Since the popularity of Quattro all-wheel-drive in the 1980s, Audi has embossed its name at the top of the sales charts and has been on every enthusiast’s wall in the 2000s. Though it’s a luxury car brand and new vehicles are quite expensive to start with, but the used market offers a great variety of exciting cars that can be a good choice for new buyers.
Stay tuned, I will talk about 3 models that can be your best Audis for first car.
To save yourself from the trouble of repairs and recalls, keep reading till the end to know about 2 Audi models to avoid in particular.
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Is Audi Good for First Time Car?
Audi is known for its sporty styling and captivating interiors that we usually see in Hollywood movies. It is a premium luxury car manufacturer with high prices and costly maintenance, so an Audi is not a good option for first car.
Audi has a legacy of 100 years, but it only rose to fame after the Volkswagen Group acquired the company and changed everything about it. Although it gained popularity through victories in sports competitions like Le Mans and DTM racing, the Audi models after the early 2000s offered reliability, luxury and value for money to its mainstream consumers.
A person’s first car should always be economical in all aspects, from buying to daily running to routine maintenance and repairs. Considering these points and the reputation of the brand, Audi is a suitable choice for the first car only as a second-hand vehicle because brand-new models are very costly to purchase and repair. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of having an Audi as your first car;
- Audi cars have a high build quality.
- Even some recent year models are economical to buy.
- Audi offers an interactive and comfortable driving experience.
- As the parts are shared with VW and other brands, repairs are comparatively less expensive, roughly $ 800.
- New Audis are expensive to purchase and maintain, average $250 every 10,000 miles.
- Getting insurance for an Audi can be very costly, $2000.
- Audi never offered a range of conventional Hybrid vehicles.
- Some model lines had continuous manufacturing faults over the years, such as airbag failure.
New Audis are expensive to buy and insure, and luxury vehicles do not make sense for a first car purchase. But with proper financial planning and thoroughly exploring the market, a used Audi can be an advisable option for first car.
Some used Audi cars are relatively economical to buy, even the recent year models. A well-equipped model with fewer miles and immaculate condition can be easily bought in the budget of $10,000. Let’s talk about the best Audi models which are great for first car.
Also read: 3 Best BMWs for First Car (+Models to Avoid)
1. 2008 Audi A3
Audi A3 was launched as an entry-level compact sedan to target younger buyers and was an instant hit in the market. It is still loved because of its exterior styling and interior design. A3 is offered in multiple trims with upgraded specs and is one of the most well-equipped cars with the latest features.
- A3 premium
- A3 premium plus
- A3 prestige
Both the diesel and gasoline engine options are available in three body styles – sedan, hatchback, and Sportback.
Audi A3 offered with a 1.6 TDI diesel engine is an optimal choice for first car as it is loaded with all the upgraded features and safety equipment. The engine produces optimal power to offer an exciting driving experience and has no major mechanical issues. It is economical as a daily runner, practical for routine use, and cheaper to maintain as well. A3 makes a great case for first car because the recent year models with least reliability issues. Here are some of the important points and features that make A3 a great choice;
Price: $5,500 – $6,500
Fuel consumption: Combined: 55 miles/gallon
Co2 Emissions: 35 g/km
Insurance: Full coverage: $1,080 per annum
Maintenance and Repairs
The yearly maintenance and repair costs: $700 – $800
Fuel costs: $ 1,000 – 1,100
Safety and Reliability
The car has plenty of active and passive safety features, including an aluminum carbon chassis. The safety options include ABS with EBD and brake assist, Electronic stability control, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, 6 airbags and active-driver assistance technology.
IIHS and NHTSA: 5 Stars
Edmunds reliability: 4/5
2. 2009 Audi A5
The second on our list is the Audi A5 which is one of the most popular and loved Audis. Launched in 2007, the beautiful headlamps and stylish design won over the enthusiasts quickly. A5 truly stood out in the crowd and won many awards over the years.
A5 introduced new tech in the market with its launch and was admired because of its ultimate performance, ergonomic interior, and safety technology. The German quality spoke for itself, and enhanced driver assistance and ambient technology became the selling point for Audi A5. It makes the list because it is still a recent model, has no major reliability issues or recalls. A5 is a great choice for the first Audi and is comparatively economical to purchase and maintain as compared to its competitors.
- A5 Premium
- A5 Premium Plus
- A5 Prestige
- RS 5
A5 was offered in three body styles, Coupe, Sportback, and convertible with two engine options, gasoline and diesel.
The 2009 Audi A5 is an optimal choice for first car as it comes with a turbocharged, 174 horsepower 1.8 L engine, and an S Tronic transmission. It has enough power to make the first car experience memorable, with the latest safety and assistance technology to keep the new driver safe. It is quite practical for daily use and routine maintenance is not much of a hassle.
Price: $6,500 – $7,500
Fuel consumption: Combined: 34 miles/gallon
Co2 Emissions: 155 g/km
Insurance: Full coverage: $ 1,300 per annum
Maintenance and Repairs: Annual maintenance and repair costs: ~$650 – 850
Fuel expenditure: $1,200 – 1,300
Safety and Reliability
Audi A5 is one of the safest vehicles with all the latest technology and features. The chassis is made up of carbon and aluminum that offers a rigid cabin structure and protection to the occupants, in case of an accident. All the trims have active and passive safety features as standard, which includes ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle stability control, multiple crumple zones, 8 airbags, and smart driver assistance technology. A5 is also one of the most reliable Audis with the least reported issues and requires only scheduled maintenance.
IIHS and NHTSA safety rating: 5 Stars
Edmund’s reliability score: 4.5/5 stars
3- 2007 Audi A4
Since its launch, Audi A4 has been the ambassador and breadwinner of the company. It changed the perception of the people about Audi with its brave styling, new technology, and luxurious drive. A truly remarkable vehicle that transformed the structure of Audi and brought it to the top.
A4 is a practical and luxurious car that offers German pleasure at less price. It is a very reliable car with multiple trims and engine options, advanced technology, and a highly interactive driving experience. Its parts and maintenance are comparatively economical as compared to other luxury brands. It is third on the list because a few model lines had technical issues and frequent recalls.
- A4 Premium
- A4 Premium Plus
- A4 Prestige
- RS 4
Both the gasoline and diesel engines are available and offered in 3 body styles, sedan, coupe, and convertible.
Naturally, the A4 would be the first choice among the Audi lineup, but the A3 is the most sensible option. The main reason is the value it carries and the technology it offers at the price point. The daily running costs and insurance are also not much expensive and easily manageable for a new driver.
Price: $6,500 – $7,500
Fuel Consumption: Combined: 36 miles/gallon
Co2 Emissions: 150 g/km
Insurance: Full coverage: $1000 – $1,100 annually
Maintenance and Repair Costs: Annual maintenance and repairs: $700
Yearly fuel expenditure: ~ $1,100
Safety and Reliability
Audi A4 also has the same chassis made of aluminum and carbon for structural rigidity. The vehicle comes standard with ABS EBD and Brake Assist, Electronic stability control, 6 Airbags, lane departure and blind-spot alert, and active driver assistance features.
IIHS and NHTSA: 5 Stars
Edmund’s Reliability score: 3.5/5 stars
Which Audi Models Should You Avoid for First Car?
The two Audi models to avoid for first car are Audi A6 and Audi A4 (2009-2011). Audi A6 has many mechanical faults and Audi A4 is known for its excessive oil consumption.
The Audi A6 has a bad history of various mechanical and technical faults, that have been the subject of multiple recalls over the years. Though it is a very stylish and luxurious sedan with the potential to beat its German competitors, but the manufacturing faults have tainted its reputation and likewise, the sales.
You must be surprised to see the Audi A4 here, but there is no need to panic. As I’ve talked about the features and ownership experience of the A4 previously, it is just the model years between 2009 and 2011 that I want you to avoid at all costs. These model years had a known issue of excessive oil consumption and mechanical problems. Later models were much improved and offered a better value.
- The electronic cooling pump failure due to debris collection.
- Oil leakage due to faulty oil pumps and Excessive oil consumption.
- Faulty airbag assembly leading to failure in deployment in case of an impact.
- Engine problems, such as timing belt wear and piston failure.
Much of these issues occur around the 50,000-mile mark and can be costly to repair.
Pro-Tip: Try fitting Volkswagen parts if OEM are costly 😉