Five Reasons Why Not to Buy an Audi

Top 5 Reasons For Not Buying an Audi

Audi is a brand that many enthusiasts crave, and there are multiple reasons for that. From the simple yet elegant exterior design to some of the best cabins in the business, there’s no denying that Audis can be tempting. Still, since its vehicles come with advanced powertrain options and numerous hi-tech features, you might need to spend some time reading the Audi owner’s manual even before putting in the first miles.

Of course, just like with any car brand, Audi is not for everyone. The automotive landscape is very diverse, with many premium brands also bringing their A-game. For instance, Lexus brings first-class reliability and craftsmanship into the pool, while Mercedes-Benz is all about lavish interiors and cutting-edge technology. Oh, and let’s not forget about the driver-focused BMWs, always providing the utmost in driving experience.

So, where does Audi stand in the premium automotive spectrum and why would anyone decide to go for something else? Well, to answer that question, we’ll focus on the 5 reasons that should make you think twice before buying one since the brand is already praised on numerous occasions. Everybody already knows what Audi does well but what about the drawbacks? 

Let’s dig in!

1. A “Premium” Volkswagen

Now, sure, car enthusiasts are probably well-versed in the matter, but “normal” people probably don’t know that Audis are basically just pumped-up VWs. Notably, they use the same platforms, so the A3 is the same car as the Golf underneath, while the A4 is similar to the Passat. 

So, what makes an Audi more premium than a VW? Well, for starters, you’ll get higher-quality materials inside, better sound insulation, and probably a more sophisticated suspension. The thing is, VWs are so good nowadays that you probably won’t notice the difference that much anyway.

Let’s take the Golf and A3 as an example. They both offer similar interior space, have the same engines, and provide a comparable driving experience. Sure, the A3 will be a tad quieter, but it’s not like the Golf was noisy in the first place. It’s actually a “splitting-hair” matter. Hence, if you don’t care about showing off, a Golf is undeniably a more reasonable option. 

Sure, some Audi vehicles sit on their own platforms, such as the A6, A7 and A8, and the sweet R8 supercar. However, Mercedes-Benz and BMW don’t share their platforms with value brands — definitely an advantage.

2. Fuel Consumption

For those old enough to have witnessed Audi’s incredible success in rally races back in the 80s, the significance of the Quattro system can’t be overemphasized. But while the Quattro system is a huge selling point, it also has its disadvantages. 

Now, sure, you can have an Audi with a front-wheel-drive powertrain, but this is a premium vehicle, and rear-wheel drive should be the bare minimum. The reason is driving dynamics and steering feel — RWD cars are simply better in that regard. And when you buy a premium car, you buy it (partly) for the driving experience.

Hence, Audi offers the Quattro system as an excellent workaround. Granted, the system is outstanding, providing the driver with exceptional cornering grip and high-speed stability. 

However, the Quattro system weighs significantly more than FWD or RWD powertrains, having a detrimental effect on efficiency. Put differently — the engine will burn a lot more fuel to pull that extra weight. Not to mention that more things can go wrong in an AWD vehicle, although an Audi repair manual can help you diagnose the issues earlier.

In all cases, if you decide to buy an Audi, I would strongly suggest you get your hands on a decent Audi repair manual like those sold by eManualOnline. They are quite inexpensive and will save you a ton in maintenance fees in the long run.

3. Replacement Parts are Considerably More Expensive

Going to a certified Audi service point can make a massive dent in your budget, and even if you were to use an Audi repair manual online and decide to make some DIY repairs, the bill will remain still be higher than with most cars (although still much lower, though).

There is no getting around the fact that Audi spare parts are exorbitantly expensive. For instance, a water pump costs between $500 to $700 depending on the model, which is much costlier than non-premium brands. And remember, we are talking about similar parts to those you’ll find in a VW.

Besides, Audi vehicles aren’t exactly reliable. You’ll be changing parts much more often than in a Lexus, and high-cost repairs will also be more common.

4. Very Expensive Options

When peeking at an Audi’s owner’s manual, you might confuse it with one for a full-fledged passenger airplane—no joke!. But of course, there is a reason for that; Audi vehicles pack a lot of hi-tech features and electronic components.

However, your model probably won’t have most of them. You could select all of them sure, but it might cost you a small fortune. Put simply, Audi is notorious for charging outrageous amounts for optional equipment. The idea here is to have a low-priced model to attract customers into the dealership, and then Audi’s well-trained salesman will sell you over $10,000 worth of optional extras.

Let’s take the Audi A4 as an example. The sleek sedan starts at $39,100, which seems like a very attractive offer. However, once you start adding options, the price will quickly go north. 

For example, adding the Premium Plus package costs an additional $4,700 for 18-inch wheels (17-inch in the regular model), LED headlights with DRL signature, Audi’s virtual cockpit plus, adaptive cruise control, and top-view camera system. 

Meanwhile, the Prestige package adds matrix-design headlights with animation, head-up display, sat-nav, and a Bang & Olufsen® sound system. The highest-end model costs $5,600 more than the Premium Plus or $10,300 over the standard model—that’s not chump change.

And we are only talking about Audi’s compact executive sedan. The A6 and A8 are even bigger offenders, not to mention the Q7 and Q8 SUVs.

5. Below Average Reliability

Audis are among the least reliable vehicles, according to several reliability studies. 

This is echoed by the renowned J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, claiming that when it comes to ‘problems per 100 vehicles’, Audi arrived 22nd out of 24 manufacturers.

The analysis revealed that Audi has 167 problems per 100 vehicles, relatively higher compared to an industry average of 119.

Hence, if you plan on purchasing an Audi (we will never repeat it often enough), you might want to equip yourself with an Audi service manual. It will undoubtedly save you some money down the road.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to keep in mind that we didn’t want to knock down Audi with this article. Hell, despite the disadvantages, we’d still like an RS6 Avant in our garage. Nonetheless, it’s always good to know what you are getting into, especially with cars, since they aren’t exactly cheap.

After all, every other premium brand also has its issues; Lexus reworks some Toyota vehicles and sells them at a higher cost, BMWs have a myriad of engine reliability issues, and Mercedes-Benz cars are exorbitantly expensive when adding options.

Still, there is always a price to pay if you want to go premium, right?

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