From the driver’s seat, you might mistake the A6 Avant for any other large Audi on sale. More so than its exterior, the A6’s cabin is practically a carbon copy of that in the A7 and, to an extent, that of the Q8 SUV as well.
The design of the dash is identical, with gloss black and brushed aluminium surfacing used liberally, while the dual-screen infotainment system is housed in the same place, and crowned by air vents of the same design as those in the rakish saloon.
However, this copy-paste approach to interior design does mean that all of the things we so liked about the A7’s cabin are present and correct in the A6. It majors in material appeal, perceived quality and technological sophistication and, thanks to its estate car body shape, now places an even greater focus on practicality too. The sharply styled tailgate lifts to reveal a 565-litre boot, which is accessed via a suitably wide aperture (we measured it at 1030mm at its narrowest point).
There’s no awkward sill over which heavy items will need to be lifted, which is handy, although the angle of the bootline may prevent taller items from being loaded easily. The 40:20:40 splitfolding rear seats collapse to liberate an additional 1115 litres of space for a total capacity of 1680 litres. By way of comparison, BMW’s 5 Series Touring offers 570 litres of seats-up bootspace and 1700 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.
Space in the second row is good – two adults will be able to sit in comfort over long distances without any complaints about a serious lack of leg or head room.
Our test car was equipped with the £1495 Technology Pack, which includes Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system. It’s the same unit that featured in the A7 we tested a few months ago, and comprises of a primary 10.1in upper screen with a smaller 8.7in screen below.
The top touchscreen can be used to access the vast majority of the infotainment system’s features – such as the sat-nav, vehicle settings and telephone – while the lower screen is primarily used to control the HVAC settings. It is a graphically rich and visually appealing system but, as we experienced in the A7, comes up short in a few areas.
Ergonomically, it’s a touch awkward and can be tricky to use on the go owing to the fairly considerable amount of pressure you need to apply to the screen to get a response. The haptic and acoustic feedback are welcome, though.