Car brand reviews
Audi cars review
By Martin Pratt
Article 2 of 24
Audi has carved itself a very successful position as the premium brand in the VW Group portfolio. It's one of the 'big three' German prestige brands, competing with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Audi offers an enormous range of cars - everything from the A1 small hatchback right up to the Q7 full-size 4x4, with big sellers such as the VW Golf-based A3 and larger A4 in between.
To some extent, Audis can be regarded as expensive Volkswagens, since they share much of VW's engineering and underpinnings. But Audi does boast a lot of its own specific innovative technology and superior materials, especially inside the cabin.
However, the sharing of engines between the brands means certain diesel-powered Audis built between 2009 and 2015 may be more polluting than official figures suggest and could be recalled. Read our guide to car emissions to find out whether your car is among the worst offenders.
To see how all the Audi cars we've tested scored head straight to our Audi car reviews.
How much do Audi cars cost?
Audis are marketed as premium cars so it's no surprise to find that they are priced very much at the top end of the mainstream market. Even Audi's cheapest car, the A1, costs from around the £15,000 mark, while its popular A3 starts at more like £20,000. Right at the top end, the R8 sports car is priced at well over £130,000. However, it's often the desirable optional extras that really push Audi prices up - just ticking a few boxes will see your wallet become much lighter.
Audis tend to hold their value well, which can be good news for running costs as it means you lose less money over time. However, as with a new Audi, buying a second-hand one can be quite expensive.
Choosing the best Audi car
Most people choosing an Audi put quality high on their shopping list - and there's not a single model in the range where you'll feel short-changed in terms of fit, finish and quality of materials. Even the Audi A1 - essentially a posh Volkswagen Polo - has a great feel to it, while the A3 offers a similar aura of superiority in the VW Golf class.
It's in the larger car classes that Audi really shines, showing off its innovative technology and opulent fittings. The A4 saloon and A4 Avant estate are perhaps the true heartland of Audi, with the A6 and A8 offering cutting-edge luxury. Audi's range of 4x4s - comprising the Q2, Q3, Q5 and Q7 - is also exceptionally broad, and it's even got a couple of sports cars, the TT and R8, to boast about.