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SPACE AND SIX APPEAL (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 54
The improved post-2015 version of Audi's fourth generation A6 Avant is a large, luxurious estate that combines practicality with panache. In this form, it's high-tech, beautifully finished and sophisticated, aiming to offer buyers a little more charisma and driving reward than the original MK4 design could provide. Does it make a good used buy?
Modelsword count: 17
5dr Estate (2.0 TDI diesel, 3.0 TDI diesel / 4.0 TFSI petrol) [SE, SE Executive, S6, RS6])
Historyword count: 125
Audi may not be too far ahead of its arch-rival BMW in terms of overall sales but in one segment at least, the Ingolstadt maker comprehensively beats its closest rival: that of large, luxurious Executive-class estates. In its lifetime, the fourth generation version of the company's A6 Avant out-sold the rival BMW 5 Series Touring nearly two-to-one and was even further ahead of estate versions of other key segment competitors like Mercedes' E-Class and the Jaguar XF. Which was impressive, considering that this was never the biggest model in its segment. Still, for many buyers, it offered the most complete all-round proposition in terms of model choice, practicality and technology. It sold until the fifth generation A6 Avant was announced in the Spring of 2018.
What You Getword count: 727
People don't primary buy large, luxurious estates for their ultimate carriage capacity. If that were the case after all, they'd instead be buying an equally plush and even more practical large MPV. But luggage space is clearly a key consideration, an area where in previous generations, the A6 Avant lagged a little behind its BMW and Mercedes rivals. You can see from the rakish rear screen of this MK4 version that Audi never sought dramatic changes in this respect when it came to this more recent design, but a significant increase in wheelbase was enough at its original launch in 2011 to put the car back on terms in the space race, at least when it came to comparisons with rivals from BMW and Jaguar. Aesthetic changes made to this facelifted version in 2015 mainly centred around a trademark single frame front grille that became wider, with six crisper corners and eight chromed struts for extra emphasis. Up front, there's the usual luxurious blend of craftsmanship fused with technology in a cabin that, thanks to some judicious upgrades, feels plusher than a 5 Series BMW's of this era, trendier than that of a comparable Mercedes E-class and better built than an equivalent Jaguar XF's. If you owned the original version of this MK4 model, you might notice the redesigned gear lever and the extra chrome detailing on elements like the air vent thumb wheels. There's quite a glassy, airy feel to the interior, with slim C-pillars and effective rear quarter lights aiding over-the-shoulder visibility. The wrap-around dash is fashioned in a wide arch that spans the cabin, encircling the slim, low instrument panel. You view it through a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel that reveals large black-faced dials featuring clear, classic graphics and red needles. A Head-up display and a 7-inch TFT colour display in the instrument binnacle were optional. Almost everything else you'll need to know is to be found on an improved version of the excellent MMI control interface that marshals the ancillary controls on an electrically retracting colour display screen that glides out from the dash, helping the A6 do a better job than most rivals of keeping the dreaded button clutter to a minimum. It's 6.0-inches in size on base SE models that include Navigation as standard, but ideally you'd want a car whose original owner upgraded to the improved 'MMI Navigation plus' system with its larger 8.0-inch display. This uses a more powerful Tegra 30 graphics processor and includes MMI Touch, which enables the driver to scroll and zoom in lists and maps via touchpad. A pity you have to do it with your left hand. There's also 'Audi connect' functionality that brings tailored Internet-based services and media streaming apps to the car via the LTE high speed data transmission standard for ultra-fast 4G click-through and download functionality. Other updates that were applied to this improved model included the acoustically-damped front and side windows that account for the impressive standards of refinement. And there was a more effective Deluxe four-zone air conditioning system. Otherwise, things are much as with the original version of this MK4 design, which is no bad thing. The leather-trimmed seats remain superbly supportive, at minimum 10-way adjustable with the optional capability for heating, ventilation and even massage. When this fourth generation design was originally introduced in 2011, the Ingolstadt designers lengthened its wheelbase by 70mm to improve rear seat accommodation and create a cabin that remains exceptionally light and airy in this improved model. There's ample leg and head room for a couple of six-foot adults to stretch out in comfort and, with the broad centre armrest tucked away, even enough room for a third to sit between without having to breathe in first, though that person will have to straddle a fairly hefty transmission tunnel. Out back, once you've raised the standard electric tailgate, you'll find 565-litres of space, which you can make best use of by going for a car whose original owner specified the optional Convenience Pack. This includes a reversible mat, tie-down straps and a load area fixing kit which includes a fixing set for the rail system with a telescopic pole and fastening strap for dividing up the luggage area. As standard, there's also a ski hatch for longer items but if you need more space, then flattening the rear bench frees up 1,680-litres.
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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates
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