The Audi range is one of the most comprehensive around. There are hundreds of possible models, body style, engine and trim level permutations to choose from – so knowing how to navigate the range can help it seem less baffling.
Let’s start with the naming convention. Traditional ‘car’ model names are prefixed with ‘A’, SUVs with ‘Q’, and high-performance cars with ‘R’. And the larger the number that follows it, the larger the car. The exception that makes the rule is the iconic TT.
But which is the right one for you and your lifestyle? We’re here to help.
The A1 and A3 are Audi’s smallest models, both three-door hatchbacks. The A1 is a supermini (similar to the Ford Fiesta), and the A3 is a small family car (like the Ford Focus).
Although less practical than other models, they’re a great choice for singletons and retirees who rarely carry back-seat passengers, and young couples taking on busy city streets.
If you need a small car but want the practicality of two sets of doors, there are five-door versions of the A1 and A3, but Audi calls them by another name (more on that later).
The saloon is the quintessential executive car. With a ‘three box’ design, the boot is separated from the cabin and has a pronounced bootlid. Audi offers saloons in four sizes.
There’s the small family-sized A3; the A4 ‘compact exec’; the A6 executive car; and the A8 luxury limousine.
Avant is how Audi badges its estate cars. Based on the corresponding saloon, Avant models offer extra practicality thanks to extra boot space.
Estate cars are popular with dog owners, sporty families and those who live an outdoorsy lifestyle; you can specify optional extras like a a wipe-clean boot lining.
The Coupé is the quintessential, classic sports car. Audi makes three, and each is wildly different from the next. The A5 is based on the A4, with more sleek styling and just the one set of doors.
The TT needs no introduction. It’s a very compact, 2+2 model – not especially suitable for a growing family as their only car, but a great choice for a second car.
The R8 is a true high-performance sports car, strictly for two.
Sportback is a name unique to Audi, and is given to more practical models – five-door versions of the A1 and A3 hatchback, and four-door Coupés: the A5 and A7.
The A1 and A3 Sportbacks have the added practicality of an extra set of doors, in a compact hatchback body style. They’re brilliantly suited to growing families who need flexibility and
The A5 and A7 Sportbacks blend slinky, sporty Coupé looks with an extra set of doors. They’re a brilliant halfway house for those who crave sportiness but regularly drive with children or teenagers in the car.
SUVs are enormously popular; inspired by traditional off-roaders, combing chunky styling with raised ride height, (potential) off-road ability, and a spacious interior. They’re extremely fashionable and popular with families, because they offer the practicality and space of an MPV in a much more rugged package.
The Q7 is the largest Audi SUV currently on sale, offering up to seven seats and true off-road ability – although all Audi SUVs are more focused toward on-road ability.
These blend the space and practicality of Avant models with the surefootedness and rugged off-road ability of SUVs. Armed with legendary Audi quattro all-wheel-drive, the A4 Allroad and A6 Allroad feature slightly raised ride height, chunky wheel arches and roof rails.
They’re great for families considering an Avant model, but wanting the extra security offered by four-wheel drive on slippery or wintry roads.
Put simply, these are ‘soft-topped’ convertible versions of other models. If you want wind-in-the-hair thrills. They’re less practical, though, as the folding roofs rob space from the rear seats and boot.
As you can see, there are gaps in the alphanumeric naming system at the moment; there is no A2, nor a Q4 or Q6 on sale. Will that change in the future? Watch this space…