What is it?
Have you heard? Diesels are as relevant as Theresa May. No one buys them anymore because they’re NOx-ious... but Audi doesn’t care. It loves its turbo oil-burners and is stoically sticking by them. Strong and stable, with no hint of compromise. We’ve heard that somewhere before.
So if you want this new S6 Avant, be prepared to park next to the black pump because diesel is what it’s all about. The 3.0-litre V6 with 48V mild hybridisation is familiar from the A6 50 TDI saloon, but with greater punch befitting the ’S’ designation.
Outwardly, there’s little to tell it apart from its A-list sibling, apart from some nice chrome work around the grille, smart metallic wing mirrors, the subtle ’S’ embedded in the nose and ‘Audi Sport’ branding on the bounteous 21in cast aluminium wheels. But in the primary colour of our test car, the S6 doesn’t need extra flourishes. Audi has always understood how to draw a nice line in brutish elegance when it comes to its wagons, and this Avant follows that tradition. Standing still, it looks potent. And big – the profile view appears to fill the horizon.
Inside, again there’s little to differentiate from the A6 – not that there’s much room for improvement on one of the best interiors you’ll find in this price range. Tactile, sharp-looking surfaces abound, while the sports seats in black Valcona leather offer all the support and comfort you could wish for. Hold the front page: an Audi cabin is still a spa-like place to spend your time.
On practicalities, rear leg room is adult-friendly (even for tall ones), while luggage capacity in the tail, with the second row in use, is 550 litres – so not huge by estate standards. It’ll be enough for some, but it’s hard to imagine this as a car for dog owners, and it somehow feels too plush for runs to the local tip.
So why choose the S6 over the A6? Go searching for that extra spice to justify its £60,750 price (before options) and you will find it – but only once you get moving, which, when it comes down to it, is surely what counts the most. Just as you’d hope, it’s in the driving where the S6 stands out from its near-identical sibling.