Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability

Audis and Volkswagen are not as popular as Toyota and Honda cars, but there are a lot of reasons that will them great automakers.

With inexpensive price of Volkswagen cars, the well-crafted interiors of Audis, and the Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, these German car brands are admirable in several ways.

Irrespective of the strengths and weaknesses of both brands, one question remains unanswered: Which is more reliable, Audi or Volkswagen?

Volkswagen is more reliable than Audi. With Volkswagen, you get cheaper repair and maintenance costs, better gas mileage, and better vehicles in the SUV segment (Midsize, and compact SUVs) and the electrified and hybrid segment.

Audi is a luxury brand. So they offer more luxury, advanced engine power, and speed.

Here's all you need to know about the Audi vs Volkswagen reliability and how to decide which brand is.

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: A Detailed Comparison

Futuristic, traditional styling, dynamism.
Human-centered, digitalized, brand identity.
Gas Mileage 
Higher Safety Ratings
High Safety Ratings
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Engine and Performance
Audi cars have an average lifespan of 10 - 12 years, lasting up to 150,000 - 200,000 miles.
Volkswagen cars last between 100,000 to 200,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 7 - 13 years.

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Which is Better?

Audi is owned by Volkswagen. Both cars share a lot of parts, technology, and systems.  Purchasing an Audi is usually considered an act of 'stepping up', compared to Volkswagen. But are they worth the upgrade?

Regardless of how classy Audi cars appear compared to Volkswagen, we wouldn't advise you to swiftly jump on them just to get more features. Audi offers you more tech and better systems but this comes at a much higher cost.

According to RepairPal, Volkswagen has a reliability rating of 3.5/5.0, ranking 12th out of 32 car brands. Audi has a reliability rating of 3.0/5.0, ranking 28th out of 32 brands.

Volkswagen also beats the Audi brand on the 2022 JD Power Dependability survey. But, Audi performs better on the 2022 Consumer Reports survey, ranking 6th, while Volkswagen battles with the 22nd position.

Enough of the reliability ratings! You need more than just ratings to decide the reliability of a car brand. Their engineering principles and approach to design differentiate Audi and Volkwagen’s reliability of Audi.

Audi integrates complexity into its design, and this inflates the cost of maintenance and repairs, compared to Volkswagen. Warranty coverage is similar on both brands. You get a 4-year/50,000 miles basic and powertrain warranty coverage from Audi and Volkswagen.

However, Audi takes it a step further by offering a 12-year/unlimited miles corrosion warranty, compared to Volkswagen which offers a 7-year/100,000 miles corrosion warranty.

There are lots of advantages and disadvantages that impact the reliability of Audi and Volkswagen. For instance; most Volkswagens have better gas mileage than Audi vehicles. Yet, Audi records higher safety ratings than Volkswagen.

The model that you choose impacts the design reliability of each brand. Keep in mind that Audi is a luxury brand, so you're getting more luxury from Audi compared to Volkswagen.

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Design

Designs are one of the major factors to consider when comparing the reliability of different car brands.

Even though Audi is a subdivision of Volkswagen, both brands employ different design philosophies. This impacts their engineering principles and deliveries.

Volkswagen adopted a new design philosophy that embodies the following values: human-centered, inviting, transparent, responsible, and authentic.

The goal is to transform the brand from just an automaker to one that provides modern mobility services. They integrate smart technology to make things easier and more enjoyable for users.

To achieve this, the Volkswagen design adopts a people-first approach. Their new attitude lays more emphasis on brand differentiation, to build an identity that users can't ignore.

On the other hand, for Audi, design is always about aesthetic Intelligence. They use of innovative technology and progressive design.

Aside from the sophistication and sleek designs that Audi designs to offer, the cargo volume, headroom, and legroom achievable on both brands depend on the model that you select.

The build quality, beauty, and practicality of these brands also vary in their respective models. You'll need a little research to decide which brand offers vehicles that align with your needs.

It is important to mention that Audi usually gets technology faster than Volkswagen. For instance: the 2022 Audi Q3 comes with a standard Quattro AWD. The Volkswagen Tiguan has an optional 4Motion AWD system.

Winner: Both

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Engine and Performance

Whether you choose an Audi or a Volkswagen, you can count on high-performance engines that delivers impressive power and acceleration.

While Audi vehicles make use of the Quattro AWD system, Volkswagen uses the 4 Motion AWD system. Both systems ensure that there is great power delivery across all wheels. This improves traction and enhances the driving experience even in poor road conditions.

In a close comparison between Audi and Volkswagen engines, Audi has more powerful engines than Volkswagen, with enhanced performance, but Volkswagen takes the win with gas mileage.

For instance, the 2022 Audi A3 2022 boasts 201 hp while the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta has only 158hp.

Consider the Volkswagen Tiguan vs Audi Q3 engine. The 2022 Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Tiguan record 184hp, but Audi provides an optional engine that delivers 228hp.

The 2022 Audi Q8 which is equipped with a 3.0L engine delivers 335 horsepower, while its Volkswagen counterpart, the Touareg is powered by a 4.0L V8 engine that delivers 280hp.

Winner: Audi

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Gas Mileage

There's no denying that both Audi and Volkswagen offer relatively fuel-efficient vehicles. However, Volkswagen tends to do it better.

With more Volkswagen vehicles boasting better gas mileage, Volkswagen has an advantage over Audi. For instance, with the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta and Audi A3, you get better gas mileage on the Volkswagen than on Audi.

The 2022 Volkswagen Jetta boasts 29/43 MPG for city and highway, while Audi A3 returns 29/38 MPG. This is a similar case with the 2022 Volkswagen Passat and 2022 Audi A4. The Passat boasts of a fuel economy of 24/36 mpg, while Audi A4 returns 26/34 mpg.

The differences between the gas mileage of these brands might not be huge, but it is noticeable, enough to help you make decisions.

Winner: Volkswagen

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Safety and Technology

It's a clear win for Audi in terms of safety. This doesn't imply that Volkswagen vehicles are not safe.

Six Volkswagen vehicles earn the IIHS Top safety pick (+) award while Audi has up to 21 vehicles with the IIHS award. Audi uses a Pre Sense safety system to ensure passenger protection and guarantee peace of mind.

Here's a list of some of the safety features available on an Audi;

  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Active Lane Assist
  • Turn Assist and Collision
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Night Vision Assistant
  • Vehicle Exit Assist

Winner: Audi

Audi vs Volkswagen Reliability: Repair and Maintenance Costs

If there's one major area in which Volkswagen has a huge advantage over Audi, it is repair and maintenance costs. The complexities of Audi systems not only make them expensive to fix but also hard to do so.

For instance, you'll likely spend up to $1700 (depending on your region), to fix the alternator of your Audi car. But this will cost a meager $200 to do the same on Volkswagen. According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for a Volkswagen is $676, while the average annual repair cost for an Audi is $987.

The beauty of Volkswagen cars is that anyone with a little engineering and mechanic experience can help you replace parts. On the other hand, Audi requires the guidance of an expert.

Winner: Volkswagen


It shouldn't come as a surprise that Volkswagen is more reliable than Audi.

Both Audi and Volkswagen offer high-performance engines. Qhile Audi takes the win with engine power and speed, Volkswagen is a better option for its fuel-efficient systems.

Audi has more reliable safety systems, but Volkswagen leads with cheaper repair and maintenance costs. This sums up to a cheaper overall cost of ownership.

The truth is, t Volkswagen's design is structured to make it a budget-friendly option. But, there's nothing wrong with upgrading to an Audi. This is especially true if you can foot the bills of repairs and maintenance, and deal with the complexities that follow.

Ultimately, the choice between these two brands will depend on individual preferences, and if you're willing to pay the extra price of luxury.