In so many ways, this fifth-generation Audi A6 seems to represent an interesting shift in thinking for its maker.

A deliberate decision, perhaps, to put the handbrake on its attempts to play ‘anything you can do’ with BMW in Munich and Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, and to head back towards the approach that made its cars so revered, in their way, a quarter-century ago.

Richard Lane

Road tester
This high-tech throwback is a timely reminder of what Audi does best

Mechanical refinement and cabin isolation. Aerodynamic efficiency. Technological sophistication everywhere you look. Readily apparent perceived quality. A design that puts the painstaking technical precision of the car’s assembly on a pedestal. These are the qualities that best distinguish the new A6 Avant, just as you might have said about the big Audi executive saloons and wagons of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

They don’t make this an executive wagon that will appeal to the keen driver particularly, but certainly do give it a sense of authenticity as an Audi that might make a difference for long-time fans of German cars. That might be what Audi needs above all else right now.

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