Audi A4 vs A6 – is it worth the upgrade?

January 17, 2022 by

If you’re keen on an executive saloon that looks good and is comfortable to drive, the Audi A4 or Audi A6 could be just the thing. But, which should you buy? 

This guide will walk you through the key differences between these cars to give you a clearer idea of which suits you.

Audi A4 Audi A6
Engines Petrol:
2.0-litre tubocharged – 150hp
2.0-litre tubocharged – 204hp
2.0-litre turbocharged: 163hp
2.0-litre tubocharged – 204hp
2.0-litre turbocharged – 204hp
2.0-litre turbocharged – 265hp
2.0-litre hybrid – 299hp
2.0-litre tubocharged – 204hp
Gearboxes seven-speed automatic seven-speed automatic
Eight-speed automatic
Boot space 460-litres 530-litres
Dimensions Length: 4,762mm
Width: 1,847mm
Height: 1,431mm
Length: 4,939mm
Width: 2,110mm
Height: 1,457mm
Euro NCAP rating Five stars Five stars
Trims and equipment highlights Technik: Heated seats, lumbar support, 10.1-inch infotainment, 17-inch alloys, LED headlightsSport Edition: Leather seats, ambient lighting, 18-inch alloys,
tinted windowsS Line: Stainless steel pedals, sports seats with Alcantara, perforated leather steering wheel, sports styling, 19-inch alloys,
LED rear lightsBlack Edition: Black exterior trims, flat-bottomed steering wheel, black interior trimVorsprung: Electrically adjusted seats, heated rear seats, opening sunroof, upgraded sound system, oak interior trim, unique 19-inch alloys
Sport: 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, heated electric leather seats, triple-screen infotainment system, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors

S Line: 19-inch alloys, sports suspension, matrix LED headlights, half Alcantara sports seats

Black Edition: Black grills and mirror trim, 20-inch alloys, privacy glass, premium sound system

Vorsprung: Bang & Olufsen sound system, panoramic glass roof,
self-parking, 21-inch alloys

Drive and performance

The Audi A4 and Audi A6 are both very comfortable cars that are great for motorway cruising. However, if it’s fun you’re after you may be better off looking at a BMW 3 Series or 5 Series.

Both these cars are available with sporty S Line suspension which is slightly lower and firmer than the standard setup. While this makes the A4 and A6 a little more involving to drive, it comes at a trade-off in comfort.

If you’re looking for the more comfortable car of the two for motorway work, the A6 is the one to go for. Being the more luxurious offering, it’s that bit more refined than the smaller A4. However, this is reflected in the higher price tag.

The A4 comes with most of the features you’ll find in the A6 and it’s around £6,000 cheaper so you have to really want the extra luxury to justify the price jump. The A4 is also a bit better suited to town life because it’s slightly smaller and more manoeuvrable.

Style and size

The Audi A4 (shown below) is certainly the sportier-looking of the two cars. The A6 has the more subdued appearance of the two, to the point it could be described as a bit dull.

Both cars can be specified in S Line trim which adds some more aggressive styling details and larger alloy wheels. This makes the A6 look more exciting, and the fact that it’s the bigger car means it has more presence to it.

The A4 is also the car to go for if you want some interesting colours. You can go for it in the usual black, grey or white, but ‘Navarra Blue’ is the most eye-catching colour scheme either of these cars offers.

The Audi A6 (shown above) can be finished in a wide variety of greys and silvers. Get one in black or grey and you’ll have done yourself a favour come resale time. If don’t care about that and just want something that stands out then there is Tango Red on offer.

Interior and tech

Both of these cars are very well built on the inside and packed with tech, as is usually the case with anything from Audi. If it’s a sense of theatre you’re after though, you’d be better off with a Mercedes C-Class or E-Class.

The A6 (shown here) has the most high tech interior

The A6 looks more impressive when you step inside and it does a good job of mimicking the larger A8 luxury saloon.

It has three screens as standard, one for the driver’s display, one for the infotainment, and one for the climate and driving controls. The overall material quality is better than the A4 as well. Again, this is reflected in the higher price tag.

The A4 still offers an impressive level of quality

You won’t feel short-changed when you step into the A4 either. The build quality and materials are almost on par with those of the A6, although the design isn’t quite as high tech as the larger car. It feels slightly more cockpit-like to sit in, as the dashboard wraps around you and you sit lower down.

Boot space and practicality

It’ll come as no surprise that the larger Audi A6 offers more space overall than the smaller A4. That said, the difference isn’t as huge as you might expect.

Six-foot-tall passengers will be comfy in the back of the A4

The A6 offers a lot more boot space, at 530-litres compared to 460-litres in the A4. Both of these cars are offered as estates if you need even more boot space, but the focus is on the saloon versions for this comparison.

The A6 offers the most rear leg space

The Audi A6 is around 200mm longer than the A4, meaning it does offer more rear legroom. The Audi A4 offers plenty of space in the rear for adults to sit comfortably, so you’ll only need the extra space offered by the A6 if you plan on chauffeuring people.

Safety and reliability

Both the Audi A4 scored five-stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests in 2015, and the A6 also scored five stars in 2018.

There are no real horror stories with regards to reliability with either of these cars. All Audi models come with a three-year warranty as well, which has unlimited miles in the first two years and up to 60,000 miles in the third year.

Price and running costs

Being the more premium model in the lineup, the Audi A6 is more expensive than the A4.

The Audi A4 starts from £33,955, however (at the time of writing) you can save an average of £2,351 on one though carwow.

The Audi A6 is priced from £39,950, but you can save an average of £3,048 on one though carwow (at the time of writing).

The Audi A4’s insurance groups vary from 19 to 39 depending on which model you go for, whereas the A6 ranges from 30-42. As they share similar engines, the economy from both is pretty well matched, although the A4 will be slightly more economical due to its smaller size.

Audi A4 vs A6 verdict

The Audi A4 and Audi A6 aren’t direct competitors; they complement each other in the Audi range. Choosing between the two then will depend on your budget and what you want out of your car.

The Audi A4 is a great all-rounder with a well-made interior and a comfortable driving experience. It’s also the more youthful car of the two thanks to its slightly more sporty aesthetic.

You have to really want the added luxury and space to justify the extra £6,000 for the A6. That said, if all you do in the car is run up and down the motorway with a boot full of kit, it’s probably the better car to go for.

Looking for a great deal on a new Audi? Check out the latest offers on carwow. Alternatively, you can compare the top saloon cars to decide which is best for you.