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The Complete Audi Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

Audi follows a simple naming format, for the most part, employing letters and numbers.

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colour daytona grey
Audi

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

We’re huge fans of Audi’s current and past products — the company blends high technology with solid performance and styling that is handsome if a bit reserved. Most famously, the brand is known for its near-ubiquitous all-wheel-drive. Here’s everything you need to know to understand, decipher and shop Audi’s current model lineup.

Audi History

Audi is a German luxury car manufacturer based in Ingolstadt and owned by Volkswagen AG. The Audi name dates back to 1910, but VW consolidated multiple companies into the modern “Audi” in 1969. Audi made its name in motorsport with the four-wheel drive rally champion Audi Quattro in the early 1980s. Volkswagen has positioned Audi as its upmarket competitor for Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

How Audi Names its Cars

Audi follows a simple naming format, for the most part, employing letters and numbers. Base models have an “A” designation. Sportier luxury models get an “S.” The sportiest “RennSport” models get an “RS.” Audi uses “Q” for its SUV line. The TT and R8 exist outside that nomenclature. Audi employs "E-Tron" for its electric cars.

Audi pairs letters with numbers 3 through 8 in America. Higher numbers can mean different things. It could mean a larger, more powerful car, as in the A8; it could mean a near-identical car with a different body style, as in the Q8. (Whatever the distinction, it will be more expensive.)

Most Audi models offer Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels, with each level adding tech and luxury features.

Buying Guide

Audi sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible models

A3 / S3 / RS 3

2022 audi a3
Audi

The A3 is the subcompact, entry-level Audi. Audi also offers two sportier sedan variants. The S3 uses the same 2.0-liter turbo-four as the Golf R; the RS 3 employs a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo producing 394 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Body Styles: Sedan

Models:

  • A3
  • S3
  • RS 3

    Engines:

    • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
    • Turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five

      Base MSRP: $33,900

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      A4 / S4

      complete audi buying guide gear patrol a4
      Audi

      The A4 is offered as a sedan and more rugged “Allroad” wagon. The A4 sedan was one of the final Audi models to lose a manual transmission option or 2019. The Allroad was the Audi lineup’s only U.S. wagon until the recent arrival of the RS 6 Avant and A6 Allroad.

      The A4 has one sportier entry, the S4 sedan. Audi does make a stupendous 450 hp RS 4 Avant wagon, but won’t sell it to Americans.

      Body Styles: Sedan, Wagon

      Models:

      • A4 sedan
      • A4 Allroad
      • S4

        Engines:

        • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
        • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6

          Base MSRP: $39,900

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          A5 / S5 / RS 5

          audi rs 5
          Audi

          Audi’s A5 is essentially an A4 with a more expensive body style. The Sportback, coupe and cabriolet each employ the same engine as the A4. S5 Sportback, coupe and cabriolet versions use the same 3.0-liter V6 found in the S4.

          The even-sportier RS 5 sportback and coupe models use a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that let it accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. It has also earned a claimed “Ph.D. in performance.”

          Body Style: Hatchback, Coupe, Cabriolet

          Models:

          • A5 Sportback/Coupe/Cabriolet
          • S5 Sportback/Coupe/Cabriolet
          • RS 5 Sportback/Coupe

            Engines:

            • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
            • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
            • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6

              Base MSRP: $43,500

              LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

              A6 / S6

              complete audi buying guide gear patrol a6
              Audi

              The A6 is Audi’s midsize luxury sedan, which was redesigned for the 2019 model year. A new A6 Allroad offers SUV-like functionality in a station wagon package.

              The higher-performance S6 version upgrades to a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6, which it shares with the RS 5 and S7. The RS 6 Avant wagon is also available in the U.S. with its nearly 600-hp twin-turbo V8, but you'll likely never see one.

              Body Style: Sedan, Wagon

              Models:

              • A6
              • A6 Allroad
              • S6
              • RS 6 Avant

                Engines:

                • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
                • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
                • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6
                • Turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

                  Base MSRP: $55,900

                  LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED

                  A7 / S7 / RS 7

                  audi rs 7 red 2021 rs7
                  Audi

                  The A7, also redesigned for 2019, is the Sportback version of the A6; the different body style costs an additional $10,000. The S7 is pretty much the same thing, just with the S6.

                  Audi also offers an even higher-performance RS 7 version. A twin-turbo setup supplements its 4.0-liter V8.

                  Body Style: Sportback

                  Models:

                  • A7
                  • S7
                  • RS 7

                    Engines:

                    • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
                    • Twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6
                    • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

                      Base MSRP: $69,200

                      LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED

                      A8 / S8

                      complete audi buying guide gear patrol a8
                      Audi

                      The A8 is Audi’s flagship full-size luxury sedan, available in ICE and PHEV versions. The A8 is loaded with luxury, driver assistance and advanced tech features. The A8 is only available with the long wheelbase in the U.S. It is a car to be driven in as much as driven. An available “Executive Rear Seat Comfort Package” includes a foot massager among other features. An S8 version delivers the same experience, just with added power.

                      Body Style: Sedan

                      Models:

                      • A8 L
                      • S8

                        Engines:

                        • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
                        • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 PHEV
                        • Twin-Turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

                          Base MSRP: $86,500

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                          TT / TTS / TT RS

                          complete audi buying guide gear patrol ttrs
                          Audi

                          The Audi TT is a two-door sports car. It comes in both coupe and convertible roadster forms, packing There are two higher performance versions: the TTS and the TT RS.

                          Body Style: Coupe, Roadster

                          Models:

                          • TT Coupe/Roadster
                          • TT S
                          • TT RS

                            Engines:

                            • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
                            • Turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five

                              Base MSRP: $50,500

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                              R8 / R8 Spyder

                              complete audi buying guide gear patrol r8
                              Audi

                              The R8 is Audi’s supercar. It uses a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter dual injection V10. While most Audis use all-wheel-drive, a rear-wheel-drive version of the R8 is joining the lineup for added oversteering fun.

                              Body Styles: Coupe, Roadster

                              Models:

                              • R8
                              • R8 Spyder

                                Engines:

                                • 5.2-liter V10

                                  Base MSRP: $148,700

                                  LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED

                                  Audi SUV / Crossover Models

                                  Q3

                                  audi q3
                                  Audi

                                  The Q3 is the SUV equivalent of the A3. It’s a subcompact crossover, the smallest “Q” vehicle. A 2018 redesign offered more sophisticated and aggressive design language and received better reviews than its predecessor.

                                  Body Style: SUV

                                  Models:

                                  • Q3

                                  Engines:

                                  • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four

                                  Base MSRP: $35,900

                                  LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

                                  Q4 E-Tron/Q4 E-Tron

                                  audi q4 e tron
                                  Audi

                                  The Q4 E-Tron is Audi's all-electric compact luxury crossover, which is new for the 2022 model year. It's smaller than the E-Tron and cheaper. It is built on Volkswagen's MEB platform and is quite similar in capability to the Volkswagen ID.4. The base model is a 201 hp RWD version, and you can upgrade to a 295 hp AWD model. The AWD version has a Sportback variant.

                                  Body Style: SUV

                                  Models:

                                  • Q4 E-Tron
                                  • Q4 E-Tron Sportback

                                    Engines:

                                    • Single-motor electric RWD
                                    • Dual-motor electric AWD

                                      Base Price: $43,900

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                                          Q5 / SQ5

                                          complete audi buying guide gear patrol sq5
                                          Audi

                                          The Q5 is Audi’s compact luxury SUV. It’s the company’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. market. A PHEV version joins the lineup this year, along with a Sportback version. The SQ5 upgrades to the 349-hp 3.0-liter V6 for added sportiness.

                                          Body Style: SUV, SUV Hatchback

                                          Models:

                                          • Q5
                                          • Q5 Sportback
                                          • SQ5
                                          • SQ5 Sportback

                                            Engines:

                                            • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
                                            • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four PHEV
                                            • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6

                                              Base MSRP: $45,600

                                              LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED

                                              Q7 / SQ7

                                              complete audi buying guide gear patrol q7
                                              Audi

                                              The Q7 is Audi’s full-size luxury crossover SUV. It was the first Audi SUV model launched in 2005. It can offer up to 71.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded. A new SQ7 version brings a thundering V8 to the lineup.

                                              Body Style: SUV

                                              Models:

                                              • Q7
                                              • SQ7

                                                Engines:

                                                • Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
                                                • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
                                                • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

                                                  Base MSRP: $56,900

                                                  LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

                                                  Q8 / SQ8 / RS Q8

                                                  complete audi buying guide gear patrol q8
                                                  Audi

                                                  The Q8 is Audi’s rough SUV equivalent of the flagship A8 sedan, and the "coupe" equivalent of the Q7. Introduced in the 2018 model year, it shares a platform, powertrain, and relative price point with the base model Porsche Cayenne. Like the Cayenne, you can buy sportier, more powerful versions with V8 engines, as well.

                                                  Body Style: SUV Coupe

                                                  Models:

                                                  • Q8
                                                  • SQ8
                                                  • RS Q8

                                                  Engines:

                                                  • Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
                                                  • Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

                                                  Base MSRP: $67,400

                                                  LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED

                                                  E-Tron / E-Tron S

                                                  audi e tron sportback
                                                  Audi

                                                  The E-Tron is Audi’s all-electric SUV, capable of traveling roughly 200 miles on a charge. Dual electric motors make it quick; it's also one of the quietest cars on sale today, and can recharge at some of the highest speeds of any EV. A new Sportback model joins the lineup this year.

                                                  The Audi E-Tron S is a high-performance version of Audi's E-Tron SUV, comparable to the "S" versions of Audi's combustion cars. It uses a tri-motor system (compared to the E-Tron's dual-motor) with a larger motor up front and two smaller motors powering the rear wheels. The E-Tron S can generate up to 496 hp and 718 lb-ft of torque, accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and deliver 208 miles of range. It can also come as a Sportback offering 212 miles of range.

                                                  Body Style: SUV, SUV Coupe

                                                  Models:

                                                  • E-tron
                                                  • E-tron Sportback
                                                  • E-tron S
                                                  • E-tron S Sportback

                                                    Engines:

                                                    • Dual-motor electric AWD
                                                    • Tri-motor electric AWD

                                                      Base MSRP: $65,900

                                                      LEARN MORE READ THE REVIEW SHOP PRE-OWNED


                                                      E-Tron GT / RS E-Tron GT

                                                      audi e tron gt
                                                      Audi

                                                      The E-Tron GT is Audi's electric sports sedan, which is new for 2021. It shares the J1 electric platform with the Porsche Taycan. GT stands for gran turismo, which means Audi intended the E-Tron GT to provide more ride comfort than an all-out sports car. Still, the E-Tron GT can perform. The base E-Tron GT can deliver up to 522 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque with overboost. The hotter RS E-Tron GT offers a sustained maximum of 590 hp and 617 lb-ft. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.

                                                      Body Style: Sedan

                                                      Models:

                                                      • E-Tron GT
                                                      • RS E-Tron GT

                                                        Engines:

                                                        • Dual-motor electric AWD

                                                          Base MSRP: $102,400

                                                          LEARN MORE

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