Audi RS6 Avant

It’s a tribute to Audi’s interior designers that the brand’s big-car cabin architecture hangs together equally well for a luxury, high-quality feel in a £50,000 Audi A6 as it does in a £112,000 RS6. This cabin is as tech laden and electronically sophisticated as you’d expect a flagship Audi to be, thanks to its sharp display screens and well-judged combination of cool metal and glossy black surface treatments.

The usual tasteful yet typically restrained sporting details do help to differentiate this performance model from its lower-order A6 siblings, though. Contrasting red stitching stands out on the black leather upholstery, and the Alcantara steering wheel and gear selector feel suitably motorsport derived. There’s an impressive sense of space in the front half of the cabin, too, afforded in part by the optional panoramic glass sunroof but also by the Audi’s sheer girth.

This airiness extends to the second row, where our tape measure recorded typical leg room of 720mm. Although that’s 20mm less than in a BMW M5, the Audi has more head room (990mm versus 920mm). In any case, there’s more than enough room for two adults to sit comfortably and enough overall width for three children to fit across the back seats without too much complicated tessellation of booster seats.

The boot, meanwhile, has a seats-up capacity of 565 litres, extending to 1680 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The aperture itself is usefully wide; the boot floor is close to flush with the opening, which makes loading heavy stuff easy; and for stowing cargo, you’ll find rails, nets, hooks and a handy elastic strap in the RS6’s boot, all of which help to prevent what you’re carrying from smashing itself to pieces while you’re enjoying what we’re coming to next.

Audi RS6 sat-nav and infotainment

Audi’s flagship MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system and 12.3in Virtual Cockpit come as standard on all specification levels of the RS6.

The quality of the graphics and the rate of response to your inputs are, as we’ve experienced in the past, impressively crisp, but it remains a slightly awkward system to use on the move. The need to apply a fair bit of pressure to garner a response is one drawback, but the need to avert your eyes from the road for longer than you’d like is its greatest issue.

Still, the Virtual Cockpit is impressively configurable and ‘RS’ mode will no doubt appeal to some – even if some testers thought it looked a bit naff.

A £6300 Bang & Olufsen sound system was fitted to our test car as well. It’s pricey, certainly, but when set up correctly, it’s one of the best car stereos that we’ve come across.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for both infotainment screens. One is used for the air conditioning, the other for the radio, and they both use haptic feedback for key functions such as the heated seats.

While the system is nice to look at and largely slick enough to use, it’s not the best on the market. You have to take your eyes off the road for a second or two longer than would be comfortable if you want to adjust the temperature, and the screen makes you push it harder than you’d expect, so you find yourself repeating prods time and time again.

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