BMW vs Audi: (Head-to-Head Depreciation)

BMW and Audi are both German automotive manufacturers of luxury vehicles. Audi is actually a subsidiary of the famous Volkswagen Group. BMW and Audi are among the best-selling luxury car brands in the world, and their combined production is more than 3 million vehicles per year.

Depreciation is probably the main concern of people who want to buy a new or used luxury car. Therefore, it would be interesting to compare BMW vs Audi depreciation.

In this article, you will get to know the resale value comparison of both car brands along with some tips to reduce your car’s depreciation.

BMW vs. Audi- a General Resale Value Comparison

Audi performs better than BMW when it comes to value retention. Audi cars depreciate at a relatively slower rate, especially during the second half of their vehicle’s life.

On average BMW cars depreciate 54 percent after five years of operation whereas cars from Audi only depreciate 50 percent after the same time. Audi beats BMW by a slight margin and its cars have a better resale value after 3,5, and 7 years of use.

The average depreciation of BMW and Audi car brands can be seen in the below table.

Vehicle AgeBMW DepreciationAudi Depreciation

The below graph shows the BMW vs Audi year-to-year average depreciation. As it can be seen that throughout the vehicle’s lifespan the orange line representing Audi remains above the blue line representing BMW. The difference is very small during the initial years but it gets larger as the vehicle gets older.

Now let’s compare some popular BMW and Audi car models side by side and see which one outperforms the other.

Also read: Are Audis Expensive to Maintain? Here are the Facts

BMW 1 Series vs. Audi A3

BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 have a similar depreciation rate for most of the years. It is only during the last three years when BMW 1 Series takes the lead.

Both models belong to the category of subcompact executive car or C-segment. The difference between their residual value remains less than 3 percent during the first seven years. But BMW 1 Series outperforms the Audi A3 during the last three years and see a total depreciation of only 6 percent during that time.

Vehicle AgeBMW 1 Series DepreciationBMW 1 Series Residual ValueAudi A3 DepreciationAudi A3
Residual Value

The initial selling price of the BMW 1 Series is $49,857 and it retains 49 percent of its value after five years. Whereas the initial selling price of the Audi A3 is $41,500 and it retains 51 percent of the value after five years.

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

BMW 3 Series vs. Audi A4

Audi A4 performs slightly better than the BMW 3 Series and holds its value well for most of the years. The ninth year is the only exception when BMW 3 Series depreciates at a slower rate than Audi A4.

Both car models fall under the category of compact executive cars and come with various body styles and engine options. BMW 3 Series is the best-selling car of BMW and it has been in production since 1975.

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Whereas the Audi A4 is a popular choice among used luxury cars and its huge demand is the main reason behind its incredible value retention.

Vehicle AgeBMW 3 Series DepreciationBMW 3 Series Residual ValueAudi A4 DepreciationAudi A4
Residual Value

After five years of operation, BMW 3 Series depreciates 55 percent and Audi A4 depreciates 51 percent after the same time. The initial selling price of the BMW 3 Series is $42,838 and the Audi A4 is also very close and comes with a price tag of $42,315.

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

Also read: 4 Reasons why Audi A4 are so Cheap

BMW 5 Series vs. Audi A5

Audi A5 has a better resale value than the BMW 5 Series. During the entire lifespan, BMW 5 Series depreciates quicker than the Audi A5.

Both car models are the main competitors in the executive car segment and have a sitting capacity of five people. BMW 5 Series is a bit more expensive than the Audi A5 and this high starting price is one of the reasons behind its poor value retention.

Vehicle AgeBMW 5 Series DepreciationBMW 5 Series Residual ValueAudi A5 DepreciationAudi A5
Residual Value

The initial selling price of the BMW 5 Series is $58,380 and it only holds 43 percent of its value after five years. Whereas the initial selling price of the Audi A5 is $47,327 and it holds an impressive 51 percent of its value after five years.

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

BMW X5 vs. Audi Q5

Audi Q5 is a clear winner in this comparison and it holds its value way better than the BMW X5.

Both of these car models are luxury crossover SUVs and the X5 was the BMW’s first SUV. The Audi Q5 starts very strong and only depreciates 17 percent in the first year. Whereas BMW X5 loses 24 percent of the value after just one year of its operation.

BMW X5 is also very expensive and has an initial selling price of $83,500. On the other hand, Audi Q5 only costs $48,533 and depreciates at a much slower rate than the X5.

Vehicle AgeBMW X5 DepreciationBMW X5 Residual ValueAudi Q5 DepreciationAudi Q5
Residual Value

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

Also read: Porsche Depreciation: 6 Models Compared

BMW X3 vs Audi Q3

During the few years, BMW X3 has a slower depreciation rate than Audi Q3. After the fourth year, the Q3 holds its value better than the X3 and maintains it for the rest of the lifespan.

Both car models are five-door crossover SUVs with a sitting capacity of five people. The all-electric version of BMW X3 is also available in the market but here I am only considering the IC engine variants.

BMW X3 and Audi Q3 have similar depreciation rates during the first four years. But for the rest of the years, the X3 fails to maintain its value and depreciates more quickly than the Q3.

Vehicle AgeBMW X3 DepreciationBMW X3 Residual ValueAudi Q3 DepreciationAudi Q3
Residual Value

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

BMW X7 vs Audi Q7

In terms of value retention, the BMW X7 easily outperforms the Audi Q7. During the entire lifespan, the X7 has a better resale value than the Q7.

Audi Q7 has an initial selling price of $69,598 and depreciates around 60 percent after five years. Whereas BMW X7 is very expensive and has a price tag of $91,680. It only depreciates 46 percent after years 5 years of operation which is quite remarkable for a luxury car in this segment.

Vehicle AgeBMW X7 DepreciationBMW X7 Residual ValueAudi Q7 DepreciationAudi Q7
Residual Value

The below graph compares the residual value of both car models against their age.

Do Audis and BMWs Hold Their Value Well Compared to Other Car Brands?

Audi holds its value well when compared with other luxury car brands. Whereas BMW performs pretty average in this comparison.

Audi ranks among the top five luxury brands with the best resale after 3, 5, and 7 years. BMW comes at the number nine in that list. The main reason behind this average performance of BMW is the high maintenance and repair costs of its vehicles.

How to Slow Down Your Audi and BMW Depreciation?

You can slow down the depreciation of your Audi and BMW by following the below-mentioned tips:

  • If you don’t want to keep your vehicle for a long time then never buy a brand-new Audi or BMW because they depreciate the most during the initial years.
  • Always maintain your vehicle in excellent condition and don’t forget to have service at the recommended intervals.
  • While purchasing a used BMW or Audi look for the one with the least mileage on the meter because the more mileage the car has the less it is worth.
  • Keep track of the car’s whole maintenance history because it’s a great method to reassure your buyer that it’s been well looked after.

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