Audi A6 3.2 FSI quattro SE Avant - AUDI A6 Car Review

Review

Added: 08 Aug 2008
Last update:

ALTHOUGH the list of medium sized estate cars may be legion, there are still many family and business drivers to whom big is beautiful when it comes to making a choice in the world of the carry-all car.

I recently spent some time with one of the very best of this particular genre, the A6 Avant - that's Audi-speak for estate car - is tailor-made for families who wish to avail themselves of a traditional, comfortably roomy car without going down the road of the MPV.

The Avant boasts a wheelbase some three and a half inches longer than its precedessor and, coming with a body more than five inches longer and two inches wider, the interior has become more spacious in every way, delivering plenty of leg and shoulder room front and rear while, despite the sleek roofline having been lowered slightly, my tallish colleagues sat in the rear didn't have any problems with headroom.

In addition, there is a much more accommodating boot in the current model which offers a very generous 565 litres of stowage space with all seats taken and, with rear seats folded, the capacity becomes a huge 1,660 litres.

As a standard feature, the luggage bay load floor can be folded up and locked in a variety of positions to divide up the area. This also provides access to a lower load area within which a large, easy-to-clean plastic tray has been positioned, creating a facility perfect for the stowage of muddy boots and other country life-style acoutrements.

In addition, there are a number of optional extras to help cope with the needs of the family biking enthusiasts plus a telescopic bar, a lockable compartment and a large storage box to keep items out of sight of unwanted prying eyes while the standard load-through facility has been created to prove a boon to winter sport enthusiasts.

As with all Audi products, a broad range of engines are available with petrol power represented by a 2.4 V6 175bhp engine and five FSI power sources ranging from a 2.0 T 168bhp, through a 2.8 208bhp V6, 3.2-litre 253bhp V6, a 4.2-litre 347bhp V8 and a 10-cylinder 5.2-litre 430bhp, while diesel-powered engines are threefold, 2.0-litre 138bhp TDI, 2.7-litre 178bhp TDI and a 3.0-litre TDI pulling 223bhp.

To complement the A6 Avant's stylish good-looks, which turned more than a few heads during the test drive, the inside is a spaciously laid out and well appointed cabin within which aluminium inlays have been tastefully inserted, the dash has been neatly designed and the centre console thoughtfully angled slightly towards the driver.

Fully justifying its tag as one of the best built executive-style estate cars around, the A6 Avant has admirable fine build quality both inside and out while luxury items such as the Multi Media Interface (MMI) control system, cruise control, 10-speaker sound system with CD, electro-mechanical parking brake and dual control air con add further quality to the set-up.

When combined with the likes of a Driver Information System, electric windows all round, powered and heated door mirrors which all come as standard, as do driver safety aids such as ABS braking, electronic stabilisation plus traction control, this ensures that buyers get quite a lot of car for their money.

The car driven here is the 3.2-litre FSI which, paired with a smooth-switching six-speed Tiptronic transmission allied to Audi's quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system, makes it very much a car for all seasons.

On the move, this lightweight piece of kit delivers a much faster gearshift and better acceleration at low speeds while there is a significant reduction in road noise levels and fuel consumption.

On the road, the 3.2 six-cylinder petrol engine - pulling maximum power of 253bhp at 6,500rpm - proves a quietly smooth operator, exhibiting plenty of pull and although the ride perhaps proves a little on the firm side, it is in no way inhibiting.

Handling is good, the A6 Avant turning in a quality performance with the car benefiting from a 34% increase in torsional rigidity when compared with the previous A6 Avant.

Overall, this is a high quality estate. It's big in virtually every way, including style and space, a premium car which proves very engaging and relaxing over the long haul.

FAST FACTS

Audi A6 3.2 FSI quattro SE Avant auto

Price: £36,275

Mechanical: 253bhp, 3,123cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6spd automatic gearbox

Max speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 7.4 secs

Combined mpg: 25.9

Insurance group: 17

CO2 emissions: 259g/km

BiK rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust

Words: Malcolm Robertshaw

Keywords: Audi, A6