Audi Buyer’s Guide
The prestige automaker Audi cemented its modern reputation in the ashes of World War II — and today is among Germany’s leading luxury car brands.
So if you’re intent on buying an Audi, you’ve come to the right place.
We offer bespoke car finance packages for meeting the costs of high-end Audi models, including collectibles, classics and supercar editions.
The Audi name is, of course, synonymous with the four overlapping rings that make up the brand’s logo — and many discerning car connoisseurs would attest that Audi supercars run rings (ahem) around much of the competition in terms of all-round quality and reliability.
After reading this guide, you’ll know exactly what to look out for when shopping for an Audi car. It covers:
- The history of Audi
- Financing an Audi
- How the current Audi vehicles differ
- How Audis fare in the long term
- How we can help you to finance an Audi
History of Audi
This German auto manufacturer has had a fascinating road to being the global giant it is today. Dating back well over 100 years, let’s take a closer look at their story.
The pre-war years
In 1909, the German engineer August Horch established the company of August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH. However, this name was dropped after Germany’s Supreme Court ruled that the Horch brand belonged to another company.
This tricky situation led August Horch to give his new business the name ‘Audi’ — essentially a Latin version of the German verb ‘horch’, meaning ‘listen’.
Audi went on to establish itself as an automotive pioneer — such as by becoming, in September 1921, the first German car manufacturer to present a production car with left-handed drive.
In 1932, Audi merged with three other companies — Horch, DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen) and Wanderer — to create Auto Union AG. This acted as an umbrella firm for the above-mentioned four constituent brands and is the immediate predecessor of Audi as it is known today.
Before World War II, Auto Union started using the now-iconic four interlinked rings as a logo, albeit only on Auto Union’s racing cars.
Going from strength to strength in the modern era
After the war, Auto Union set up a new base in the West German city of Ingolstadt, which remains the site of Audi’s headquarters to this day.
In 1964, Volkswagen (VW) acquired a 50% holding in Auto Union. Fearing that Volkswagen ultimately intended to phase out the Audi brand, Auto Union engineers developed the first Audi 100 vehicle without informing the then-VW chief Heinz Nordhoff.
Fortunately, Nordhoff agreed to the production of the car — which, after its 1968 launch, proved a big success. This paved the way for the continued reemergence of the Audi brand — and, in 1969, Auto Union itself was given the name Audi NSU Auto Union AG.
In 1985, this name was shortened to just Audi AG. In later years, Audi further refined its cars, such as by introducing aluminium construction as well as electrification to more and more models.
Should I finance an Audi?
If you’ve ever wanted to get behind the wheel of one of the sleekest marques on the road, an Audi supercar is the perfect addition to any passionate fan’s garage.
However, you might still be interested in looking for ways to lower the upfront cost of an Audi vehicle model — especially if you already have a long list of existing financial obligations hitting your wallet.
Here at Magnitude Finance, we have an impressive history of helping customers to secure a wide range of prestige cars through cost-effective plans. This is due to the car finance packages we offer — which we can tailor in accordance with our customers’ specialised preferences and requirements.
When on the lookout for a cut-price Audi deal, you could be particularly enticed by pre-owned Audi cars on account of their relatively affordable second-hand price tags.
However, the most important word here is ‘relatively’ — especially if you are eyeing a top-of-the-range Audi.
We get that buying a luxury car can feel like a minefield. So here are some things to keep in mind while you navigate the premium vehicle market for your dream Audi.
Audis lose their market value slowly
This makes them attractive for use as investment assets.
But it can throw up a barrier for you to cross if you are looking into buying a used Audi that you plan to sell in a pretty lucrative fashion later down the road.
However, this can help to clarify why the right car finance deal can prove pivotal.
Let’s assume that you have spotted an Audi model, though available for sale, appears to be out of your own price range. In this situation, you could use our Car Finance Calculator to discern potential ways to spread this vehicle’s overall cost and make it easier to manage.
This calculator can quote across various finance options we offer — including:
- Personal Contract Purchase
- Balanced Payment Plans
- Hire Purchase Plans – including Balloon
Using the calculator, you can explore specific figures with which you would be able to start budgeting for the car.
Please note, if the calculator does not recognise the particular Audi model you have specified, this could simply be because the vehicle is either too old or too new to have been included in the database.
In this case, please contact us so that we can handle your query directly.
What assistance can our car finance specialists provide?
Another benefit of reaching out to us is our concierge-approach to car finance.
We get to know you on a one-to-one basis, so our team can better understand the type of Audi you are looking to add to your collection.
As such, we are committed to forging long-term relationships with customers so that we can assist in their long-term plans.
As an independent car finance broker, we are happy to work with our dedicated panel of lenders in order to create a number of car finance solutions. These lenders are experienced in the luxury car market and offer excellent financial support for purchases of premium Audi vehicles above and beyond £25,000 in price.
However, we can also offer a helping hand if you already have a finance deal in place for an Audi supercar and are now looking to refinance, such as to release equity.
As self-confessed petrol-heads, we’re passionate about supercars and more than happy to share nuggets of our car finance knowledge to help you get behind the wheel of your dream car – even if that means passing over the keys for a new model.
How an ongoing relationship with us can be rewarding
At Magnitude Finance, we offer unbeatable flexibility with our car finance agreements.
For example, after a PCP term closes, a customer can choose to return the vehicle, keep it or part exchange so that any outstanding equity can be put towards the customer’s next purchase of a car.
Being able to trade in a vehicle or part exchange at the end of a payment term can be especially attractive for those of our customers who are eager for the opportunity to sample a wide range of prestige cars in somewhat quick succession.
Whatever path you decide to go down with your Audi-buying journey, keep in mind that our website includes tips for helping you to decide when and how to finance an Audi car.
What’s the most reliable German car?
Known for setting the standard for its luxe interior spec and pioneering designs, Audi has built an unparalleled reputation in the century since it was founded.
But that still asks the question: which Audi cars are the most reliable?
Today, Audi is famed as the Volkswagen Group’s premium brand. It’s a consistently formidable rival to BMW and Mercedes-Benz — and all three of these high-end brands have become reputed for delivering reliability with their automotive output.
All three of these big names also hail from Germany – one of the world’s most influential automotive countries.
However, an automaker’s historical pedigree is not always a reliable indicator of how well cars sporting the brand’s badge today will fare in the future.
So let’s take a closer look at the stats.
Audi is still sitting pretty
In recent reliability tests, Audi has outclassed not only BMW and Mercedes-Benz but also Volkswagen – the brand of Audi’s parent company. As such, a number of Audi vehicles are consistently ranked among the most reliable cars on the market.
Specific Audi models that have been singled out for praise in vehicle dependability studies include the A4, A5, A6 and Q5 — with several cars from Mercedes-Benz and BMW being beaten along the way.
This is a strong testament to the resilience of Audi’s quality control.
Which Audi engine is best?
Audi has continually tweaked the performance capacity of its cars over the years and decades — and these vehicles’ engines have long been unsung heroes. However, looking a little past historical milestones, which Audi engine should primarily get your attention in the here and now?
High-impact Audi engines from recent history
One long-established classic is the 3.0-litre supercharged TFSI V6 engine, which has trickled through to a vast number of Audi models — including not only flagships like the A8 and A7 but also the slightly more accessible A4 as well as the SQ5 and SQ7 crossovers.
While that engine was introduced in 2008, the 2.5-litre Turbo I5 engine is more recent, having made its debut in 2015 and played a massive role in the Audi RS 3 sedan seeing off a string of rivals — including the BMW M2 — in the speed stakes.
The Turbo I5 reflects Audi’s longstanding pedigree in making five-cylinder engines. However, back in 2011, Audi actually benefited from another Volkswagen-owned brand — Lamborghini — when it came to giving the Audi R8 supercar the horsepower it deserved.
The R8 was initially launched in 2006, but without an engine quite fit for a supercar. This changed when the 5.2-litre V10 was lifted from the Lamborghini Gallardo, with the R8 GT eventually boasting 552 horsepower due to the vehicle’s twelve-cylinder engine.
Do you seek an engine offering good fuel economy?
Ultimately, what exactly you should judge to be the ‘best’ Audi engine for you will depend on what you want to get out of it.
Some of our customers might place a great value on speed, while others might prefer the long-term cost-effectiveness of using a fuel-efficient engine.
If you belong to the latter group, the good news is that Audi’s especially fuel-efficient 2.0-litre TFSI I4 engine has made its way into a wide range of Audi models.
What’s currently on the market?
With Audi’s no-compromise approach to quality, you can take comfort that even lower-end models in the Audi range immediately impress with their fit, finish and materials.
However, while Audis are divided into multiple classes, the larger ones really showcases their prowess in innovation – which is where it really begins to shine through. Here are selected examples of in-production Audi cars that would especially warrant your attention.
This compact executive car is often deemed the archetypal Audi automobile, given its status as the brand’s flagship model.
It’s not hard to see why the Audi A4 is such a reliable seller, considering that its in-built features include LED running lights, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot monitor.
The A4 can be bought as a sedan or a more rugged wagon known as the Audi A4 Allroad. The Audi A4 also has a sportier counterpart in the form of the Audi S4 sedan.
In many respects, the A5 is an A4 with a pricier tag — as the Sportback, coupe and cabriolet models each house the same turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four engine as the A4.
Similarly, the S5’s Sportback, coupe and cabriolet versions each come with the 3.0-litre diesel engine — the V6 — already used in the S4.
The RS 5 models instead use a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, which means each of the cars can, from a stationary position, take fewer than four seconds to start moving as fast as 60mph!
Audi’s midsize luxury sedan – the A6 – got a redesign for 2019. Today, it can be bought as a standard sedan or as an ‘Allroad’ model – a station wagon that operates much like an SUV.
When you opt for either the A6 or the A6 Allroad, you will get a turbocharged 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine giving you more than enough of the power you need.
Still, if you are willing to spend a little more on the Audi S6, you will be able to benefit from the same twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engine that is at the heart of the RS 5 — and, for that matter, the S7.
In a sense, the A7 is to the A6 what the A5 is the A4. That’s because the A7 is practically just the A6’s Sportback version, with a different body style that adds to the overall asking price. The S7, too, largely only differs from the S6 in terms of body style.
As you get behind the wheel of an A7, you could easily rejoice at the interior cabin’s ambient lighting. Furthermore, both of the car’s front seats are electrically heated — as you could come to particularly appreciate if you find yourself caught in a traffic jam on a cold, blustery day.
If you are looking for a full-size luxury sedan, the Audi A8 would make a compelling prospect. The various features with which the A8 is loaded include a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. There’s even the option of a foot massager!
An Audi S8 functions just like an A8, but with more power under the hood due to the inclusion of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine.
This compact crossover SUV is the smallest vehicle in Audi’s ‘Q’ line — and, thanks to a redesign in 2018, the Q3 is more sophisticated in design than it once was.
The front-mounted engine is a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four affair, while the Audi Q3 also benefits from the inclusion of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Last but certainly not least, Audi’s ‘Quattro’ four-wheel-drive system — the word ‘Quattro’ is itself Italian for ‘four’ — is a permanent feature in the Q3.
Audi Q4 e-Tron
With Audi having unveiled a timetable for it to start exclusively working on full-electric drivetrains in place of internal combustion engines by the end of 2026, the Audi Q4 e-Tron provides a tantalising glimpse of the Volkswagen subsidiary’s greener future.
The Q4 e-Tron is an all-electric compact luxury crossover introduced for the 2022 model year. Though the Q4 has a 201hp RWD base model, you might feel more drawn to the 265hp AWD model, which is also on sale as a Sportback.
If it’s a compact luxury SUV you want, Audi can deliver with the Q5, which comes with a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four engine. A PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) variant of this engine is used for powering an alternative version of the Q5.
The PHEV Q5 was introduced only in 2021, as was the Q5 Sportback. If you want an even sportier Q5, though, have a look at the Audi SQ5 or Audi SQ5 Sportback.
The Q7 was launched back in 2005 as Audi’s first SUV model — and today is the brand’s full-size luxury crossover SUV. It has a strong claim to be one of Audi’s most multifunctional cars — as, for example, its seats can be folded to create as many as 71.6 cubic feet of cargo space.
When your demands call for an SUV with engine power on the especially beefy side, you should seriously consider the Audi SQ7, which runs on a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine.
Whether you are on the lookout for a convertible, coupe or hatchback, you can find one in the Audi TT line. The Audi TT name is used for a compact, two-door sports car where, when it comes to the transmission, you can choose either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.
Though opting for the TT Coupe or TT Roadster will give you a 2.0-litre inline-four engine, the two higher-performance TT versions — the TTS and the TT RS — each instead features a 2.5-litre inline-five engine.
If your tastes are very much in the supercar category, you might already be longing to put the Audi R8 through its paces. With its naturally aspirated 5.2-litre dual injection V10 engine, the R8 certainly isn’t short of power but remains smooth to handle.
Though Audi has become renowned for its all-wheel-drive system built into the majority of its cars, there is now also a rear-wheel-drive version of the R8. You also have an enticing choice over the R8’s body style, which is available in coupe or roadster form.
The Audi e-Tron is an all-electric SUV you can trust with getting you across a roughly 200-mile distance on a single charge. This stamina is doubtless eased by the vehicle’s dual electric motors.
All in all, the e-Tron is speedy not only on the road but also with how it can be charged — and, only recently, a Sportback model was added to the Audi e-Tron lineup.
Want a high-performance Audi that remains eco-friendly? The best choice for you could be the Audi e-Tron S, which houses three motors overall: a large motor at the front and two smaller motors attached to the rear wheels.
The e-Tron S, too, can be sourced as a Sportback — the range of which is 212 miles per charge.
How much does an Audi cost?
Over time, the Audi range of vehicles has broadened – so much so, that it may feel tricky to figure out the precise differences between specific models.
In functionality, there can also be a lot of overlap between different classes of Audi automobiles.
All of this can naturally spark a lot of confusion in people endeavouring to decipher Audi cars’ pricing structure. It does, however, almost go without saying that the more sophisticated and customised the Audi car you buy, the more you can generally expect to have to pay for it.
Luxury vehicles made affordable through Magnitude Finance
As much of Audi’s most impressive and innovative automotive technology is built into its higher-end vehicles, it’d be worth browsing their range to see which prestige model best suits your needs — especially as you can afford a prestige car more easily with one of our car finance packages.
The A4 range can be considered Audi’s most mainstream product line — largely because of its consistently strong sales. However, you could find yourself paying just over £50,000 for an S4 Saloon or Avant — and around £70,000 for an RS4 Avant.
A similar price chasm exists between the A5 models and their S5 and RS 5 counterparts — but, once you start looking at the A7 and Q7 ranges, a starting price exceeding £50,000 can come as standard. The same can be said about Audi’s electric e-Tron cars.
If you are eyeing a vehicle from Audi’s A8 or Q8 range, base prices could be nearer £70,000 — or a mammoth £130,000 in the case of the Audi R8 line.
Of course, buying a used Audi instead of one straight off the production line could help you to reduce the cost of an Audi — and arranging beforehand for us to provide you with a tailored finance plan for your acquisition of this vehicle can relieve the financial burden yet further.
What are the best Audi models to buy?
The range of Audi cars currently on the market is enormous — and, as a result, covers a large range of practical needs as well as price points. This naturally raises the question of which Audi you should actually buy, but it’s very much a matter of exactly where your priorities lie.
Here is a rundown of specific Audis — and types of customers they can suit.
The best Audi for families
The Audi A8 is Audi’s full-size flagship luxury sedan, and it’s hard to beat for parents seeking enough space for transporting both themselves and the kids on the same journeys — such as for holidays and school runs.
The quiet cabin offers an impressive amount of passenger space — and, while the A8’s cargo space is somewhat modest, it should remain big enough to accommodate enough luggage for the occasional family getaway.
The best Audi for groups of multiple adults
Perhaps you need a car big enough for the family – or want some extra room so friends can also experience Audi’s unparalleled driving experience?
For situations like these, the Audi A5 can more than fit the bill. This mid-size SUV seats up to five adults with ease, while the vehicle’s large boot would enable you to bring everything you might need for a big adventure, like a camping trip.
The best Audi for long driving holidays
Whether or not you have a large family, you will obviously need many means of keeping yourself enjoyably occupied while on a lengthy road trip.
If you anticipate travelling over long stretches of motorway lacking many interesting places to stop, you could love having a car that is packed with gadgetry. One car that would fit this description is the Audi Q8, the brand’s top-of-the-range SUV.
The best Audi for business
The right ‘executive car’ needs to tick many different boxes. Far from just a mode of transport for getting you to business conferences and meetings with clients, your choice of corporate vehicle should make for a comfortable drive and make a good impression on business contacts.
While a number of Audi models — like the Audi A5 Coupe and Audi A7 Sportback — can certainly be classed as executive cars, arguably the best such vehicle Audi offers is the Audi A6, not least due to its refined design and favourable running costs.
The best Audi for the eco-conscious
It’s good to be aware of the environmental impact your driving could have — but, all the same, you probably don’t want to limit your options too severely.
Fortunately, the Audi e-Tron range comprises a number of popular electric vehicles (EVs) — including the top-of-the-range electric SUV the Audi e-Tron and the mid-sized family SUV the Audi Q4 e-Tron. These respectively offer maximum battery ranges of 252 and 319 miles.
The best Audi for sports car enthusiasts
Audi offers a broad choice of sporty SUVs – any of which you can quickly identify from the ‘S’ or ‘RS’ in their name. The ‘S’ line includes the SQ5, SQ7, SQ8 and e-Tron S — all of which feel delightfully responsive on the road and are styled in a subtly sporty manner.
However, those of our customers who are sports car enthusiasts might prefer Audi’s RS models — as, in both styling and performance, these are noticeably sportier than the S cars. Audi’s RS vehicles include the RS Q3 and RS Q8.
Both of these cars can match several costlier sports cars in their speed of acceleration -note they particularly prove their worth when driven on country roads. Be prepared, though, for the springy suspension when you take either the RS Q3 or RS Q3 across a bumpy road.
FAQs: Buying an Audi – Your questions, answered
Let’s explore some of the key questions surrounding the Audi brand and the best ways to purchase your vehicle – be it used or brand new.
For more, check out our Car Finance FAQs here.
Q: Is an Audi a good investment?
A: Audis tend to keep their value well compared to cars from alternative brands. This basically means that, if you expect to sell the Audi at some point further down the line, you could make back a surprisingly large proportion of the price you originally paid for it.
Still, however much you might want a luxury car, you could struggle to afford one — at least initially. So, you could shave some of the usual cost of an Audi supercar by purchasing a preowned model, which could still easily surpass the value of a new non-luxury car.
Supercar investment is a long game
Some models, especially limited-edition and high-performance models, can take a while to attract the notice — and thus the added market value — they deserve.
This is why you ought to be selective with what Audi prestige car you do buy for investment purposes. It’s particularly worth heeding that, the lower down the rung you go with Audi’s onboard tech and features, the more quickly this vehicle could shed value.
Buy an Audi that is used — but also modern
A reliable strategy for protecting yourself from the above-mentioned kind of depreciation is to aim high with your choice of Audi car purchase. Remember that, the more sophisticated the tech in an Audi car, the more ‘future-proof’ this tech will be.
One benefit of buying used is that much of the inevitable depreciation in the vehicle’s value will have already happened from the moment the car left the dealership after being bought new.
Q: How long does an Audi car last?
A: Given how much care and attention Audi staffers pay to designing and manufacturing their cars in the first place, it shouldn’t be too surprising just how well-primed these vehicles are for longevity right out of the gate. Still, you should be careful with how you drive and maintain an Audi yourself.
If indeed you are, you can realistically expect the Audi to achieve a mileage of 150,000 to 200,000 before it potentially needs replacing. The term ‘mileage’ is used in reference to the total number of miles that have been travelled or covered with the vehicle in question.
So, an Audi can withstand around a decade of regular use — during which time, the vehicle could plausibly be passed between a wide range of multiple owners. This helps to explain why even buying a used Audi can hand you a vehicle that proves reliable for many years to come.
Q: Is it hard to finance an Audi?
A: As we are a truly independent broker, we can match you to car finance products that are genuinely in your interest rather than that of a dealership.
Furthermore, many of the lenders to which we have access are mainstream UK banks offering finance products exclusively for cars worth more than £25,000. This can help you to quickly jump various hurdles that could otherwise stop you in your attempts to secure funding for an Audi.
How can Magnitude help me get the keys to an Audi?
As we have access to more than 20 lenders across the car finance market, we are well-positioned to find you a car finance solution capable of satisfying your specialised requirements.
We can, for example, tailor individual solutions so that they meet a wide range of criteria you have specified when applying to us.
Hire Purchase Finance
If you are new to the world of car finance, the simplicity of a Hire Purchase agreement could make it the right option for you.
A Hire Purchase (HP) has occasionally been dubbed a ‘Lease Purchase’ by car finance experts, as the deal would enable you to get your hands on the car straight away and pay off its total cost in monthly instalments over a fixed period.
After you have made the final monthly payment, the car will be yours to keep. When you approach us, you can arrange a Hire Purchase plan with a custom length in the region of 2-5 years — and there will be a flexible deposit of 10-40% to pay at the plan’s onset.
Personal Contract Purchase
Personal Contract Purchase is often abbreviated to PCP — and refers to a car finance plan that, like Hire Purchase, allows you to pay for the vehicle over a pre-agreed period of time.
Here, too, you will deliver fixed monthly payments — and a flexible deposit, this time of 10-20%, will apply at the start.
Upon completion of the PCP term, you will be able to return the car, part exchange or just keep the vehicle by paying off the outstanding GMFV (Guaranteed Minimum Future Value) on it.
Hire Purchase with Balloon
By taking out a Hire Purchase agreement with a Balloon payment attached, you would be leveraging the benefits of both PCP and HP. It works by allowing you to make reduced monthly payments before opting to part exchange or refinance the car’s outstanding value.
This particular form of Hire Purchase is well-suited for funding investment into classic cars — as, unlike with PCP, there is no age limit on the vehicle come the end of the agreement.
If you have previously borrowed to fund the purchase of a supercar, a Balanced Payment Plan would provide you with an ultra-competitive rate.
Otherwise, the plan would work a lot like our other finance packages, in the sense that fixed repayments are made monthly. What really differentiates the Balanced Payments Plan is its flexible nature and, for our business customers, numerous tax benefits.
Consequently, you could use this plan to invest in an Audi supercar while protecting your cash reserves — and ensuring that the car truly becomes yours as the agreement expires.
Looking to finance a luxury Audi? Choose Magnitude
As we are a car finance broker rather than a lender, using years of experience and passion to quickly source a large number of car finance deals for your consideration.
We offer exclusive deals, sorting all the time-consuming paperwork and searching on your behalf thank to our concierge services and technologically advanced tools.
Using our settlement and finance calculators, you can also provide yourself with easy-to-understand information about what you would need to pay. Our car finance settlement calculator, for example, enables customers to quickly discern the outstanding balance of a loan.
To get in touch with us and learn more about any of our products and services, please ring us on 01943 660703 or use the contact form accessible via the Magnitude Finance website.