The Complete Audi Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

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

audi rs6 rs 6 avant 2021
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, R8, and E-Tron exist outside that nomenclature.

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 eaching level adding tech and luxury features.

The Audi Buying Guide

A3 / S3 / RS 3

complete audi buying guide gear patrol rs3
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: $33,300

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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 wagon
• S4

Engines:

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

Base MSRP: $39,100

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A5 / S5 / RS 5

audi s7
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
• A5 Coupe
• A5 Cabriolet
• S5 Sportback
• S5 Coupe
• S5 Cabriolet
• RS 5 Sportback
• RS 5 Coupe

Engines:

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

Base MSRP: $41,800

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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-turbo 2.9-liter V6
• Turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

Base MSRP: $54,900

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A7 / S7 / RS 7

complete audi buying guide gear patrol 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

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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
• S8

Engines:

• Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
• Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with plug-in hybrid assistance
• Turbocharged 4.0-liter V8

Base MSRP: $85,200

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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: $36,000

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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
• SQ5

Engines:

• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
• Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with plug-in hybrid assistance
• Turbocharged 3.0-liter V6

Base MSRP: $43,300

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Q7 / SQ7

complete audi buying guide gear patrol q7
Audi

The Q7 is Audi’s full-sized 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 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: $54,950

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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

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E-tron

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.

Body Style: SUV, SUV Coupe

Models:

• E-tron
• E-tron Sportback

Engines:

• Dual electric motors

Base MSRP: $65,900

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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
• TT Roadster
• TT S Coupe
• TT RS Coupe

Engines:

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

Base MSRP: $45,500

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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: $169,900

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