Only 1 New Audi Model Is Reliable, According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

Consumer Reports (CR) takes predicted reliability scores seriously when they recommend (or don’t recommend) a vehicle. Each year the publication gathers data from various owners to determine if a car or brand is worth putting their stamp of approval on. This year, a few brands stood out in CR’s analysis report, and one of them is Audi. While this automaker isn’t particularly known for reliability, the A5 proved to be the most reliable Audi model.

So how exactly does CR come up with the scores, and what makes the A5 special?

The rear quarter panel of an Audi A5, the A5 is among MotorTrend's picks for the best luxury compact fastbacks
Audi A5 | Audi

How CR ranks vehicles when it comes to reliability

Every year Consumer Reports sends out a survey to various vehicle owners to find out what their experiences have been for the previous 12 months with the cars they drove during that time. The publication looks for problems in specific trouble areas for repairs. 

CR collects data on 17 trouble spots, which include engine, transmission, and in-car electronics, to name just a few. Information is gathered for each vehicle, and once those scores are determined, Consumer Reports will rank each brand based on the individual scores of the models in its lineups. 

In some cases, like Audi, brands rank high in reliability due to one vehicle scoring high. The rest of the models, which include the Q5, Q3, and Q7, were rated relatively low. What made the A5 special enough to boost the brand’s reliability score?

The most reliable Audi model still has a few issues

Audi’s A5 model received an almost perfect score when it comes to reliability. The 2021 A5 had very few problems reported by current vehicle owners. Out of the 17 areas CR looks into, only one received complaints, which is with the in-car electronics, which makes sense due to one of the vehicle’s recalls. 

The report pertains to a blank display screen when backing up with this model, limiting the driver’s view of what’s happening behind them. Another recall deals with a misaligned rear axle that could cause premature tire wear, while another was with a broken lock nut, which could cause the rear axle to misalign. 

There’s also a recall on an unsecured child restraint system that could cause injury in a crash and pertains to the missing anti-abrasion protection on a set of wires controlling the rear doors. 

What does the Audi A5 offer?

According to U.S. News, this model has a few different powertrains to choose from, but all will come with AWD and plenty of luxurious amenities. Powertrain options differ with some of the versions, though.

First, a turbocharged four-cylinder produces 201hp and comes standard with the base model. You can also opt for a 261 hp unit in the Sportback version, but it comes standard with the Coupe and Convertible body. 

The model comes with several different trims, which include Premium and Prestige versions. However, the lineup also includes Coupe, Cabriolet, and Sportback body configurations. Then there are the S5 and the RS5 models as well. The S5 has a turbocharged V6 engine that generates 349 hp, while the RS5 gets a twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 444 hp. 

As for acceleration time, you can expect to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4, up to 4.7 seconds with the S5. If you choose the RS5, those times will be faster, getting you a 3.7 or 3.8 second time. Fuel economy ranges from 31 mpg to 34 mpg on the highway for the four-cylinder engine. The V6 ranges from 25 mpg to 30 mpg on the highway, depending on your chosen model. 

While Audi doesn’t have great reliability scores overall, one model in the lineup is exceptional in this area. Because of the A5, the brand rose to the 6th position on CR’s list of the most reliable automakers. However, we’re not all that surprised since most owners seem satisfied with it. 

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