Why Are Audis So Expensive? And why I drive one


You can’t help it – you adore German engineering. That’s why you’ve saved up for an Audi of your very own. Once you start browsing car lots, you’re stunned at the prices of new Audis. They’re far outside of your price range. Why do Audis cost so much?

Audis are considered luxury vehicles, which partly explains their high price. The superior parts quality and high-tech features outfitted in new Audis also ratchets up the cost to own one of these vehicles new.

In this article, we’ll shed some light on the cost of new Audis and discuss further why these vehicles are so pricy. We’ll also talk about whether a used Audi is the way to go, so make sure you keep reading!

What Is the Average Price of a New Audi?

If you’ve got your eye on a new Audi, it’s going to cost you. According to Edmunds, here is the estimated pricing for the various 2022 Audi models.

  • RS 7: $114,500
  • R8: $145,000
  • A7: $81,000
  • TT: $51,000
  • Q8: $70,000

Kelley Blue Book quotes the average price of a new car in July 2021 at approximately $41,729. In June of 2021, the price was $40,999, which suggests a rapid and consistent uptick in pricing.

With an Audi costing at least $10k more than the average price of a car in 2021 but often twice or even thrice that, these vehicles are significantly more expensive.

Why Are Audis So Darn Expensive?

So why do Audis cost close to six figures while other new cars barely break the $50k mark? Per the intro, let’s explore the trinity of factors at play when buying a new Audi.

Dripping in Luxury

Audis are considered luxury vehicles that compete against the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Kelley Blue Book says the price of a 2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class is $34,000 while a 2022 BMW 8-Series is about $85,000 according to U.S. News & World Report.

Audi has to price its vehicles competitively to those two brands as well as other luxury cars. The cost of a new Audi is sandwiched between what you’d pay to own a new Mercedes and BMW, so Audi is right in that sweet spot.

If Audi raised the prices of its vehicles too much higher, people in the market for a luxury car would just buy a BMW or Mercedes instead. Yet if Audi went too far in the opposite direction and reduced the prices of their vehicles, they’d likely run themselves out of business, as they wouldn’t turn enough of a profit.

Plus, they’d also risk exiting the luxury class, and being a luxury-grade vehicle is certainly a sought-after label for car manufacturers!

High-Tech Features

Audi constantly innovates the technology included in its vehicles.

The latest line of Audis has features such as Audi Connect, which links with the satellite service Google Earth to generate up-to-the-minute fuel costs, weather updates, and travel and traffic information. Audi Connect can even recommend points of interest.

myAudi is a subscription service with a free downloadable app that lets you use, as Audi calls it, “a growing suite of smart services to amplify your driving experience.” For example, myAudi lets you connect to Bluetooth to make calls hands-free or listen to music.

Audi’s Quattro is an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and an improved grip for any type of weather regardless of the season.

These features are undoubtedly part of what makes an Audi an Audi, but they come at a price. As Audi continues pushing the envelope regarding technological advancements, it makes sense that their new vehicles will get costlier.

Quality Parts

A vehicle is only as good as its parts, which is something you can discover very quickly when buying a used car or a cheap new one. When your vehicle is built with reliable parts, you can entrust it to long road trips, family vacations, and everyday driving for years to come.

Audis are beloved for their premium parts. Like any component of a vehicle, Audi’s parts don’t last forever, but they do have an impressive life in their prime. Since Audi is one of the leading vehicle manufacturers, finding replacement parts for your Audi model shouldn’t prove difficult.

Are Used Audis More Affordable?

You can understand why new Audis are as costly as they are, but right now, the price for one is outside of your budget. Perhaps you’ll look into buying a used Audi instead. Are those more reasonably priced?

That’s hard to say. We’ve discussed this on the blog before, but the cost of a used vehicle is at the discretion of the seller. The type of car, age, and condition all play a role in cost as well.

Keeping that in mind, we combed through some of the top used car sites to compile this list of used Audi prices to give you an idea of what you might pay for one.

  • 2018 A4 Premium Plus: $34,900
  • 2019 S3 Premium Plus: $41,000
  • 2018 Q5 Premium Plus: $35,995
  • 2021 Q3 Premium Plus 45: $40,767
  • 2017 Q7 Premium Plus: $33,500
  • 2018 A3 2.0 Premium Plus: $24,777
  • 2014 S6: $33,391
  • 2011 Q5 Premium Plus: $11,995

Unless you buy an Audi from a decade ago, then you’re not going to pay anything lower than $25,000. Some used Audis from the late 2010s are priced closer to $40,000. As you’ll recall from earlier, the price of a new car for late 2021 is $41,000.

You could either put your money towards a new vehicle that’s not an Audi or buy a used Audi for $40k. We think that’s an easy decision unless the Audi is in practically pristine condition and you really have your heart set on one.

Is an Audi the Best Car for You?

On that note, is an Audi the car for you, or are you better-suited spending your money on a different manufacturer’s vehicle?

Audi produces an assortment of vehicle types, from sedans to convertibles, coupes, and SUVs. That vehicle versatility is a standout of the Audi brand for sure, but plenty of other manufacturers have similar offerings. Hyundai, although it doesn’t make convertibles, produces many vehicle types akin to Audi. The same is true of Kia.

Kia is an interesting example for other reasons. Although it’s far from the most highly-rated luxury brand, Kia technically is a luxury car manufacturer. Its prices are also lower than many Audis.

For instance, a 2022 Kia LX four-drive sedan with a four-cylinder 1.6-liter Turbo 8A engine costs $38,349, says Edmunds. A 2022 GT-Line four-drive sedan with the same type of engine retails for $41,822.

Those costs are in line with new car prices for late 2021, so they’re about average.

What about the high-quality tech and parts dependability of an Audi? How can that be beat? Using Kia as an example again, their vehicles include ECO dynamics for sustainability, UVO Connect vehicle connectivity, and DRIVE WiSE for safety.

Anything Audi has, other manufacturers do too, and sometimes for less money than you’d pay to drive a new Audi. That’s not to dissuade you from owning an Audi at all; they’re a great brand. However, if the price of a new Audi is giving you pause, that’s far from your only option.

Conclusion

Audi is a German car manufacturer beloved for its range of luxury vehicles with enduring parts and connected technology. The price to own a new Audi is anywhere from $50,000 to $145,000, which is a bit steep for some people.

I drive an Audi and have done for years, I like their no-nonsense approach to design and execution. I love Audi’s understated luxury and its reliability. Sure Audi has had some issues with engines in the past but on the whole, they are a good solid choice.

Now that you understand why Audis are so expensive, you can sit down, crunch some numbers, and decide if an Audi is a suitable vehicle for you or if you should spend your money elsewhere.

You may find the following posts useful also:

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Are Audi A4 good cars?

Are Audi good cars?

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John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of classic car ownership, from tires to roof aerials and everything in between.

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