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We’ve just bought a Swift Sprite Major 6 2017 model and have been looking a lot for tow cars. (We need a big boot along with all the weight/power considerations).

We’ve decided on an Audi A6 Avant automatic (2015 model) but are getting cold feet after putting down the deposit. Looking for opinions on this as a tow car.

The majority of tow cars seem to be SUVs and not many people use estate cars. Why is that?

Our other option is a Volvo XC60 but we just haven’t found the right one so we decided on the Audi A6. Help and guidance please!
 
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Estate cars are great for towing - and have fabulous ammounts of boot space compared with an SUV. IMHO, SUVs are the popular choice because of fasion, nothing more.
I tow with a 2017 Mercedes e220d Estate. The best tug I've had in 45 years of caravaning !
 
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The majority of tow cars seem to be SUVs and not many people use estate cars. Why is that?
Fashion?

I read that in 2023 60% of new car sales were SUVs, the figure is rising year on year.

The only thing I'd question with the A6 is that many were fitted with CVT gearboxs and I have no idea how suited to towing. They may well be great, I simply don't know.
 
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We’ve just bought a Swift Sprite Major 6 2017 model and have been looking a lot for tow cars. (We need a big boot along with all the weight/power considerations).

We’ve decided on an Audi A6 Avant automatic (2015 model) but are getting cold feet after putting down the deposit. Looking for opinions on this as a tow car.

The majority of tow cars seem to be SUVs and not many people use estate cars. Why is that?

Our other option is a Volvo XC60 but we just haven’t found the right one so we decided on the Audi A6. Help and guidance please!
The Audi A6 uses the same platform as the Audi Q5, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg - I can confirm that the latter is a supreme towcar so I'd have no doubts about the A6's towing capability - on a technical note, the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus also share the same platform.

If you're looking at Quattro 4wd versions of the A6, then like it's siblings it's proper full-time 4wd with a torsen centre differential, not part-time 4wd with a centre clutch.

The A6 automatic has two types fitted, depending on engine - a DSG semi-automatic S-tronic or an Aisin/ZF torque-converter Tiptronic conventional automatic - the DSG isn't the best at manoeuvring with a caravan but that applies to most modern automatics from any manufacturer.
 
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I had a Gen 3 XC70 AWD, very good tow car, but the subsequent Suberb 4WD DSG estate beat the socks off of the Volvo. Whilst being an excellent Towcar, the boot space with the seats up was awesome. I’m 6 ft 4 inch and could sit behind the drivers seat when fully back. Could not do that in the Volvo. The boot I almost had to crawl into it to place items forwards behind the seat backs. The rear seat bases lift forwards and so you have a low level loading area across the car. Ideal for awning. It was a 2014 model and had more luggage space than the equivalent MB E class estate. And it also had a full size spare wheel. No wonder I like estates. Excellent to drive and lower purchase price, like for like, and lowervup keep than Audi.
 
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Estate cars are great for towing - and have fabulous ammounts of boot space compared with an SUV. IMHO, SUVs are the popular choice because of fasion, nothing more.
I tow with a 2017 Mercedes e220d Estate. The best tug I've had in 45 years of caravaning !
Thanks, that’s what I was wondering about and I couldn’t tell whether it was a fashion choice or a technical choice…
 
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Fashion?

I read that in 2023 60% of new car sales were SUVs, the figure is rising year on year.

The only thing I'd question with the A6 is that many were fitted with CVT gearboxs and I have no idea how suited to towing. They may well be great, I simply don't know.
Thanks. Yes, I wondered whether it might a fashion thing…The one I’m looking at is an S Tronic gearbox, not the cvt one so hopefully that’ll be ok..
 
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Thanks
The Audi A6 uses the same platform as the Audi Q5, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg - I can confirm that the latter is a supreme towcar so I'd have no doubts about the A6's towing capability - on a technical note, the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus also share the same platform.

If you're looking at Quattro 4wd versions of the A6, then like it's siblings it's proper full-time 4wd with a torsen centre differential, not part-time 4wd with a centre clutch.

The A6 automatic has two types fitted, depending on engine - a DSG semi-automatic S-tronic or an Aisin/ZF torque-converter Tiptronic conventional automatic - the DSG isn't the best at manoeuvring with a caravan but that applies to most modern automatics from any manufacturer.
Thanks for the insights, that’s really helpful. It’s the DSG semi auto that I’m getting but it’s not a Quattro, just a 2 litre S line. I’ve got a motor mover so hopefully that’ll help with manoeuvring the caravan..?
 
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Apparently many Audi's have had issue with the fuel system and have been subject to a recall. Something to do with the fuel pump. Otherwise a very nice car and very capable. If the MTPLM of the caravan is under 1700kg there is no issue and the A6 can tow up to 2000kg.
 
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The S-tronic is a DSG transmission - not the best with a caravan.
My Suberb 2.0 estate was DSG and like many dual clutch transmissions it’s very slow speed manoeuvring did not have the smoothness of other torque converter autos, or my Subaru CVTs. But it was something I got used to. In other respects the auto DSG was a very nice driving box.
 
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I've always used estate cars for towing, I prefer the lower driving position and they're usually heavier than the saloon versions. Over the years I've had Mondeo, Passat, Mercedes C Class, BMW 5 series and latest 2 x Volvo V90's. Usually better economy than an SUV as well.
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434033991_10232170509064537_1207856631888104533_n.jpg
 
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We have had three Passat estates, two at 140bhp and one at 150bhp and they were all superb towing machines on a Bailey Pegasus 462 and no a Unicorn S4 Seville. OK not quite in the same league as the A6 but nonetheless a brilliant motor!
 
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Estate cars are great for towing - and have fabulous ammounts of boot space compared with an SUV. IMHO, SUVs are the popular choice because of fasion, nothing more.
I tow with a 2017 Mercedes e220d Estate. The best tug I've had in 45 years of caravaning !
I have an E250d saloon. I'm not experienced enough to say whether it's better or worse than other vehicles but I can say that it's always felt planted and solid. I can feel coaches and HGVs as they pass me or I pass them but it's a gentle nudge and has never been unnerving. It probably helps that I'm only towing 1150kg in a 1885kg car.
I believe that the estates have pneumatic self levelling suspension on the rear which I would imagine makes them even better.
 
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I nearly bought the Audi A6 Avant some years ago. The one I tried had gas self levelling and height ride suspension. For you with the sprite you are on approx 75% ratio. I’d have no hesitation in going for the Audi . Even the DSG box did not put me off.
 
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Apparently many Audi's have had issue with the fuel system and have been subject to a recall. Something to do with the fuel pump. Otherwise a very nice car and very capable. If the MTPLM of the caravan is under 1700kg there is no issue and the A6 can tow up to 2000kg.
Thanks, I’ll have a look into that and see whether there’s any recalls due on this specific car…
 
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My only other comment is to check the towing limits. My previous Volvo V90 (diesel) had an 1800kg limit whereas my latest petrol version has a 2000kg limit. All well within my own towing needs but it just shows that sometimes there is a noticeable difference in limits between variations of the same model.

One other advantage of an estate is that I can enter multi-story car parks with the roof box on, I couldn't do that if I'd gone for the SUV style XC60/XC90!
 
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My only other comment is to check the towing limits. My previous Volvo V90 (diesel) had an 1800kg limit whereas my latest petrol version has a 2000kg limit. All well within my own towing needs but it just shows that sometimes there is a noticeable difference in limits between variations of the same model.

One other advantage of an estate is that I can enter multi-story car parks with the roof box on, I couldn't do that if I'd gone for the SUV style XC60/XC90!
It’s not just multi-storey car parks we have found nature reserves, tourist anrea and beach/coastal car parks would also have height restrictions that an SUV with roofbox would exceed. Volvo have now stopped making estates.
 
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My only other comment is to check the towing limits. My previous Volvo V90 (diesel) had an 1800kg limit whereas my latest petrol version has a 2000kg limit. All well within my own towing needs but it just shows that sometimes there is a noticeable difference in limits between variations of the same model.

One other advantage of an estate is that I can enter multi-story car parks with the roof box on, I couldn't do that if I'd gone for the SUV style XC60/XC90!
The A6 can tow up to 2000kg, but only has a kerb weight of about 1770kg.
 
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It’s not just multi-storey car parks we have found nature reserves, tourist anrea and beach/coastal car parks would also have height restrictions that an SUV with roofbox would exceed. Volvo have now stopped making estates.
Except for Poole we have never had an issue with our roofbox on the Jeep. Most barriers seem to be about 2.5m. We can also lower the Jeep by about 5cm if required however most SUVs like Toyota LC, RR and Discovery's will have an issue.
 
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Except for Poole we have never had an issue with our roofbox on the Jeep. Most barriers seem to be about 2.5m. We can also lower the Jeep by about 5cm if required however most SUVs like Toyota LC, RR and Discovery's will have an issue.
There’s always the exception to the rule, my comment was only a generalisation as I’m sure most readers will be aware of if they drive SUVs.
 
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With an MTPLM OF 1445 kgs the A6 will give Chris V a comfortable margin on his towing ratio. It’s also worth noting the very early Ford Powershift DSG boxes were not good and a different design to the VAG offerings. When I drove the A6 I had no trouble with the DSG gear changes. A very cavernous quality built estate imo.
 
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Volvo have now stopped making estates.
I think they still make them but not importing to the UK anymore. To be honest although I like the V90's, the rising price and suspect reliability of some of the bits & pieces would have put me off buying a third Volvo when replacement time comes for this one.
 
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I think they still make them but not importing to the UK anymore. To be honest although I like the V90's, the rising price and suspect reliability of some of the bits & pieces would have put me off buying a third Volvo when replacement time comes for this one.
My understanding is that all their conventional estates have been dropped due to minimal sales volume but the XC crossover versions are still on sale - these are "just" conventional estates with raised suspension and some macho body cladding - much like the Subaru Outback compared to the Subaru Legacy estate - and the Audi Allroad compared to the Audi Avant.
 
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