If you are in the market for an executive luxury vehicle, you’ve likely turned to the Audi brand. If so, you’ve likely looked at the Audi A5, A6, A7, or A8. In this article, we will be going over the similarities and differences between the Audi A5 vs A6. The Audi A5 is a compact executive coupe, while the A6 is an executive sedan. We think it is important to highlight the A5 coupe and A5 Sportback (sedan) because the A5 Sportback is closer in similarities to the A6. We’ll be going over price, size, performance, reliability, safety, and more.
Audi A5 vs A6 – The Basics
The Audi A5 was first introduced in 2008 and is still being produced today. It compromises three different body styles: coupe, cabriolet (convertible), and Sportback (5-door liftback with a fastback roofline). The A5 is positioned between the A4 and A6. Therefore it is bigger than the A4, and slightly smaller than the A6. Its classification is a compact executive car. There have been two generations since its introduction: B8/B8.5 A5 and the B9 A5. The first generation was built on the Volkswagen MLB platform and offered three different variants: A5, S5, and a RS 5. The second generation was is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform and offers three different variations: A5, S5, and a RS 5. From what we see, the A5 has the most customization from body styles and variations among all 2022 models.
The Audi A6 was first introduced way before the A5 in 1995 and is still being produced today. The A6 is the Audi 100’s successor. It is positioned in between the A5 and A7 and is classified as an executive car. We aren’t going to go into all of the different platforms because it has been around for almost 3 decades and there are 5 different generations. Therefore, the fourth generation was built on the Volkswagen MLB platform and offered multiple different variations and body styles. The second generation was built on the MLB Evo platform and offers one of our favorite Audi vehicles: the RS 6 Avant. It also offers three different variations (A6, S6, and RS 6) with many different body styles.
Audi A5 Generations
- B8/B8.5 A5 (2008-2017)
- B9 A5 (2018-Present)
Audi A6 Generations
- C4 A6 (1995-1997)
- C5 A6 (1998-2004)
- C6 A6 (2005-2011)
- C7 A6 (2012-2018)
- C8 A6 (2019-Present)
Now that you see the different generations offered for each model, we’ll jump into the most important consideration, in our opinion, when it comes to purchasing a luxury vehicle, and that is price.
Audi A5 vs A6 Price
In this portion, we will be going over brand new 2022, as of this writing, model prices and used prices for the A5 and A6.
New Audi A5 Price
A Premium Audi A5 Coupe with a 2.0 TFSI engine starts at $46,000, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $50,900, and lastly, a Prestige Audi A5 Coupe with the same engine starts at $52,400. A Premium Audi A5 Sportback with a 40 TFSI engine starts at $43,900, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $48,800, and lastly, a Prestige Audi A5 Sportback with the same engine starts at $54,500. However, the A5 Sportback offers another more powerful engine that comes standard in the A5 coupe: a 45 TFSI engine. A Premium Audi A5 Sportback with a 45 TFSI engine starts at $46,000, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $50,900, and lastly, a Prestige Audi A5 Sportback with the same engine starts at $55,750.
New Audi A5 Price
A Premium Audi A6 with a 45 TFSI engine starts at $55,900, and a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $59,800. The Prestige A6 doesn’t come with a 45 TFSI engine. Instead, it comes with a more powerful 55 TFSI engine that starts at $69,500. The Premium and Premium Plus also have an upgrade option of going with the 55 TFSI. The Premium A6 55 TFSI starts at $59,800, while the Premium Plus A6 55 TFSI starts at $63,700.
If you are curious about the trim differences with Audi, here is an article we wrote about the different Audi trims.
Used Audi A5 & A6 Price
When it comes to used Audi A5s vs A6s, pricing is pretty much consistent with new prices. With that, we mean since the A6 is a standard executive car, rather than a compact, it tends to be a bit more expensive. Since there are so many generations, we will be basing it on the most popular generations for both models: B8/B8.5 A5 & C7 A6. A used B8/B8.5 A5 price ranges from $7,000 – $38,999* with an average price overall of $22,500, depending on model year and mileage. A used C7 A6 price ranges from $9,000 – $44,991* with an average price overall of $26,500, depending on model year and mileage. The A6 is more expensive on the new and used side. So, is the Audi A6 worth the extra money? We’ll jump into more considerations below, including size, performance, and more.
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General A5 & A6 Topics
A5 vs A6 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Audi A5 coupe, the 2022 Audi A5 Sportback, and the 2022 Audi A6.
Audi A5 vs A6
As you can see, we have compared the A5, A5 Sportback, and A6. The reason is that the A5 coupe only has a seating capacity of 4, while the Sportback has a seating capacity of 5. Therefore, if you are someone that needs to seat 5 regularly, you can better compare the Audi A5 vs A6. There aren’t very many surprises that stick out to us when it comes to size. Given the A6 isn’t a compact sedan, it is bigger in all of the dimensions except cargo space when it comes to the A5 Sportback. Unlike both the A5 coupe and A6, the A5 Sportback’s back row seats can fold down increasing cargo space drastically. Also, the A5 Coupe is a two-door, while the A5 Sportback and A6 are four-door sedans. If you find yourself needing four doors, the A5 does offer that option via the Sportback.
Audi A5 vs A6 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 A5 and 2022 A6 performance specs.
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
A 2022 Audi A5 Coupe features a 2.0T TFSI (45 TFSI) quattro® engine that puts out 261hp and 273 lb-ft of torque in three different trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. This engine offers a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission with Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The 2.0T engine gets 24mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 27 with a 15.3gal fuel tank. A 2022 Audi A5 Sportback offers two engines: a 40 TFSI and a 45 TFSI, which is the same engine as the A5 Coupe. The 40 TFSI features a less powerful 2.0T engine that puts down 201hp and 236 lb-ft of torque in three different trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The 2.0T engine gets 26mpg in the city and 34mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 29 with a 15.3gal fuel tank.
A 2022 Audi A6 features the same 45 TFSI quattro® engine that is found in both the A5 and A5 Sportback. The 45 TFSI is only found in the Premium and Premium Plus. There is an upgraded engine option on the A6: 55 TFSI. The 55 TFSI can be an option on the Premium, Premium Plus, and the Prestige. This engine puts out 33hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission with Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The 55 TFSI engine gets 21mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 24 with a 19.3gal fuel tank.
A5 & A6 Reliability and Common Problems
Is the Audi A5 reliable? The A5’s overall reliability is slightly below average. RepairPal has rated the A5’s reliability 3 out of 5 which is below the average luxury midsize car reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5. This puts the Audi A5 23rd out of 31 luxury midsize cars. Both generations of the A5 have their own issues and as a general rule of thumb, we would avoid the first couple years of the first generation. However, the 2018-2021 A5s were rated highly when it comes to reliability. The average annual maintenance of an Audi A5 is $887, which is above the average luxury midsize car of $739.
Common problems that are seen in A5s are as followed: Timing chain tensioner failure, Start-stop system malfunctioning, premature ignition coil and spark plug failure, control arm issues, and excessive oil consumption. If an A5 is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 200,000.
Is the Audi A6 reliable? The A6s overall reliability is above average. RepairPal has rated the A6s reliability 3.5 out of 5 which is above the average luxury full-size car reliability rating of 2.5 out of 5. This puts the Audi A6 8th out of 30 luxury full-size cars. Since the A6 has been around for 2.5 decades, there are many model years to avoid: 2000, 2003-2006, 2011, 2013-2016, and 2019. The average annual maintenance of an Audi A6 is $913, which is slightly below the average luxury full-size car of $976.
Common problems that are seen in A6s are as followed: Instrument cluster failure, faulty torque converter, premature water pump or thermostat failure, ABS control module failure, common oil leaks, and CV boot/joint failure. If an A6 is properly maintained, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000 and others even last up to 300,000 miles. However, once it hits 100,000 miles, you will have to replace many engine components for longevity purposes.
A5 vs A6 – Which is Better?
When it comes to which model is better, we feel this is rather subjective. It’s hard for us to say which one is better when we know that every consumer’s needs and wants are different. Our personal opinion is the A5 Sportback. That is because we love the sportier look, larger cargo space, and same seating capacity as the A6. However, the A6 is larger, more powerful, more reliable, and may be better suited for families. AND it includes the RS 6 Avant. They both have similar safety features and interiors, but the A6 has a dual-screen infotainment system. Both the 2022 Audi A5 and A6 got 5-star safety ratings. The 2022 A5 offers 8 different variations and body styles. While the A6 only offers 4 different variations and body styles.
Before making the decision based on this article, we always suggest going to a local Audi dealer or used lot to take them both for a test drive. First-hand experience will assist the most in deciding between the two.
Audi A5 vs A6 Conclusion
To wrap this up, we hope the information above is assisted in your purchasing decision. Both models have their pros and cons depending on the consumer’s lifestyle. In short, the A6 is larger, but the A5 allows more customization from a new model standpoint. If you happen to have any experience with either and prefer one over the other, let us know in the comments below. This will assist future readers to choose which model is best for them with first-hand reviews.