Audi is a German auto manufacturer responsible for many good luxury vehicles. In addition to having posh interiors, these cars also exhibit great performance for daily driving. Some would even argue that its popular supercar, the Audi R8, is a better vehicle overall than a Lamborghini Gallardo. Audi vehicles are also known for being very dependable and safe.
However, despite the automaker’s glowing reputation, some of its models may be prone to annoying and expensive problems. How do you know which car is better? Here are some things to keep in mind as well as a few good Audi models you can buy.
Look for the best powertrains
While turbocharged motors can be tempting for thrill-seekers, it’s best to stick with a naturally aspirated engine. Audi cars with a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter turbo have been known to develop issues, such as abnormally high oil consumption. A4 models from 2009-2011 are famous for this problem, which cost some owners up to $6,000 to fix.
It’s also important to find an Audi with the most reliable transmission. Audi vehicles with manual transmissions have the least complaints among consumers. Automatic transmissions can also last for a long time, but you may want to steer clear of dual-clutch transmissions. They can develop issues around 12,500 miles and sometimes need to be replaced entirely.
The Audi Quattro
The original Quattro from the ’80s is one of the most reliable Audi vehicles ever produced. It was one of the first cars of its time to include all-wheel drive, but it wasn’t known for being particularly fast. The original engine was a 2.0-liter five-cylinder capable of 160 hp, paired with a five-speed manual transmission.
However, because the Audi Quattro is considered more valuable among collectors, it may cost more than a typical ’80s or ’90s car. Depending on its condition, an Audi Quattro coupe can sell for over $20,000. One turbo version of the Quattro even sold for $96,000 at an auction, according to MotorTrend.
The Audi RS6
This model is a hotrodded version of the popular A6 sedan. It’s still going strong today, and a new version is on the way for 2021. Its engine can produce up to 590 hp, and it can reach 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
However, the version from 2003 is so popular because it was the first model to become widely available in the United States. It comes with a 450 hp-engine as well as all-wheel drive. They’re also very affordable on the used market, usually retailing for around $13,000.
The R8 supercar
The R8 was the first supercar developed by Audi, released in 2003. This version has a 420-hp engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and a unique front-to-rear torque distribution feature. The R-tronic dual-clutch transmission is optional equipment, but it’s prone to slow shifting.
The Audi R8’s appearance was slightly changed for the 2020 model year. Its engine is definitely more powerful than it was in 2003, now making upwards of 560 hp. The newer car can also come with Virtual Cockpit, a virtual gauge cluster system that replaces the physical meters.
The Audi A4
The Audi A4 has been around since the late ’90s, and it’s still one of the best luxury sedans on the market. Even in its early years, the A4 has never had an issue with dependability. Even the models from 2020 have a perfect predicted reliability rating, according to Consumer Reports.
A newer Audi will net you all the latest gadgets like smartphone integration, available Virtual Cockpit, and wireless charging. However, you can find one from 2003 for a drastically lower price with the same top-notch driving performance.