Wagons are rare these days with only a few options available for buyers that want the extra versatility, but don’t want to drive a cumbersome SUV. One excellent example is the 2022 Audi RS6 Avant, which is the near perfect compromise for people that like driving, but also need space for the kids and their gear.
The RS6 Avant builds on the A6 Avant, but gets a more aggressive exterior that looks great and a beefier engine under the hood. The exterior lets you know that this isn’t your mom’s wagon with its aggressive front and rear fascias. Moving past the sportier exterior, what we love even more is what’s under the hood.
The RS6 Avant is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that generates 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain also features a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. All that power is sent to all four wheels via the standard quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi estimates that the RS6 Avant accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, yup faster than some sports cars. If you care about fuel economy, the RS6 Avant is rated at 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.
Speed is just one thing, what we also love is the soundtrack the RS6 Avant generates. The transmission is also uber responsive with quick shifts and there are steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters if you want more control. Even better there’s a standard torque-vectoring rear differential and rear-axle steering that make it so fun to drive on a twisty road. The rear-axle steering helps make the RS6 Avant more agile than you’d expect from a long wagon.
The steering is a bit lighter than we’d expect and we don’t think the optional carbon ceramic brakes are really worth the extra cost. But if you do opt for the carbon ceramic brakes, the top speed is increased to 190 mph. There’s an optional Dynamic Ride Control steel-spring suspension which is an upgrade over the standard air springs. The suspension does an excellent job of keeping body roll to a minimum, but at the same time the ride isn’t harsh at all, even with its massive 22-inch wheels.
Inside the cabin looks modern and luxurious. There are three screens, one in front of the driver and two on the center console that makes the interior feel very modern. There’s Audi’s Virtual Cockpit (a 12.3-inch gauge cluster) and a dual-screen setup for the infotainment system and climate control. The Virtual Cockpit is customizable via the controls on the steering wheel. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a four-zone climate control system are also included. Plus the Bang & Olufsen stereo sounds excellent.
The RS-specific seats are comfortable and keep you from sliding around. At the rear there’s plenty of room and there’s a nice 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up. The panoramic sunroof provides an airy feel to the cabin.
On the safety front it’s unfortunate that Audi doesn’t make most of the driver assistance features standard. You have to add the driver-assistance package to get adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist and traffic sign recognition, which is something that is usually standard these days. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking comes standard.
Now for the pricing. The 2022 Audi RS6 Avant is not cheap with its price tag starting at $117,595. If you can swing that price tag you won’t be disappointed. The RS6 Avant is far more fun to drive than even the sportiest SUVs.
At the end of the day, the RS6 Avant combines all the best attributes from a sports car, SUV and sedan that make its hard to beat. The best part is that the RS6 Avant is way cooler than your neighbors SUV.