Compared: 2023 Audi A4 vs. 2023 Audi A6

A quick look at two luxury sedans from Audi reveals that high style comes in at least two shapes and sizes.

A gray Audi A4 and a black Audi A6 below.Audi


The latest Audi A4 has been on sale in the U.S. since 2016, an eternity in the car business. Fortunately, the A4 has always been among the best compact luxury sedans, so it's aging more like fine wine than whole milk.

Meanwhile, the fifth-generation Audi A6, a midsize sedan, debuted in 2018. The A4 and A6 share the same platform, many of the same powertrain components, and a lot more, but which one is the go-to choice for the discerning luxury-car buyer?

Rear view of a blue Audi A4.Audi

The 2023 Audi A6 Costs Quite a Bit More Than the 2023 Audi A4

The A4 line features three models: the A4 sedan, the high-performance S4 sedan, and the A4 Allroad, a wagon with a raised ride height and rugged body cladding. This comparison considers only the A4 sedan.

Pricing for the entry-level model, the Audi A4 40 TFSI, starts near $41,000. For that money, you get a 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).

Rear view of a gray Audi A6 driving.Audi

The A6 line consists of four models: the A6 sedan, the high-performing S6 sedan, the A6 Allroad, and a bonus model, the rip-roaring RS 6 Avant supercar slayer. This comparison focuses only on the A6 sedan.

The entry-level model is the Audi A6 45 TFSI. Like the A4, the A6 features all-wheel drive and the same seven-speed DCT driven by a turbocharged four-cylinder, but here the engine is tuned to churn out 261 horsepower. The price is below $58,000, about $17,000 more than the entry-level A4.

Audi A4 interior.Audi

How Much Bigger the Audi A6 Is Versus the A4

If these two sedans seem remarkably similar, that's entirely by design. The A4 is a generously sized compact sedan, while the A6 is a true midsizer in terms of dimensions.

The tape measure tells the story. The A6 is 6.9 inches longer, 1.6 inches wider, and 1.2 inches higher than the A4. The wheelbase on the A6 is 4.1 inches longer, which pays direct dividends for those riding the back bench; there's 1.7 inches more passenger legroom back there. The A4 also loses some ground in cargo space, bringing in 12.0 cubic-feet of golf bag capacity with the rear seats up versus 13.7 cu-ft for the A6.

Audi A6 interior.Audi

2023 Audi A6 Also Includes More Standard Features Than A4

The A4 40 comes standard with a head-up display, a 10.1-inch center touchscreen, and Audi's virtual cockpit plus (a slick digital dashboard with configurable screens). Other standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay integration, a navigation system, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound.

The A6 45 has all of the standard features of the A4 40. Still, it adds a few other notable touches, including adaptive cruise control with lane guidance, an interior LED lighting package, contrast stitching on the door armrests and knee bolsters, power soft-closing doors, and ventilated front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment.

A red Audi A4 driving through a city.Audi

2023 Audi A4 Beats Audi A6 in Fuel Economy

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood of the A4 may generate less excitement, but it has the edge in fuel economy. The A4 gets up to an EPA-estimated 24/33/28 mpg in city/highway/combined driving.

The 2023 Audi A6 strikes a decent balance between performance and efficiency. The EPA-estimated rating for this model peaks at 24/31/27 mpg.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Mark Hacking
Mark Hacking is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years experience covering the automotive scene for some of the world's most popular publications. Mark holds an FIA International Race license and has his sights set on competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future. He was the first automotive journalist to race in the Ferrari Challenge series (in 2013) and the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series (in 2019).