The Family Car Guide: 2011 Luxury Wagons, Part One

September 29, 2010

The field of luxury wagons this fall is more than a little exciting – if you’re looking for a family car that combines the attributes of an SUV with the easy-handling of a car, plus a good deal of luxe features, mostly standard, some optional. In fact, even consumers who’ve long ago sworn off wagons are urged to come check them out. There’s a lot to like.

The total list of 2011 luxury wagons includes two from Audi, while BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo each offer one. In part one, we’ll look at the wagon offerings from Audi and BMW.

Audi A4 Avant The compact five-passenger 2011 Audi A4 Avant, available in three models (2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, and 2.0T Prestige), features standard Audi Quattro full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) and 211-hp 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. EPA fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway. The automaker bills the A4 Avant as offering the performance of a V-6 with the fuel-efficiency of a four-cylinder engine. But reviewers say that Audi A4 has never been known for performance, but more for its high-quality interior – which is considered the benchmark in its class. Well laid out, comfortable, standard leather seating surfaces, 50.5 cubic feet of cargo space (with rear seats folded), numerous technology features standard or optional prove the point. Safety features include front, side, and side-curtain airbags and optional rear-seat side-curtain airbags on Premium Plus and Prestige models, antilock brakes, traction and stability control. An Active Braking Guard is available as part of adaptive cruise control on Prestige. Base manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) range from $35,940 to $45,040.
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