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Driven: Audi A6 allroad. Image by Audi UK.

Driven: Audi A6 allroad
We think we enjoy this Audi A6 Avant even more than we do the one with 600hp. Seriously.


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Audi A6 allroad

5 5 5 5 5

Good points: largely everything, but the stunning refinement, ride quality and sense of understated style are all hard to beat

Not so good: you won't get it cheap

Key Facts

Model tested: Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI Sport Tiptronic
Price: A6 Avant range from 41,620; allroad from 56,820, 50 TDI Sport from 59,255, car as tested 68,550
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology
Transmission: eight-speed Tiptronic automatic, quattro all-wheel drive
Body style: five-door mild-hybrid crossover-estate
CO2 emissions: 195g/km (VED Band 191-225: 1,345 in year one, then 490 per annum years two-six of ownership, then 155 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 37.7mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 5.9 seconds
Power: 286hp at 3,500-4,000rpm
Torque: 620Nm at 2,250-3,000rpm
Boot space: 565-1,680 litres

Our view:

We know this makes us sound like silly old codgers, but the things we look for first these days on a car are heated seats (and the ultimate bonus, a heated steering wheel too), adaptive cruise control, a stonking sound system and maybe air suspension, but at the very least adjustable dampers with a decent comfort setting on them. Chuck all this lot into an estate and we're getting close to 'Perfect Daily Driver' status. Chuck all this lot into an off-roading crossover estate with chiselled good looks, a sensational interior and a big-hearted, V6 turbodiesel engine, and you have the sort of car that makes a total mockery of the motoring public's insatiable desire for SUVs. What you have, in truth, is the Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI Sport.

Our one complaint with this thing is a whopping on-the-road price of 68,550 for our test car, enlivened - as it was - by items such as the allroad interior line (1,700), a panoramic glass sunroof (1,950), and two bundles called the City Assist (1,375) and Technology (1,495) Packs, the latter of which adds desirable and often-specified cost-optional extras such as MMI Navigation Plus, the Virtual Cockpit and Audi Phone Box with wireless smartphone charging. It doesn't even help much when we say you'll need around 690 per month if you want to get into one of these things by means of the PCP back door.

But, in mitigation, what a stunning all-rounder of a car you're getting here for your outlay. Our car was the perfect combination of the more powerful of two 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesels on offer in the allroad range, our 50 TDI packing 286hp instead of the 45 TDI's 245hp, along with the lesser trim of Sport, instead of Vorsprung. The reason we say Sport is better is because it not only keeps the cost down to a slightly more acceptable level, it also keeps the allroad on some tasteful 19-inch wheels, instead of the ride-ruining 21s of the Vorsprung.

And you get heated seats, the Audi Sound System, cruise control (not radar as standard, boooo! But... it will suffice, Audi), twin-axle air suspension and a load of other toys as standard, as well. Also, not only does the A6 allroad look fabulous on the outside, although watch for finishing its trademark black-plastic body-cladding in body colour which diminishes its aesthetic effect, but it has a magnificent cabin that's beyond reproach. Those strong, horizontal lines of the A6 fascia work so well and sitting in the allroad 50 TDI Sport, it feels every inch the 70-grand car.

To drive, it is a peach of a machine. It seems to lose nothing in terms of dynamic acuity to the A6 Avant it is based upon, despite it riding up to 45mm higher (depending on what its air suspension is doing at any given moment), while gaining much in the way of ride comfort and mechanical refinement. As the allroad is not available with four-cylinder engines, you don't idly wonder if a 40 TDI might do just as good a job as this 50 TDI. Which is a good thing, because this is a glorious V6 turbodiesel. It likes to rev, it sounds good all around the dial and it is teamed to a suitably slick eight-speed Tiptronic full automatic, rather than one of Audi/Volkswagen Group's more dithery DSG twin-clutch units. In truth, the slusher is the ideal companion for the allroad's laid-back vibe, so we have no qualms about the way it shifts cogs.

Brilliantly, both the allroad's chassis and its steering are lovely, fluid items that allow a driver to get a serious lick of pace on down bumpy roads, because this is a car that breathes and flows on lumpen tarmac, rather than crashing its way about trying to pound the surface into submission through tough dampers and minimal sidewalls. We're not saying it's some kind of RS 6 Avant on stilts, you understand, but there's a beautiful character and cohesiveness about the allroad's handling that's most wonderful.

Not half as wonderful as its smooth ride and impeccable manners. We drove it up and down country for 600 miles in the grotty, grimy depths of winter, even attending an Audi multimodel event where we also tested the S3 Sportback, the Q7 55 TFSI e, the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e and the mighty S8, and we couldn't help but feel that we'd driven to and from the launch in the best vehicle of the whole lot by some clear margin. An overall average of 37.7mpg, with a best of 43.8mpg on local, fast-moving A-roads, also suggested that you don't pay for the high-riding A6's stonking V6 performance with terrible fuel economy either, but what we'll remember is how effortless, how peerless, how very close to faultless the Audi was on a lengthy journey. It comprehensively soothes away long-distance miles like few other cars we can think of.

All in all, we adored this Audi estate. The allroad has been around for a long time now and we've always loved it, rating the old model just as highly when we drove it in 2014. But this generation of allroad is clearly polished to an even higher standard by its parent manufacturer, and specified as a 50 TDI Sport it is proof positive that you don't need an SUV, you don't need a 600hp firebreathing V8 wagon... you don't really need anything automotive in your life except an A6 allroad like this one. This was a quite sublime performance from start to finish from the big German wagon, all things considered, and the allroad therefore replaces the S6 as the finest model in an incredibly strong Avant line-up from Ingolstadt.


Jaguar XF Sportbrake: Jaguar's ageing wagon still looks nice on the outside but the cabin betrays its advancing years and the drivetrains aren't a patch on the allroad's silky 3.0-litre powerplant.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain: similarly classy, if similarly expensive operator. Also favours comfort over speed but we'd argue the Audi is, if kept as a Sport-trim model, even nicer to ride in than the Merc.

Volvo V90 Cross Country: one of our favourites, although it only has four-cylinder powertrain options and its ride quality can go all askew if you put big alloys and sporty suspension on it. Mega as an Inscription, though.

Matt Robinson - 18 Dec 2020    - Audi road tests
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2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.

2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.2020 Audi A6 allroad 50 TDI. Image by Audi UK.


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