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Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class in the test: lots of space, lots of power

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class in the test
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S they are among the The highest quality and most expensive station wagons of all, move inconspicuously but quickly, and like to meet up with their peers in the well-warmed underground garages of noble ski resorts: classy all-wheel drive suits with sophisticated, powerful petrol engines. Since this winter, the two-year-old Mercedes E-Class T-Model has been joined by the new Audi A6 Avant, here with the currently most powerful petrol engine as the 3.0 TFSI Quattro with 300 PS. Cost: from 53,950 euros.

Audi has slimmed down its large A6 Avant station wagon by up to 70 kilos by means of a mixed construction, refined the body and given the chassis the tendency to become stuck. In addition, the 4.93 meter long luxury liner is now entering the fourth generation with plenty of technology candy (LED headlights, MMI navigation with touchpad and WiFi, parking assistant) and revised engines.

E-Class T-Model remains cargo space master

The new Audi A6 Avant cannot ignore the inner size of the more expensive T-Model . Why? Audi still prefers to tilt the rear - very trendy. Ergo, the trunk volume remains unchanged at 565 liters. The E-Class T-Model offers an impressive 695 liters and thus the largest cargo space in this class, despite 31 millimeters less external length. Exemplary: In both station wagons, the two-part rear seat backrests simply fold forwards by remote unlocking, revealing high-quality storage space. A double loading floor, lashing eyes and bag hooks are standard, the Audi A6 Avant also has a rail fastening system.

Nevertheless, the T-Model still deserves the loadmaster crown. Its steep rear enables an almost paradisiacal area of ​​a maximum of 1.10 by two meters or a generous 1,950 liters of cargo volume (Audi A6 Avant: 1,680 liters). When folded, that's enough for two people and various pairs of skis plus a sledge and dog or for three additional rear passengers with a little less luggage.

Because whether Benz or Audi: Both offer their fellow travelers a lot of space on very comfortable and multi-adjustable, optionally heated and ventilated leather armchairs. The permitted payload (T-model: 636 kg, Avant 527 kg) shouldn't put a stop to travel planning.

Audi A6 Avant pulls away from the E-Class

You have to drive up to the ski area together on the motorwaythe 306 hp E 350 T 4-matic let the six hp weaker Audi A6 Avant pass. Thanks to 440 Newton meters, which the supercharged 3.0 TFSI holds ready from 2,900 tours, the 1.89-ton station wagon pulls off with impressive ease right from the start - and the 14 kilo lighter T-model cannot be caught. In keeping with this dominant appearance, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission engages the gears automatically or with the help of a shift paddle, completely jerk-free and smoothly.

A few numbers? The Audi A6 Avant accelerates from zero to 100 km /h in just 5.7 seconds, and the 180 km /h mark is passed 11.7 seconds later. The Mercedes E 350 T takes 4.9 seconds longer. But that's not all, because while the Audi six-cylinder always remains acoustically discreetly in the background, the Mercedes V6 all too often has to strive for high speeds even on smaller inclines and is thus acoustically much more present. Small consolation: The V6 cannot pay for its extra work with increased consumption. In the test, the E 350 even approved 0.3 liters of Super per 100 km less, on the consumption lap it was 0.9 liters.

Audi A6 Avant cannot quite keep up with driving comfort.

Otherwise, the big Mercedes convinces as usual with outstanding driving comfort. Whether frost damage or elongated bumps - even the more tightly tuned avant-garde chassis (surcharge: 2,261 euros) irons out all anger without any problems and, in combination with the indirect, shock-free steering, quickly creates calm. And if snow and ice should cause unrest on the trip to the ski area, the 4-matic has long since made preparations. Because while the drive torque is constantly distributed between 45 and 55 percent between the front and rear axles as standard, an integrated multi-plate lock pushes up to 70 percent of the power forwards or backwards as required.

Even the Audi A6 Avant Quattro can hardly be impressed by its smoothness thanks to the self-locking crown gear center differential, which regularly sends 60 percent of the engine power to the rear axle. If the front is too slippery, up to 85 percent of the drive torque goes to the rear wheels. Only when it comes to driving comfort, the Audi A6 Avant, equipped with lush 19-inch models, cannot quite keep up. Despite adaptive air suspension (1,950 euros), it absorbs transverse joints in inner-city areas a little more bony. It won't bother the classic Audi A6 driver, because as soon as it goes overland and a little faster, the Audi can be steered through curves of all kinds with outstanding agility, safely and extremely fast. Only the dynamic steering (1,150 euros) cannot convince with its high holding forces. Should it get tricky on the way home from the mountains in the evening, the A6 convinces with excellent brakes.

The real danger threatens your own account. Because who is atExaggerating configuration, quickly costs 80,000 euros and more for both. An expensive pleasure - but a pleasure.

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