Need a comfortable ride to haul your family and all your cargo around? The Audi A6 Avant is the answer
Photos: Lionel Kong
We’ve debated the average Singaporean car buyer’s adverse attitude toward station wagons before. It is somewhat ironic that for a population of pragmatists, the sheer practicality of a station wagon is often overlooked and shunned in favour of body styles like sedans, or the now-ubiquitous SUVs.
It’s a different story in Europe of course. Over there, station wagons are valued for their space, at least for the simple reason that they can accommodate the kids and all their assorted toys when European families embark on their annual cross-continent summer holidays.
That’s really the context for the continued existence of cars like the Audi A6 Avant. And if anything, there are few better cars to undertake a long journey with all your barang barang on board than Audi’s large wagon.
Audi are one of the few proponents of the station wagon genre here in Singapore, alongside fellow Germans Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, Swedish wagon specialists Volvo, and surprisingly Mazda. But Audi stands out for their variety, with their wagons available as standard everyday fare, as well as in hot RS performance flavours.
The A6 Avant here is not quite the bahn storming supercar slayer that the upcoming RS 6 Avant is, but it offers a different sort of driving proposition, leaning more towards comfort and relaxation.
You’ll start to realise this the moment you encounter a bump in the road, with the A6 Avant smoothing over it with nary a fuss. Good ride quality is a rare commodity these days, what with the trend towards bigger wheels and low profile tyres, so the Avant’s pliancy certainly stands out.
The 225/55 Michelin Primacy 18-inch tyres that Audi has chose to shod on the Avant probably goes a long way towards helping the cause, with plenty of rubber sidewall to absorb vibrations and soak up bumps.
There is a trade-off however, and that is in the Avant’s handling prowess. The tyres do tend to struggle and protest a little when pushed hard, and there is a noted tinge of understeer evident in the corners. Being a lower-spec version over the A6 sedan which we tested last year, it also loses the four-wheel-steering system that does wonders for manoeuvrability.
The sole variant of the A6 Avant available in Singapore is the 2.0 TFSI, which delivers 190hp and 320Nm of torque. Power delivery is smooth and effective, but the A6 Avant is not a car that likes to be harried, with overall performance mostly in keeping with the leisurely nature of the car.
The powertrain features a 12V mild hybrid setup that assists in efficiency by allowing the engine to be shut off while coasting between speeds of 55 to 160km/h, and the transition is barely perceptible when it is in operation, which is a pretty good credit to Audi’s engineering efforts.
The rest of the car is broadly similar to the sedan, with the obvious exception to the cargo area of course. With the seats up, the Avant’s boot offers a capacity of 565 litres, which is plenty on its own. Drop the rear seats down and the space increases to 1,680 litres, enough to accommodate, say, a flat-packed bed you’ve picked up from the furniture store.
Spec-wise, the A6 Avant is fairly well-equipped, with the now familiar MMI Touch Response double touchscreen system and all-digital Virtual Cockpit instrument panel all present and correct here.
It also scores high on the safety front, with the Audi Pre Sense collision warning and brake assist system available as standard. You can set the system to give early or later warnings, as given the way traffic is here in Singapore an overly early warning can make the car seem a bit overeager in assisting.
Nevertheless, it does highlight where a car like the A6 Avant places its priorities. At the end of the day, a station wagon, regardless of brand, is really a family car, which means it has to be safe, comfortable and spacious. While it does cost a pretty penny at $242,900 including COE, there’s no question that the A6 Avant has ticked all the necessary boxes and fulfilled its brief as a proper station wagon.
Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TFSI
|Engine||1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||190hp at 4280-6000rpm|
|Torque||320Nm at 1450-4200rpm|
|VES Band / CO2||B / 143g/km|
|Price||S$242,900 with COE|
|Verdict:||Comfortable and spacious, the A6 Avant meets all the requirements for those looking for a premium family wagon|