2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
The estate models from Audi and BMW are some of the most solid cars in recent years. In a comparison test, the Audi A6 Avant 2.7 TDI and the BMW 525d Touring are on the test bench.
By Stefan Grundhoff and Stefan Zaumseil It's
not just the family fathers who shine. Audi A6 versus BMW 5 series, and in the high-volume station wagon class too. Both are much more than just elegant family trucks, they make successful all-rounders. Who is the better one?
For Audi and BMW, the upper middle class has been the most important segment for 20 years. Volume, image and brand representation - the threads come together in models such as the BMW 525 d Touring or an Audi A6 Avant 2.7 TDI. This is where big and small, cheap and expensive, limousine relegators and station wagon promoters meet. Anyone who is self-confident and needs the necessary space in the mobile unit is all too happy to sniff the price lists of this terrain. The performance structure is tight, but the German premium manufacturers can still maintain their supremacy despite minivans and luxury SUVs. The Bavarian representatives want to get into the brains of prospective buyers particularly dynamically. Combination yes, boredom no - and sportiness should of course not be neglected.
Many opt for powerful three-liter diesel in the upper middle class. But even below that, things are noticeably happening. At prices around 50,000 euros, who doesn't even like to look at the next smaller engine variant. 180 hp should do it too, right? The 4.93 meter long A6 Avant or the 4.84 meter long 5 Series Touring are just right for you. For those who can do without a three-liter displacement and over 230 hp, the 180 hp class has two interesting products in its portfolio. The Audi A6 Avant has a powerful, acoustically present 2.7-liter V6 that puts 132 kW / 180 hp and 380 Nm of maximum torque on the road. From 1,400 tours onwards, things get going vehemently. So that the power lands on the asphalt, you should opt for the Quattro version right away,which is combined as standard with the six-stage Tiptronic. Then the 2.7 instead of 42,420 costs 44,790 euros, but the additional price is always well invested. The bottom line is that you still save 2,500 euros compared to the larger three-liter version, which is only available with all-wheel drive. The BMW 525d Touring costs a little better equipped, 42,400 euros. All-wheel drive is only available on the larger 530xd.
BMW more powerful than Audi
A top speed of 225 km / h and 0 to 100 km / h in a good nine seconds should be enough for most journeys in an Audi A6 Avant. In terms of average fuel consumption, the 2.7 TDI and 3.0 TDI are, by the way, at the same level despite different power potentials. Instead of the promised 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, the 1,850 kilogram A6 Avant 2.7 TDI quattro consumed 9.1 liters of diesel in practice - just within the limits. You can adjust to a significantly lower level with the 5 Series BMW - at least in terms of consumption.
The 525 d Touring throws 130 kW / 177 PS and 400 Nm (at 2,000 rpm) into the race for family buyers' favor. The slightly smaller displacement cannot be felt in any driving condition. On the contrary: the man from Munich seems a bit more powerful, more powerful and quieter than his opponent from Ingolstadt. In contrast to him, it is also available with an excellent six-speed manual transmission. So he manages the sprint to 100 km / h in an impressive 8.2 seconds and a top speed of almost 230 km / h. Nevertheless, it is easy to drive with 8.0 to 8.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. Only the optional Steptronic flushes it above the nine-liter mark.
Despite the slight displacement and performance advantages for the Audi, the engine rating goes surprisingly clearly to the 1.8-ton BMW. The 5 Series is simply more willing, more powerful and more confident. The slightly top-heavy Audi also has a harder time in terms of chassis. On longer journeys, thanks to the optional air suspension (1,900 euros), it has more ride comfort and brings its power to the road better in bad weather thanks to all-wheel drive. But with fast cornering, surprising load changes and a consistently sporty driving style, the 525d Touring wins just as clearly as in the engine rating. In addition, it can clearly top the already high steering, braking and transmission level of the Audi A6. If you want to combine driving fun and station wagon ideally, you cannot avoid the backpack BMW.
Two tons of trailer load
But all too many do not care about cornering and dynamism. First and foremost, you attach importance to interior design, space and design - how should it be otherwise with a station wagon. This is where the big hour of the A6 strikes. Instruments and controls are currently the measure of all things, and not just in the upper middle class. Even if the BMW is anything but cheap. The Audi is not only in a class better in terms of clarity and feel.
When it comes to the dimensions of the interior, however, both Bavarians go hand in hand. Anyone who orders the optional sports or comfort seats is perfectly happy here as there. It is even more pleasant to sit on leather. This is not the only reason why most of the customers in this league dig deep into the surcharge box. You can also sit well in the second row - leg, head and shoulder room is not just enough for a 50-kilometer trip. If you want, you can order separate climate control or seat heating for the rear. At no extra charge there are ample trunk compartments and no completely flat loading floor.
The Audi hides 565 to 1,660 liters behind the wide-opening flap. The BMW starts at 500 liters and offers a similar number of storage options - for an extra charge, of course. Both offer a payload of almost 500 kilograms and a trailer load of almost two tons.
In general, the list of surcharges gives you the opportunity to turn the two trend combinations into real noble lords. Electric leather seats, xenon cornering lights, DVD navigation with TV, electric tailgate opening or parking aid all around - hardly a wish that does not come true. But in view of the more than disappointing standard equipment on both sides, it is all too ambitious to be able to catch a well-equipped new car for less than 50,000 euros.
Fortunately, many dealers lure with seductive demonstration models. The bottom line is who you choose is a matter of taste. Those who enjoy dynamic propulsion and can do without all-wheel drive are better served and cheaper with the BMW 525d Touring. The Audi A6 Avant 2.7 TDI makes the more elegant impression, has a little more space and offers all-wheel drive. Both prove that it doesn't always have to be three liters of displacement in the elite station wagon class. Still, it won't be cheap.