Volkswagen and Audi are massive players in the global automotive sector, dominating sales figures in their respective categories. Their models have developed quite a fan base in both established and emerging automotive markets. Still, the VW Group was often accused of producing “Russian doll” models that are quite similar — for instance, the Passat and A4/A6, two vehicles using the same platform.

This article will compare the A6 and Passat, mainly because buyers often cross-shop between these two. Sure, they don’t belong to the same category; the A6 is larger and significantly more premium, but for most buyers, the Passat is big and plush enough. Most people also don’t realize that the A6 will be much more expensive to maintain and repair in the long run. Sure, you can repair it yourself using an Audi A6 workshop manual, but even then, the Passat is equipped with cheaper parts and less tech that can possibly break down.

So, the real question is — should you buy an older A6 and enjoy its superior tech features and high-quality materials, or go with a newer Passat and save on maintenance?

Let’s discuss…


Of course, the Passat and A6 cater to different buyer types. If you are looking for just enough power to go about your daily routine, the cheaper Passat should be more than enough. A new 2022 model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine producing 174 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. However, if you are looking for a used model, the 2011-2015 model was offered with a smaller turbocharged 1.8-liter inline-4 mill churning out 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is still pretty good for most people.

Meanwhile, the 2011-2015 A6 provided a mouthful of engine options. The base turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 produces 220 hp, which isn’t a significant upgrade from the 1.8-liter Passat while still costing almost $20,000 more.

However, if you are performance-inclined and budget is not a problem, the latest 2022 Audi S6 packs a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing a hefty 444 hp. And if that’s still not enough for you, the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 RS6 Avant should be able to satisfy even the most hardcore drivers out there with its 591 hp output — that’s not something you can get out of a Passat.

Still, it’s important to remember that a high-performance variant would also need additional maintenance, including more expensive parts and labor. Hence, it might be a good idea to get an Audi A6 repair manual and do some of the work on your own.

Side note, if you are looking for a repair manual for your car and not sure where to start, you’ll be happy to hear that eManualOnline carries manuals for pretty much every car ever made and that they cost a lot less than a single visit at the shop.

Maintenance Costs

Volkswagen is the second largest automaker in the world and mainly manufactures cars for the masses. On the contrary, Audi is VW’s luxury subsidiary focusing on better sound insulation, higher-quality interiors, and better performance. As a result, Volkswagen’s models are usually cheaper and more affordable to maintain than Audi’s.

Case in point, both the A6 and Passat target a different spectrum of buyers. The A6 is a luxury sedan and costs almost $20k-$30k more than the Passat, courtesy of high-end parts and components, making it quite expensive to maintain. According to Repair Pal, the Audi A6’s annual repair expenses are around $916, whereas the VW Passat would only set you back $639 during the same period.

Needless to say, the A6 isn’t cheap to look after. Still, if you are a die-hard Audi fanboy or simply prefer Audi’s superior engineering, a good Audi A6 service manual can help narrow this price gap.

Although you cannot lower the cost of replacement parts, you can easily follow the repair instructions provided by the manual, conduct your own repairs and save on labor charges, averaging around $100 per hour.

Interior and Exterior Styling

When it comes to aesthetics, there is not much competition between the two. Indeed, the A6 clearly wins with its sporty look, larger grille, bigger alloy wheels, and stylish LED headlights.

Meanwhile, the Passat’s design is relatively simple and minimalistic, similar to other VW models like the Golf and Jetta. Although some might prefer the Passat’s timeless design, the Audi A6 is undoubtedly the more handsome of the two. The same goes for the cabin, where the A6 boasts superior materials and perhaps the best fit and finish in the category.

On the other hand, the Passat is not that bad with its soft-touch plastics and solid finish, especially considering the price point. However, it can’t compete with the Audi, which feels much more luxurious inside.


Both vehicles have the latest features for their respective model years. However, given the higher price tag, the Audi A6 easily surpasses its cousin.

For instance, the 2022 A6 features a 10.1-inch primary infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, letting you control a host of functionalities. In fact, Audi offers such a vast multitude of features that owners often have to rely on an Audi A6 user manual to utilize the full potential of these massive touchscreens.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Passat features a 6.3-inch and an optional 8.0-inch infotainment screen. It’s not too bad for the price, but other mid-size sedans offer larger screens, like the Camry’s optional 9-inch display.

Fortunately, you get almost all the driver assistance systems available on the A6, including forwarding collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. So, at least when it comes to safety, there is not much difference between the two.

Besides, the A6’s extra features, like the dynamic 16-speaker sound system and heads-up display, are pretty expensive, yet they are not a necessity.

Last Words

Put simply, the Audi A6 is more expensive but offers better features, technology, and design. However, it’s not a direct competitor of the Passat but other luxury sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Lexus ES.

Meanwhile, the Passat competes with other mid-size sedans, going head to head with models like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

In conclusion, the VW Passat will give you a decent bang for your buck if your budget is within $20,000 to $30,000. It’s a comfortable, quiet companion with proper performance and excellent fuel efficiency. The interior is also very roomy, and the trunk is decently spacious.

However, if you can shell a little more, the A6 is definitely better in every area. Audi’s executive sedan is quick and stable, supremely quiet and comfortable on the highway, and feels much more luxurious inside — no doubt about it.

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