The station wagon has always been the solution for those looking for more practicality, while still offering sedan-like drivability.
But the desirability of a wagon here has always been marred by how it looks.
Perhaps the Audi A6 Avant might just be the exception in the eyes of image-conscious Singaporeans.
MUSCULAR AND CONSERVATIVE
The Audi A6 Avant is like an A6 Sedan with a larger greenhouse at the rear. At nearly five metres long and with a wheelbase of almost three metres in length, it is a sizeable car.
Complementing its dimensions are the wide hexagonal grille and flared wheel arches that give the A6 Avant a muscular and low-slung appearance. It is a good-looking estate.
That said, the wheels that seem a tad small on the Avant, despite being 18 inches in size.
At first glance, you might think the Avant is longer than the sedan. But both vehicles actually have similar proportions – the only difference is height. The Avant is 37mm taller.
Both the A6 Avant and A6 Sedan have the same interior, which is nothing short of impressive.
A rich mix of soft touch materials and polished aluminium fittings adorn the cabin. Despite the excessive use of gloss black materials, the A6 Avant’s cockpit can hardly be described as tacky, despite being a magnet for fingerprints.
It is a cabin that you’ll be more than happy to spend time in. And that’s before you get to the vast array of screens available.
I am not a big fan of having virtual buttons on a screen, but Audi has done a good job in ensuring that they offer tactility. Both screens offer haptic feedback for select functions.
There’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The menu layouts are simple and intuitive, so you don’t need scroll and search endlessly to use other infotainment features.
A dedicated shortcut can be customised for you to get straight back into Apple CarPlay.
All these, combined with the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, result in a distinctive and beautiful interior that’s easy to use and live with every day.
The Audi A6 Avant certainly has no lack of space for people and their belongings.
There’s more than enough knee space and headroom for tall passengers. Window shades and dual-zone climate control help keep everyone cushy and comfy.
A large transmission tunnel does make for a less than comfortable situation for the middle occupant. So, the backseat is still better for two rather than three passengers.
The Audi A6 Avant also excels at hauling cargo. Its 565-litre boot is bigger than the one in the A6 Sedan by just 35 litres. But with a large boot opening, it’s easier to load/unload large and odd-sized items.
Folding down the rear seats expands the 565 litres to 1680 litres, which should help accommodate bulkier and longer items.
COMFORT AND REFINEMENT
On the road, you’ll soon find the Audi A6 Avant not only offers space, but comfy cruising, too.
The estate’s relatively thicker 55-profile tyres, combined with adaptive dampers, give it the ability to waft over bumps and ruts, much like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
In addition, the A6 Avant has an easy-to-drive nature. Steering is light and precise, and you’ll find it easy to handle tight carpark spaces – even without the optional rear-wheel-steering system.
There’s a small blemish to the composed drive, though.
Despite having a mild hybrid system’s with an integrated starter generator (which is more powerful than a conventional starter motor), the stop-start system’s restarts can still feel rough.
This mild-hybrid system is combined with the turbocharged 2-litre engine that sends 188hp and 320Nm of torque to the front wheels. It is the only engine option currently available for the A6 Avant.
It easily keeps pace with other traffic. Just don’t expect this powerplant to be a bruiser. If you do want a large bruiser of a wagon, there’s always the V8-powered Audi RS6 Avant.
My 100km test drive netted an average fuel consumption figure of 10.9km/L, which is also about average for a car this size.
IS THE AUDI A6 AVANT THE ESTATE FOR YOU?
When it comes to wagons, the $242,900 (correct at time of writing) Audi A6 Avant certainly seems like a good proposition. It has bold looks, delivers a comfortable drive and offers more practicality than its sedan sibling, too.
But before you commit, you should also check out the A6 Avant’s direct rival – the Volvo V90 T6 Cross Country.
Though $16.1k dearer (correct at time of writing), this Swede estate does offer more. It is quicker, has higher ground clearance and more surefootedness. The latter is courtesy of the all-wheel-drive system.
But if you’re seeking an accomplished, luxury estate with space, versatility and handsome looks, then the A6 Avant deserves your consideration.
Audi A6 Avant Design 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1984cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 188hp (140kW, 190PS) at 4200-6000rpm
MAX TORQUE 320Nm at 1450-4200rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 112.6hp per tonne
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 7.9 seconds
TOP SPEED 237km/h
CONSUMPTION 16.1km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $242,900 (no VES rebate/surcharge)
AGENT Premium Automobiles