Best Audi engine | Audi RS3 2.5 TFSI five-cylinder

Audi Engines: The 9 Best, Most Reliable, and Ones to Avoid!

Audi is known for top-notch engineering, and Audi’s engines are the heart and soul of their vehicles.

But with so many different engines available, what separates the best from the weakest?

Which Audi engines are best? And just as importantly, which ones should you avoid at all costs?!

Well, we’re here to answer all those burning questions in this guide on Audi engines!

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Top 5 best Audi engines

It’s time to unveil the five top Audi engines.

These are the champions of their respective categories, boasting incredible overall performance, jaw-dropping power, or excellent fuel efficiency.

1. 2.5 TFSI I-5 (Best Audi petrol engine)

Audi 2.5 TFSI I-5 engine
  • Capacity: 2,480 cc
  • Power: 401 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • Cylinders: 5
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Common vehicles with this engine: Audi RS3, Audi TT RS, Audi RS Q3

Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce the star of the show – Audi’s 2.5 TFSI inline-five.

With direct fuel injection and turbocharging, this five-cylinder wonder takes performance to a whole new level.

Oh, and did we mention it has won the International Engine of the Year award nine times in a row? Now that’s some serious street cred!

You’ll find this engine under the hood of the Audi RS3, the TT RS, and the RS Q3, giving these models their unique propositions compared to their competitors.

The 2.5 TFSI engine is built to last the rigors of daily driving, so you can enjoy peace of mind while pushing the pedal to the metal.

As with any engine, the 2.5 TFSI I-5 has its own pros and cons.

On the plus side, you’ve got its exhilarating performance, award-winning credentials, and impressive reliability.

On the other hand, this engine is reserved for Audi’s high-performance models, so it may not be the most budget-friendly option.

But hey, you can’t put a price on the thrill of driving with such an incredible engine, right?

2. 3.0 BiTDI V6 (Best Audi diesel engine)

Audi 3.0 V6 TDI engine
  • Capacity: 2,967 cc
  • Power: 309 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi Q5, Audi Q7

Here is the king among Audi’s diesel engines – the 3.0 BiTDI V6.

With common-rail direct injection and two turbos, it delivers all the oomph you need without guzzling fuel like it’s going out of style.

In fact, it’s so good that it could give some petrol engines a run for their money!

The 3.0 BiTDI V6 can be found in various Audi models, from Audi’s sedans like the A6 and A7 to the Q5 and Q7 SUVs.

As with any great star, the 3.0 BiTDI V6 has its set of pros and cons.

On the pro side, it delivers a perfect blend of performance, fuel efficiency, and refinement.

However, if there’s one downside, it’s that diesel engines may not be as popular in some markets due to emission regulations.

3. 3.0 TFSI V6 (Best Audi engine for tuning)

Audi 3.0 TFSI V6 engine
  • Capacity: 2,995 cc
  • Power: 349 hp @ 5,400-6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 368 lb-ft @ 1,370-4,500 rpm
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A6, Audi S5, Audi S4, Audi Q5

Calling all tuning enthusiasts!

We’ve got the perfect engine for you – the turbocharged 3.0 TFSI V6.

This versatile six-cylinder engine churns out a respectable 349 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque.

And the sky’s the limit when tuning the 3.0 TFSI V6.

Thanks to its turbocharged setup, this engine is ripe for modifications like high-flow exhaust systems and custom engine mapping. With the right tweaks, you can unleash even more power from this already impressive engine:

The 3.0 TFSI V6 is no stranger to Audi’s lineup, appearing in several models, including the A6, S5, S4, and Q5.

The pros of this engine include its tuning potential, reliability, and well-roundedness.

However, remember that if you tune your engine, there’s always a risk of reduced longevity and increased maintenance costs.

4. 4.0 TFSI V8 (Most powerful Audi engine)

Audi S8 4.0 TFSI V8 engine
  • Capacity: 3,996 cc
  • Power: 592 hp @ 6,000-6,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050-4,500 rpm
  • Cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Common vehicles with this engine: Audi RS6, Audi RS7, Audi S8

Prepare for liftoff because the 4.0 TFSI V8 can take you on a wild ride!

This eight-cylinder beast cranks out a mind-blowing 592 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, making it the most potent Audi engine.

The 4.0 TFSI V8 is reserved for Audi’s flagship models, such as the RS6, RS7, and S8 supersedan. In fact, it’s so good that Lamborghini even uses it for the Urus!

Despite its power, the 4.0 TFSI V8 doesn’t compromise reliability. So, go ahead and flex those horses – this engine can take it!

Like all good things in life, the 4.0 TFSI V8 has pros and cons.

On the pro side, you have its unmatched power and performance, making it the ultimate engine for those seeking the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.

But this level of performance doesn’t come cheap. The vehicles housing this engine come with a hefty price tag, and fuel economy isn’t exactly its strong suit!

5. 2.0 TFSI I-4 (Most fuel-efficient Audi engine)

Audi 2.0 TFSI I-4 engine
  • Capacity: 1,984 cc
  • Power: 261 hp @ 5,250 rpm
  • Torque: 272 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi Q3, Audi Q5

Audi’s 2.0 TFSI inline-four engine offers amazing fuel economy and doesn’t skimp on performance.

And therefore, in 2019, this engine won the ‘International Engine of the Year’ award:

One of the most flexible and versatile engines ever to be developed – in short, it can do it all.

Jury, Engine Expo + The Powertrain Technology Show 2019

This four-cylinder puts out a respectable 261 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque while sipping fuel with the grace of a ballerina.

It can be found in many of Audi’s most popular models, such as the A4, A5, and A6 sedans, as well as the Q3 and Q5 SUVs. You can even find it in many Volkswagen models!

It’s also found in the Audi A3 sedan, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 32 MPG combined.

With this engine under the hood, you’ll definitely save a pretty penny at the pump!

However, if you’re a die-hard performance enthusiast, you might find it lacks the raw power of some of its bigger siblings.

Fun fact: We also listed the 2.0 TFSI petrol as the best overall engine for the Audi A4 here!

2 Most reliable Audi engines

Now, allow us to introduce the top two most reliable Audi engines!

All these have stood the test of time, proving they have the resilience to keep you on the road, mile after mile.

Reader’s tip: An Ultimate Guide To Audi’s Reliability: Are They Good Cars?

1. Supercharged 3.0T V6

Audi S5 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 engine

Capacity: 2,995 cc
Power: 328 hp @ 5,500-7,000 rpm
Torque: 324 lb-ft @ 2,900-5,300 rpm
Cylinders: 6
Fuel: Petrol
Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A6, Audi S5, Audi Q5

Introducing the supercharged 3.0-liter V6, which strikes the perfect balance between power and reliability.

This six-cylinder generates a healthy 328 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque.

It is no stranger to the Audi family, as it proudly powers models like the A6, A7, and the sleek S5 coupe.

Audi’s engineers have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into ensuring this engine’s longevity. And as a result, many agree that it’s one of Audi’s most reliable engines!

The 3.0T V6 even won the ‘Ward’s 10 Best Engine’ Award in 2012!

As with any superhero, the supercharged 3.0T V6 has its share of vulnerabilities.

Some known issues include a failed thermostat, a malfunctioning water pump, and excessive oil consumption.

But fear not; these issues are often manageable with regular maintenance. Plus, you can minimize the chances of engine damage by using premium gas.

Keep an eye on your engine, and it’ll continue to serve you for years!

2. Turbocharged 1.8T 20-valve

Capacity: 1,781 cc
Power: 148 hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque: 154 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Petrol
Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi TT, Audi S3

Let us introduce you to an old-school underdog of Audi engines – the turbocharged 1.8T 20-valve.

It made its mark on various Audi models, including the classic A4, A6, and the iconic TT coupe.

The turbocharged 1.8T 20-valve may be small, but it’s no pushover regarding reliability.

This engine has earned its stripes as one of Audi’s most reliable engines, demonstrating time and time again that it’s more than capable of racking up hundreds of thousands of miles.

It’s also a favorite among Audi tuners!

But every engine has its quirks, and the 1.8T 20-valve is no exception.

Some of the more common issues include ignition coil pack failure and oil consumption. However, these problems can be easily managed if you maintain your engine!

Related article: 11 Most Reliable Audi Models (A Must-Read Guide in 2024)

2 Audi engines to avoid

Now, let’s delve into the dark side of Audi engines – the ones you should steer clear of!

There are a few black sheep in the Audi family that haven’t quite lived up to the brand’s standards.

1. 1.6 MPI I-4

Audi A3 2004 silver sportback

Capacity: 1,598 cc
Power: 113 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 114 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Petrol
Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A3

Introducing the 1.6 MPI inline-four – an engine that, sadly, didn’t quite make the cut regarding reliability.

While its performance may seem unassuming, it’s the engine’s track record that leaves much to be desired.

The 1.6 MPI can be found under the hoods of Audi A3 models produced between 2003 and 2013.

The engine has a history of missteps, including issues with engine oil consumption and ignition coil failures.

So, if you’re looking for a reliable Audi engine, you might want to pass on the 1.6 MPI.

2. 1.8T I-4

Audi 1.8T I-4 engine

Capacity: 1,798 cc
Power: 158 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 1,500-4,200 rpm
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Petrol
Common vehicles with this engine: Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi TT

Enter the 1.8T inline-four – an engine that, despite its potential, has a few skeletons in the closet.

It has found a home in models such as the A4, A6, and TT.

Regarding reliability, the 1.8T is a bit of a mixed bag.

While some owners have enjoyed trouble-free motoring, others have faced many challenges that have left them questioning their choice.

Common problems of this engine include oil sludge buildup, vacuum system leaks, and timing belt failure, which can lead to costly repairs and a lot of headaches.

Reader’s tip: What Is The Best Audi A4 B7 Engine? (+ Engines To Avoid)

What Audi models have a V8, V12, or W12 engine?

Audi R8 coupe V8 engine

If you plan to upgrade your ride, you might want a car with serious power.

So, if cruising around town in a V8, V12, or W12-powered Audi sounds like your cup of tea, you might wonder which options you have.

Well, you can look at Audi models like the Audi RS5, Audi RS7, Audi A8, or Audi SQ8.

But there are so many more!

If you want to see them, check out our complete list of Audi models with a V8, V12, or W12 engine!


All in all, when it comes to Audi engines, the options are just about endless.

From high-powered V8s to fuel-efficient I-4s, there is something for everyone.

So, dig around and see which one works for you!

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  1. Hello, hoping you can help me come to reasonable asking price on an inherited 2006 A6 4.2 Quattro with 135k miles. I’d love to keep it but we already have too many vehicles and, reluctantly, we have come to the conclusion that it just doesn’t fit our current lifestyle. Thank you for any advise you can give us.

    Ted F, Sacramento, CA

    1. Hi Ted,

      Thank you for reaching out! Unfortunately, it would be very difficult for me to give you a reasonable asking price, considering it depends so much on the local market and the condition of the car. I would strongly advise to look at similar models for sale for an idea of its market value. Remember, the final price also depends on how quickly you wish to sell.

      Best of luck with your sale!

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