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By Tom SeymourNot many cars look better as an estate, but Audi has created a slimmed down A6 Avant which is ultimately more desirable than its saloon sister.The Avant has always been an aspirational model for families looking for something stylish that is still practical and the Audi badge brings with it a starting price of £32,100. That's pretty competitive against the equivalent BMW 5 Series Touring costing £33,465.The German brand has taken 70kg out of the car to help improve efficiency and engineers have streamlined the body to boost fuel economy up to as high as 56.5mpg on the 2.0-litre TDI 175bhp model.The majority of the engine line-up is diesel. Four variants are on offer with power ranging from 175bhp to 313bhp in the 3.0-litre V6. There's one petrol option in the form of a 3.0-litre V6.The 2.0-litre TDI will be the biggest seller, particularly with company car users, who will welcome the steps to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 which is now down to 136g/km.The 2.0-litre diesel offers a good amount of power and steering feels nicely weighted and precise. Despite being quite a lengthy estate, it handles well with minimal body roll and ample grip. Slimmed down Avant is an estate to be desiredThe Avant has 565-litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,680 litres with the seats down.Two trims are on offer: SE and S Line. The SE will be the volume seller and it features a generous amount of standard kit, including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise and front and rear parking controls, sat nav, Bluetooth and rain sensors.The cabin is roomy, comfortable and like all Audis, expertly designed, with solid switchgear and well stitched high quality leather.The centre point of the Avant interior is the new 6.5-inch MMI monitor which customers can use to operate the audio, Bluetooth and SD card-based satellite navigation system, which comes as standard. On board internet access is the new technology making its way on to many new cars now and the Avant follows suit. Customers can connect up to eight devices to the car's own wireless local area network.New optional features include an automatic boot which opens if you poke your foot in and out underneath the tailgate. Handy if you're laden with bags. Customers can also specify a hi-tech night vision camera system, Bang & Olufsen sound system and park assist. SpecificationPrice £32,100-£43,480Engine 2.0-litre TDI 175bhp, 3.0-litre TDI 202bhp, 3.0-litre TDI 243bhp diesel; 3.0-litre TFSI 298bhp petrolPerformance 5.6-9.0 sec 0-62; 134-155mph top speedTransmission 6-sp man, 7-sp auto, 8-sp autoEfficiency 34.4-56.5mpg; 132-190g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 36-42%Rivals BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz E-Class estateNew car marketNewsDealerprofileNew carnewsUsed carRecruitmentanalysisNewsdigestShowroomFirst drive Audi A6 Avant

By Tom SeymourChevrolet has one of the most difficult branding jobs in the UK with many customers still unsure of its heritage.Mark Terry, Chevrolet UK managing director, was keen to point out that the brand does want to be seen as American, "but not too American". The Matiz has gone, so Daewoo could be a distant memory for new car buyers on the lookout for an affordable new car.The Aveo steps in to complete a range that has renewed itself with decent models like the Cruze and Orlando MPV.The second generation model moves the Chevrolet brand forward with convincing European looks and the sort of quality and driving refinement that's good value and perfectly adequate for its intended audience.There are three trim levels to choose from: LS, LT and LTZ, each sufficiently well put together. Even in basic trim, the Aveo gets features like air-conditioning, cruise control, remote locking, a rear spoiler, CD stereo radio, electrically- adjustable heated door mirrors and Chevrolet gives its Aveo that European look electric front windows as standard.The mid-range LT adds larger alloy wheels, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone compatibility with music streaming, and a chrome gearknob surround. Top-spec LTZ variants get a leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors and automatic headlights. The Aveo is particularly spacious in the cockpit and the high driving position gives a clear view of the road ahead. Customers can choose from 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines and a 1.3-litre turbodiesel in 73bhp and 93bhp guises. The 1.2-litre petrol is expected to be the best seller, but the best engine of the bunch is defi-nitely the 1.3 VCDi Eco diesel.The smaller petrol will pootle through town with no trouble, but it really started to struggle when it was taken out on the dual carriageway and undulating country roads around the Cotswolds. However, the 1.3-litre diesel does not suffer the same problem, offering reasonable performance and there's no trouble reaching motorway speeds. SpecificationPrice £9,995-£13,615Engine 1.2-litre 84bhp, 1.4-litre 99bhp petrol; 1.3-litre 73/93bhp dieselPerformance 0-62mph 11.7-14.2 sec; top speed 101-109mphTransmission 5-sp man, 6-sp man, 6-sp autoEfficiency 44.8-78.4mpg; 95-147g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) TBCRivals Hyundai i20, Kia Rio, Chrysler YpsilonNew car marketNewsDealerprofileNew carnewsUsed carRecruitmentanalysisNewsdigestShowroomFirst drive Chevrolet Aveo - on sale now