjured up. Audi now offers a “gesture-controlled tailgate”.

This means that when you struggle up to the car in the Waitrose car park with both arms full of carrier bags, you can approach the rear, waggle your foot under the bumper and if you have the key in your pocket, the tailgate will open. Expect to see a scramble by other manufacturers to match this.

Audi A6 Avant review 2011The Avant is an estate car version of the A6, and offers impressive performance. Even if you can only afford the base model in Europe – a 2.0 liter 175 hp four-cylinder diesel – this can reach 60 mph from rest in under nine seconds. Prices start at £32,100. There’s a new 309 hp bi-turbo V6 turbo diesel, one 3.0 litre V6 petrol and two other diesels. The top of the range bi-turbo will take just over five seconds to reach 60 mph from rest, and will be electronically limited to a 155mph top speed. All of the engines use technologies from the so-called Audi modular efficiency platform, including the start-stop system, energy recuperation and thermal management that quickly brings the coolant and motor oil up to operating temperature. This helps  towards a claimed cut of up to 18 per cent in fuel consumption compared with the out-going model.

Audi has cut the weight of the Avant with the use of composite aluminium and steel construction. The base diesel model weighs in at 3,615 lbs, that’s 15 per cent less than the old all-steel equivalent. Inside, there’s about 565 litres of space in the boot, and 1,680 litres with the rear seats folded down. The load bay has luggage lashing eyes, side restraining straps, bag hooks, a double cargo floor, a rail luggage fixing system, a dirt-resistant tray and roof rails as standard.

Transmission options will include a manual six-speed, a multitronic CVT for front-wheel-drive models, and the new seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission for four-wheel drive quattros.

Audi A6 Avant review 2011Also on the options list is a “night vision assistant” that uses a thermal-imaging camera to highlight warm-blooded road users in front of the car, a head-up display and a park assist system which automatically takes care of steering to maneuver into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. More familiar options such as the Audi side assist blind spot warning system, the Audi lane assist lane departure detection system and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System are also available. Warning; if you dwell too long on the optional extras list you will raise the price considerably and unrecognisably.

Two specification levels – SE and S line – will be offered in the UK, each including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise and front and rear parking controls, satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone preparation, split/folding rear seats and light and rain sensors. S line models will add larger 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, sports suspension, upgraded Valcona leather upholstery and an exclusive S line exterior and interior styling treatment. S Line prices start at £34,450 for the 2.0 TDi, and this £2,350 supplement continues right up the range.

Audi A6 Avant review 2011

On the wane
Estate cars have been on the wane ever since the SUV became popular. But SUVs, for all their utility, still can’t deliver the driving experience of a lower, sleeker, saloon-like estate car. So if you want a car which not only delivers great load lugging, but retains the driving characteristics of a proper car, then the estate car should get your vote. As for the choice between a BMW, Mercedes, Volvo or Audi estate, whatever prejudice finally points you into the hands of the Germans or the Chinese owned Swedes, you will be getting a fabulous car. If you want to save some money though, maybe you should think about the Skoda Superb Estate unless the idea of German owned Czechs sets off alarm bells.

Audi A6 Avant review 2011

(Audi provided one night in an hotel)

Neil Winton – October 5, 2011

 Audi A6 Avant
Engine:2.0 litre four cylinder diesel
175 hp @ 4,200
380 Nm @ 1,750-2,500
6-speed manual
Acceleration:0-62-100 km/h – 9.0 seconds
Top Speed:138 mph-222 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 56.5 mpg-5.0 l/km
CO2:132 g/km
Emissions class:
Euro V
Length:4,926 mm
1,640 kg
five link/trapezoidal link
Service Intervals:oil change nine to 19,000 miles. Service inspection 19,000 miles/two years
three years/60,000 miles
Boot capacity:
565 litres 1,680
Competition:Mercedes E class, BMW 5 Series Touring, Volvo V60
Same for much less:Skoda Superb Estate
Price:from £32,100
For:understated elegance, high quality, excellent drive, utility
Against:an SUV would do all this, and more
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One Response to Audi A6 Avant review

  1. Pooja December 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    As usual Detroit doesn’t get it. They spend so much effort to fight beettr mileage, effort that should and could be put into innovation to give consumers what they want and what is needed. Are we seeing the one-two punch? The first punch was the gas shock in the seventies and their failure to answer it or the challenge of the Japanese automakers. Is this the second punch? I have no doubt that the US automakers will again fail to respond appropriately. This is why when my Saturn died I had no trouble buying my TDI and getting the mileage I should. It is unfortunate that VW and Toyota are part of the coalition. Any thoughts on why Ford is not?

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