Sedans & Coupes

Awful Depreciation Means the Audi A6 Is an Ownership Nightmare

Buying a luxury sedan is almost always a recipe for massive losses to depreciation. However, the Audi A6 takes the cake as one of the fastest depreciating vehicles sold in the U.S. A new study by iSeeCars found that three-year-old Audi A6’s on average lost 55.8 percent of their original value, easily turning a nicely optioned $63,000 luxury sedan into a $28,000 bargain.

The Audi A6 loses 55.8 percent of its value in the first three years

A photo of the Audi A6 outdoors.
Audi A6 | Audi

A brand-new Audi A6 Premium has a base price of $54,900. A mid-tier Premium Plus starts at $58,800, while a range-topping Prestige starts at $69,500. If the standard A6 isn’t fast enough for you, the 444-hp S6 is available for $74,400.

As a luxury sedan, the A6 is a compelling option, featuring excellent aesthetics, interior tech, and powerful engine options. Despite this, CarSalesBase reports that Audi managed to sell just 17,807 A6’s and S6’s in 2019 or less than half than a comparable Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5-Series.

If you were one of the few buyers that decided to purchase a brand-new Audi A6, you’re in for a rough time. iSeeCars’ study found that three-year-old Audi A6’s lost about 55.8 percent of their value. Additionally, the average sale price of a three-year-old A6 is just under $28,000. If you account for the 55.8 percent loss, the original price had to be around $63,000, resulting in a loss of over $35,000. If you buy the range-topping S6, your loss could be as severe as $41,515 in the first three years.

Why does the A6 lose so much value?

A photo of the Audi A6 outdoors.
Audi A6 | Audi

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As you’d expect, there is a couple of major factor as to why these Audi A6’s are depreciating so rapidly. For starters, iSeeCars claims that most luxury sedans are leased rather than purchased. As a result, when the lease period ends, there is an influx of vehicles into the used market. This oversupply in term lowers the overall value. Additionally, the demand for sedans has reduced drastically, leaving fewer buyers interested in purchasing a three-year-old luxury sedan. That’s also reflected in iSeeCars’ list, where almost all the worst depreciating models are sedans.

A second contributing factor could have to do with expensive maintenance and repair costs. According to Edmunds, a 2018 Audi A6 has some significant upkeep costs over a period of five years. For starters, Edmunds estimates that you’ll pay around $8,340 over a span of five years, just maintaining your A6. Keep in mind. This doesn’t include repairs, just general maintenance. In terms of repairs, Edmunds estimates that you’ll pay around $5,521 over a period of five years. If you add those costs onto the already massive depreciation loss, the Audi A6 is unbelievably expensive to own.

The Audi A4 isn’t much better

2019 Audi A4 | Audi

If you think you’ll save yourself by avoiding the Audi A6, you’re wrong. That’s because the smaller and cheaper Audi A4 isn’t much better. According to iSeeCars, the A4, on average, loses about 51 perfect of its value after the first three years. The average price for a three-year-old A4 is around $22,413, representing a $23,292 loss on a decently equipped $55,000 car. As you’d expect, the reasons for this are quite similar to those in the A6, given that most buyers lease the A4 rather than outright purchasing it.

This leads us perfectly to the best way to own either of these Audis. If you have your heart set on either the A6 or the A4, you’ll want to lease them. That’s because even a high monthly lease payment won’t account for the potential losses you’ll encounter if you decide to purchase brand-new.