Are Audi Reliable Cars? A Reliability Guide
I am a serial entrepreneur and a consumer advocate. When I’m not helping car buyers, I love working on ventures that have a positive impact.
Once upon a time, Consumer Reports described Audi as a “sinkhole of service problems." Made by the Volkswagen Group, and as a German product, it is normal to expect much reliability from Audi. Sorry to break your heart, but Audi cars have a history of inconsistencies and are filled with many problems.
Even in 2022, many drivers are still doubting the reliability of Audis. Most people believe that Audis are good at selling luxury, but not reliability. You can’t blame anyone for such thoughts. Audis broke the hearts of many car lovers. But are Audi reliable cars?
Audis are fairly reliable cars. They are not as reliable as Toyota, nor will you get the same driving experience as you expect from a Toyota. But from someone with experience owning and driving two different Audi models, I can tell you that Audis are not as bad as the internet makes them seem.
You need to be careful with the Audi model you go for and how well you maintain them.
Here are all you need to know about Audis reliability and what you should know before buying one.
Table of Contents
- Are Audi Reliable Cars?
- Why Audi Is Considered Fairly Reliable
- Why Are Audis Still Not So reliable?
- 7 Common Audi Problems
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Are Audi Reliable Cars?
Yes. Audis are fairly reliable cars. They are one of the most reliable luxury cars you can find on the market for a cheaper price.
Audi sits in the 34th position out of 40 cars on the reliability index survey, rated 28th out of 32 car brands by RepairPal, with a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, which is above average.
The Audi reliability rating varies across different models. While some are considered exceptional, there are still lots of bad Audi cars that you shouldn’t purchase.
For instance: The Audi Q5 is one of the most reliable Audi Cars. Consumer reports consider Audi one of the best Compact Luxury SUVs, with some models earning the Top Safety pick+ rating from IIHS, impressive performance, and comfortable rides.
Audis’ reliability offers sophisticated technology, improved ride quality, and engine performance. They are one of the best All-wheel-drive system cars I have ever driven, courtesy of the Audi Quattro AWD system and ultra-technology. However, there are some setbacks.
Audi engines and parts are heavy, so they wear faster after extensive usage on high mileage. You must check your Audi’s front suspension after 150,000 miles because they have a higher tendency to wear. If your Audi car is running on the turbo engine, do not make the mistake of using anything other than the approved oil.
Most Audi parts are expensive, and we advise that you stay away from the 1990 to mid-2000 Audi models with the V6 engines.
You can choose the V8 engines if you can deal with the exorbitant maintenance cost, but the Audi 4-cylinder turbo engines and the V6 engines of later years should be your preferred choice.
Why Audi Is Considered Fairly Reliable
Our thoughts on Audi’s reliability don’t cover the overall Audi reliability, as Audi has so many cars that perform poorly. However, we can’t fail to spot a few reasons for the few Audi cars that are quite reliable.
Audi broke the engine record with the Audi TSFI engine. The Audi 2.0 TFSI engine won the international engine of the year award, with the Audi 2.5 TSFI securing the international engine of the year award for nine successive years from 1999 to 2018.
With an impressive torque of 480 Nm, and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 to 4.1 seconds in the Audi RS 3 Saloon, RS 3 Sportback, TT RS coupe, and TT RS Roadster, the Audi TSFI became a symbol of excellence for Audi.
The Audi 2.0 TDI engines are also great choices, offering a burst of power and fuel efficiency.
No matter how bad Audis appear, we cannot deny that they are one of the world’s safest cars. There are a lot of Audi cars that earned the Top safety pick rating from IIHS, such as:
- The 2021-22 Audi A4 4-door sedan
- 2021-22 Audi A5 Sportback 4-door hatchback
- 2021-22 Audi e-Tron 4-door SUV
- 2021-2022 Audi Q8 4-door SUV
- 2021/22 Audi e-Tron Sportback 4-door SUV
- 2021-2022 Audi Q5 4-door SUV
- 2021-22 Audi Q5 Sportback 4-door SUV
- 2021-22 Audi A6 4-door sedan
- 2021-22 Audi A6 Allroad 4-door wagon
- 2021-22 Audi A7 4-door hatchback
These cars are classified as the safest in the midsize luxury car, large luxury car, midsize luxury SUV, and large SUV categories. Audi’s safety is attributed to its passive and active safety features.
With the integration of a pre-sense city and front safety system that optimizes the use of front cameras to alert drivers of possible dangers, brake interventions, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, adaptive cruise control, and top view camera system, Audi has always proven that it takes the safety of its users seriously.
Why Are Audis Still Not So reliable?
Here are a few reasons why Audis are not so reliable.
1. High Repair and Maintenance Cost
Audi has an average annual maintenance cost as high as $987. This also includes the fact that you will spend so much if you are using an Audi V8 engine or accumulate the high cost of replacing timing belts if you are driving a V6 engine from older models.
You might also have to deal with frequent spark plug replacement, vacuum pump changes, and the need to always look after your front suspension system.
2. Myriad of Problems
Audi cars have many problems. Across different years and models, Audi has an unending history of problematic cars. These problems vary from electrical issues, tail lamps, and fuel pumps to brake malfunctions and engine misfires.
Everyone I know that has owned and driven an Audi always complains about the excessive problems that come with them.
3. Expensive Parts
Audi parts are unnecessarily expensive. We believe the reason why Audi cars are expensive is that they are relatively scarce and considered luxury cars.
When your warranty expires, you will spend more than normal and always have to visit your dealer for repairs and maintenance.
The cost of these parts might vary according to your location, but Audi parts are not as cheap as you expect.
Audi Reliability: Pros
- Great engines and performance
Audi Reliability: Cons
- Numerous Problems
- Expensive Parts
- Most Models and Years are unreliable
- Heavy parts that wear easily
7 Common Audi Problems
- Failing timing belts
- Malfunctioning transmission
- Wear and tear
- Electrical failure
- Exhaust system malfunction
- Oil leaks
- Ignition and spark plug failure
- Engine misfires
- Brake failure
Audis are not the best choice for you if you need a reliable car that will last up to seven years with little or no maintenance, even after constant and extreme use.
Audis are a great choice for drivers who consider them their style car or are passionate about driving them. Whichever case that may be, we strongly advise against purchasing a fairly used one.
They might appear cheap and affordable, but they are largely unreliable, and you will have more problems to deal with.
Audis are not pieces of trash as most people feel they are. You must prepare your mind to develop an intense and regular maintenance culture, especially when they are above 70k miles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Audi expensive to maintain?
Yes, Audis are expensive to maintain. The average annual cost of repairing an Audi is $987, which is relatively higher than the $652 cost for repairing other brands.
How long will an Audi last?
An Audi can last up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles, and some may even last over 200,000 miles. However, this depends greatly on proper maintenance and driving conditions.
How often do Audis need oil changes?
Audis need oil and filter changes every 10,000 miles or 12 months. However, it is important that you always check your manual to know the exact time for the oil change and, by doing so, prevent future engine damage.