The Audi A6 Avant is a capacious, good-looking, premium-badged estate car of enormous suavity and more than decent road manners.

Under its elegantly lengthy bonnet, you’ll find a wide range of engines, including a 201bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel (badged 40 TDI) and a 282bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (50 TDI). Petrols are a 2.0-litre in either 201bhp 40 TFSI or more potent 261bhp 45 TFSI form and a 335bhp 3.0-litre (55 TFSI) for proper poke. There’s also a 344bhp diesel-powered S6 super-sporting version if you want to scare the dog silly.

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Sport-spec A6 Avants come with most of the luxuries you are likely to want, including heated front seats, part-leather upholstery and 18in alloy wheels. Upgrading to S line trim brings 19in alloys, sportier looks and leather and Alcantara seats. Black Edition increases the wheel size to 20in and gets you plenty of black trim on the exterior, while Vorsprung models have the kitchen sink thrown at them in terms of kit, including 21in wheels, extra safety technology and an upgraded stereo.

On the road, the 40 TDI version is the more logical choice because it’s a good compromise between power and economy. The 50 TDI is a real flyer and, like the less powerful engine, remarkably quiet.

There were differing suspension options when the car was new: Sport trim uses conventional steel springs and dampers, S line models are stiffened and lowered, and Vorsprung versions have adaptive suspension with switchable dampers that can be softened or stiffened to suit your mood.

When you approach a corner, the Avant feels lighter and more agile than its size would lead you to expect. Some cars even come with four-wheel steering, which makes things sharper still. There’s plenty of traction, whether front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive.

Inside, there’s a dashboard of unimpeachable logic and some good-quality materials. Find one where the Technology Pack has been added and the analogue dials are replaced by digital dials on a 12.3in screen.

Audi’s latest generation of infotainment system swaps a rotary controller for a touchscreen with haptic feedback, which is a bit of a retrograde step in our view. The screen is sharp and 8.8in diagonally across as standard, but if you add the Technology Pack, the upgrades include a 10.1in screen.

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