Still cock of the estate

SERIOUSLY POLISHED: New AudiSERIOUSLY POLISHED: New Audi
SERIOUSLY POLISHED: New Audi
THE estate car’s battle with the SUV may have been lost but there would be no swift farewell for Audi’s ever-popular A6 Avant.

With diesel power no longer an option, however, the car tested here is the snappily-titled A6 Avant Black Edition 50 TFSI e quattro S tronic.

Stealthy black decals combine with Chronos Grey paintwork, while an 18kWh battery and electric motor compliment the two-litre turbocharged petrol engine to deliver 299PS and 450Nm of torque from a plug-in hybrid set-up.

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Audi claims that 6.3-second acceleration to 62mph is possible alongside a 39-mile electric range.

EVER-POPULAR: The Audi A6 AvantEVER-POPULAR: The Audi A6 Avant
EVER-POPULAR: The Audi A6 Avant

Those eyeing an A6 Avant for business will benefit from 34g/km CO2 emissions.

The claimed 217.3mpg fuel consumption is typical of PHEV economy testing, however. With the battery uncharged, we managed around 32mpg.

Audi has honed its quattro all-wheel-drive to be more dynamic, though, and the A6 Avant’s rear differential delivered a sense of more torque at the rear wheels, bringing greater adjustability and engagement.

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Inside, Audi reigns supreme with its classy cabin. It may not be as “bling” as a modern Mercedes, but the materials are perfectly judged.

SERIOUSLY POLISHED: New AudiSERIOUSLY POLISHED: New Audi
SERIOUSLY POLISHED: New Audi

Our test car’s ‘S’ embossed leather Sports Seats (a £1,000 option) looked the business, while proving extremely comfortable.

A flat-bottomed steering wheel and the heavily textured weave covering part of the dashboard added real tactility, meanwhile.

Audi employs two touchscreens, one for the traditional infotainment, another for the climate control.

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I am not so keen on its haptic interface, though. This means a touch of the screen makes a rather satisfying click – not unlike a ‘real’ button – but I found it less sensitive than I might have liked, as a result.

Heated seats and steering wheel, the combination of Audi’s still excellent Virtual Cockpit colour instrument binnacle and a head-up instrument display, and an impressive Bang and Olufsen sound system helped to ease my agitation.

Such highlights should be expected in a car with a price tag like this part-electric premium family car-cum-GT. Our A6 Avant came in at £70,805.

This is one seriously polished estate though, and the introduction of zero-emission travel has only added to its appeal.

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