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2016 Audi A6 vs. 2016 Audi A7: What’s the Difference?

Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2016 Audi A6 review and the 2017 Audi A7 review.

 

If you’re interested in a luxurious midsize sedan, the 2016 Audi A6 and the 2016 Audi A7 may have spots on your shopping list. Both offer modern design, cutting-edge equipment and excellent performance at similar price points.

So what exactly separates the A6 and the A7, aside from the obvious difference in trunk design? And more importantly, which one should you get? We’ve created a close comparison of the A6 and the A7 to help you answer those questions.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Exterior

On the outside, the latest A6 and A7 are substantially similar until you get to the rear third, and then you’ll see the noticeable difference: The A6 is a sedan, and the A7 is a hatchback. That difference, in turn, shapes the entire rear end of each model, with the A6 offering a more traditional sedan shape and the A7 touting a sleeker, coupelike look, which some drivers prefer.

Regardless of your preference, you’re forgiven if you can’t tell apart these two models from the front, though it’ll be easy to figure out which is which the moment you see them from the side.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Interior

Inside, it’s difficult to find any substantial differences between the A6 and the A7. Not only do both models offer roughly the same interior room, but they also use the same interior design, materials and control layout. Once again, the major difference is the rear end: With its smaller trunk, the A6 offers only 16.1 cu ft. of cargo space compared to 24.5 cu ft. in the larger A7.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Mechanicals

The A6 and A7 largely share the same engines, with a few exceptions. Both models offer a 3.0T variant with a 333-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, as well as a fuel-efficient TDI version with a 240-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Both vehicles also come in high-performance S versions (the S6 and the S7) that use a 450-hp 4.0-liter turbocharged V8.

The only differences: The A6 offers a base-level 2.0T model that uses a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. The A7 doesn’t offer that option. Additionally, the A7 offers an even higher-performance version, dubbed the RS 7, that the A6 lineup doesn’t include. The RS 7 boasts a 560-hp version of the S7’s turbocharged V8.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Features & Technology

In terms of features and equipment, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the A6 and A7 are roughly identical, with both models offering virtually all the latest high-end features and gadgets. That means you can get night vision, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, a Black Optic package with black trim, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a lot more.

Indeed, while we can safely say that gadget lovers will be right at home in an A6 or an A7, it’s also worth noting that neither model offers any measurable advantage over the other when it comes to technology and equipment.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Driving Experience

On the road, the A6 and A7 are — surprise, surprise! — largely identical, with both models offering firm rides and quick, predictable handling. Both models also offer excellent performance. Even the 3.0T’s 333-hp supercharged V6 can rocket either car to 60 miles per hour in about 5.5 seconds.

The only major driving-experience differences between the A6 and A7 come when you consider the engines that the two cars don’t share. Specifically, the A6’s base-level 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is spry but not downright fast, and drivers who opt for it will occasionally find themselves wanting more power when speeding up a highway on-ramp. Meanwhile, the RS 7 is one of the most monstrously fast luxury cars on the market, with excellent steering and immense grip to boot.

2016 Audi A6   2016 Audi A7

Safety

In government crash testing carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the A6 earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. The A7 has not yet been tested, though we expect it will fare similarly. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested the A7, but the nonprofit gave the A6 its highest-possible rating of Top Safety Pick+.

As for safety equipment, the A6 and A7 are once again largely identical, though the A6 doesn’t have quite as many standard features due to its less-expensive base-level 2.0T model. Still, both Audi models offer a long list of safety equipment, including parking sensors, side-curtain airbags, a blind spot monitoring system, anti-lock brakes, a night vision system, a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking, lane-keep assist and a 360-degree camera system.

In other words, drivers with their eye on safety will find a lot to like when it comes to the A6 and A7.

Conclusions

The 2016 Audi A6 and 2016 Audi A7 are largely similar, with one major difference: Thanks to its base-level 2.0T model, the A6 starts at $47,100 with shipping, while the A7’s base price is $69,300 including destination. Opt for the A6 3.0T, and the price gap narrows considerably, with the A6 starting around $62,600.

But the price differential between the base-level offerings tells you everything you need to know about Audi’s strategy: The A7 is a sleeker, more upscale, head-turning version of the A6. As a result, the one you’ll pick depends on what you want. The A6 is more sensible, more traditional and cheaper, while the A7 is more expensive and bolder than its sibling.

Find a 2016 Audi A6 for sale

Find a 2016 Audi A7 for sale

 
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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1 COMMENT

  1. They say “The A6 is more sensible”.  Sensible?  How so? I mean, the A-7’s cargo space is 50% greater.  Do they mean conservative?

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