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Cars & travel.

Updated: 13 Jan 2022

Should I buy an Audi?

Audi is a major prestige car brand synonymous with quality and innovation. Read on to find out whether you should consider buying an Audi car.
Oliver Trebilcock

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 – from the Audi A1 small hatchback, right up to the Audi Q7 full-size 4x4 and its sporty sibling, the SQ7, and the innovative diesel hybrid, the Q7 e-Tron. In between are big sellers, such as the A3 and larger A4.

To some extent, Audis can be regarded as expensive Volkswagens, since they share much of VW's engineering and underpinnings. But Audi does boast plenty of its own specific innovative technology and superior materials, especially inside the cabin.

Every year, we survey thousands of car owners so we can reveal the most reliable car brands. Keep reading to find out if you can trust Audi cars. 

Every car we review is subjected to hundreds of tests in our lab and on the road. Find out how Audi cars performed - see our expert, independent Audi car reviews.

Audi A3

Audi a3 2012 slide

Audi A4

Audi a4 2015 slide

How reliable are Audi cars?

Audi cars are reliable - or so the company's reputation would have you believe. But does the reality live up to the expectation?

Every year, we run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Audi owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to four years old, and also used cars aged between five and nine years old, and old cars aged 10-15 years. 

To see how reliable Audi cars are, head over to our most reliable car brands page.

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 Audi A1, costs over £15,000, while its popular Audi A3 starts at more than £20,000. Right at the top end, the Audi R8 sports car is priced at up to £150,000. 

It's often the desirable optional extras that really push Audi prices up - just ticking a few boxes will see your bank balance 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.

Audi and dieselgate

The sharing of engines with VW means that Audi has been affected by the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Certain diesel-powered Audis built between 2009 and 2015 may be more polluting than official figures suggest and may be subject to recall. 

Read our guide to air pollution and car emissions to find out which cars are the most polluting in our tough tests.

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 Audi A4 saloon and Audi A4 Avant estate are perhaps the true heartland of Audi, with the Audi A6 (including the A6 Avant) and Audi A8 offering cutting-edge luxury. 

Audi has traditionally been strong with 4x4, which it calls ‘quattro’. Audi's range of 4x4 SUVs - comprising the Audi Q2, Audi Q3 (pictured above), Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 - is also exceptionally broad.

It's even got a couple of sports cars, the Audi TT and R8, as well as ‘RS’ branded performance models like the RS3, RS4 and RS6.

Like VW, Audi is pursuing hybrid power (which it calls ‘e-tron’), including the A3 e-tron and Audi Q7 e-tron.

Now you know a bit more about Audi, find out whether its cars are right for you. Take a look at all of our Audi car reviews.