The fact that, for the past 50 years, this company has competed directly against Mercedes in producing the greatest German luxury cars on the market says everything. Audi is an automotive giant with a significant share in almost every luxury segment of the industry.
With models such as the legendary Quattro and the mesmerizing R8 under its belt, it has come to be revered among car enthusiasts for its combination of sportiness and luxury. Today more than ever, the brand stands firmly among the most popular European manufacturers. And the following 10 models produced after 2010 stood out and helped make that happen. These are the best Audi models of the past decade.
10 Audi A7
As automakers started to diversify their lineup into more sub-segments, Audi decided in 2010 to release a new high-end four-door coupe dubbed the A7. It's essentially an executive fastback that sacrifices a bit of the luxury of the A8 for the sportiness of an A5. A 310-hp supercharged V6 became standard, connecting to an AWD system.
This car proved to be a quicker and more practical (impressive cargo space) alternative to the likes of the BMW 5-series, while the interior was the best in its class. Things are the same today: with a base 335-hp powerhouse and lavish interior, the A7 sits at the very top of the sporty executive segment.
9 Audi E-Tron
Mercedes-Benz is not the only German luxury company entering the electric SUV segment. Audi's attractive e-tron provides direct competition to the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace and the Mercedes EQC, featuring a similarly powerful electric motor (402-hp).
Characteristic to Audi, it offers one of the most comfortable interiors in the segment, as well as high-end tech features such as Audi's Virtual Cockpit system, numerous driver assist features, and everything else you'd expect in an high-end SUV. And with still not much competition in the electric SUV segment, the E-Tron is off to an excellent start.
8 Audi R8
As soon as the model was announced for production in 2006, the R8 garnered a massive following for its unique and mesmerizing design. Audi's first mid-engine supercar was based on a Lamborghini Gallardo platform and relied on a 4.2L V8 producing just over 400 hp. Decent, but not impressive. However, the model kept becoming more polished and more popular with each coming year, becoming one of the most desirable supercars in the past decade.
The latest model is the best yet, offering up to 602 horsepower, courtesy of a 5.2L V10. It's an incredibly agile and responsive supercar that handles like a race car. Things get even better inside, as the R8 boasts an opulent, leather-clad cabin with an astonishing Virtual Cockpit system and nifty features like seat warmers, keyless entry, and a massive 12.3" display panel behind the wheel. Sure, it's a bit of a gas guzzler, but we don't think anyone paying over $125,000 for a supercar really cares about that.
7 Audi Q3
BMW has the X1 and Audi has the Q3. Both sit at the very top of the segment, showing a similar level of luxury and engine characteristics. Nevertheless, the Q3 is one of Audi's greatest and most well-rounded models of the decade. Other than a slightly steep price tag and unimpressive fuel economy, it has no real flaws.
You'll find most of the nifty tech gadgets you see in higher end models in the Q3 as well, and its standard 228-horsepower 2-liter, and moves the car around with ease. Given the car has been a segment leader ever since 2015 when it was released, it deserves to be mentioned as one of the best and most successful Audi models of the decade.
6 Audi TT
The TT has always been the go-to entry level sports car for every Audi fan. Its coupe design is extremely appealing, and while the car is equally luxurious as much more expensive sports cars, it represents a low-budget sporty alternative. In every way, it's low budget R8. However, as of 2016, the model has been especially enticing, now featuring improved ergonomics, Audi's cockpit-like infotainment panel that sits behind the wheel, and attractive LED lights.
Sure, it faces fierce competition from companies such as BMW and Mercedes that are able to efficiently boost existing models and make them sportier, while the TT has its own specialized line. However, the TT is the best it can be, and we're happy we have it.
5 Audi Q7
Though its engine lineup doesn't reach as far as some of its competitors, the Q7 is still one of the most impressive and exciting midsize SUVs on the market. In fact, for the level of comfort, athleticism, and features it offers, it makes its $53,000 starting price sound like a bargain.
The Q7 has a little bit of everything and doesn't have any downsides aside from a maximum of 329 hp, which should prove plenty. We have to give Audi credit, as the Q7 is one of the most robust and well-rounded family cars out there.
4 Audi A5
Introduced in 2006, the A5 was conceived as a luxury coupe variant that provides a sporty, two-door alternative to the A4. However, despite being marketed as a sporty coupe, the A5 failed to meet the performance standards of its competitors such as the BMW 4-series. The most powerful engine it offered was a 3.2L producing 261 hp, and only slight cosmetic changes were provided. With each model year, Audi mended this issue, and the A5 experienced a steady incline in sales.
However, in 2016 an all new A5 arrived that remedied both its lack of sportiness and introduced a myriad of new features such as the Virtual Cockpit instrument panel. The interior is incredibly opulent and feels techy. Revolving around a $35,000 starting price, this was a luxury coupe that offered a surprisingly swift and responsive 2.0L producing around 250-hp for the following model years. Currently, it's one of the best compact sports cars you can buy.
3 2012 R18 Ultra E-Tron Quattro
The R18 is by no means a road car. That much is obvious, but it nevertheless earns the right to be featured among the greatest models Audi has produced this decade. For 2012, Audi advanced their existing R18 racing car with a hybrid powertrain, which enabled the R18 Ultra E-Tron Quattro to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012.
Not only that, but the sheer development of this car allowed Audi to use its technology in producing its best road models.
2 Audi A8
Audi's flagship luxury sedan received its most notable update in 2017 when it replaced its dated infotainment button design with two large touch screen panel and introduced self parking. Also providing some of the most luxurious and comfortable interiors of any road car, the A8 became a serious threat to more expensive segment rivals such as the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7-series.
It's only actual shortcoming are a small trunk space and average performance. Nevertheless, with a base price noticably lower than any close competitor, the A8 is an excellent limousine, and one of the best new models from Audi.
1 Audi RS6 Quattro
You didn't think we would finish this list up without mentioning the incredible RS6? Known as the estate car that leaves supercars in the dust, the RS6 is injected with a dose of 597 horsepower coming from a harmonious 4.0L V8 TFSI engine. It will do 0-60 in about 3.5 seconds, and is probably the fastest and most extreme grocery-shopping car.
We're happy to say that things haven't changed much for the 2019 model in terms of reliability, comfort, and features it offers. No, it's still up there with the very best estate and executive cars, and will be a perfect choice for any extreme car enthusiast who finds himself struggling between buying a sports car and an all-out family minivan.