Think Audi and those four iconic circles spring to mind. The picture you then draw is of ultimate driving comfort – the kind that takes you places in ultimate luxury and relaxation. But it that picture true? While Audi is still ranked as a reliable brand by many, there have been problems in its cars that have belied its luxury tag and those steep prices.
Founded in 1910, acquired by Daimler-Benz and then finally bought by the Volkswagen Group in the 60s – Audi needs to take a little more care with its cars and keep the quality as high as it can. Else people may just shift there loyalties to higher ranking BMWs around.
10 2009 Audi A4: Leaky Hell
When you buy an A4, an iconic luxury small car by Audi, look up the plenum tray. Complicated as it may sound, the plenum tray is simply the outside base of the windshield that also houses the wiper blades. Now they say that God lies in the details and for the Audi A4, nothing could be truer.
While there have been complaints about oil consumption, engine failures and even bad pistons in the A4 – a common problem is that rainwater collects in the plenum tray and does not drain. The excess water has been known to leak into the electrical system, the brakes, and even the interiors. A little puddle in your car is not our idea of luxury.
9 2012 Audi Q5: Erratic And Temperamental
The 2012 Q5 is yet another luxurious bucket of woe, despite being a compact luxury SUV. Like with the A4, it too likes to guzzle oil by the gallon, and the problem partly comes from it leaking oil all over the place.
Needless to say, that’s not good for your engine. The 2014 Q5 fares no better and there have been reports of it stalling and completely dying on its owner in the middle of nowhere – this despite regular servicing, and healthy amounts of oil and gas. In yet more cases, the car kept going but the steering wheel completely jammed – leading to heart-stopping moments for the driver.
8 2011 Audi A4: Oil Guzzler
We are back to the A4 for this, and this time, like with the 2009 A4 and the 2012 Q5 – the problem lies with excessive oil consumption and frequent leakage. Dribbling engine oil can screw everything under the hood, simply because while it may be good for the inside of the engine, it is bad for everything outside it.
When oil continuously leaks inside the car, which you may notice a little too late, the resulting damage to the belts, adjustors and other parts can be immense. Anytime your car decides to up its oil intake, make sure to have everything scrutinized with an eagle eye because damages to the Audi can rack up bills of $5,000+.
7 2004 Audi A6: More Fuel Than Needed
Think about it, most German cars, including the sporty sedans from Audi, are great cars mechanically. It’s the electronics that tend to fail them because there is a cartload of microprocessors under that hood. Like with the A6, a common and expensive problem is the fuel injector failing and taking in far more fuel than needed.
Other than reducing the gas mileage on the car, there are further engine and emission issues that crop up because of this. Overflooding an engine with fuel can also affect the ignition. Other problems with the A6 include transmission failure, and an ignition failure as well.
6 2015 Audi A3: Yet Another Oil Problem
While the 2020 Audi A3 Cabriolet seems to be bursting with power and intends to revive its good name, the 2015 A3 had no such ambitions. Plagued with Audi’s common woe – excessive oil consumption, many owners of the 2015 A3 called it their biggest and most expensive mistake.
The transmission warning light also seemed to go and off at its pleasure, and if ignored a bit led to an eventual transmission failure – for reasons best termed as idiopathic. When it did work properly, the A3 was known for driving pleasure, if slightly shoddy interiors.
5 2007 Audi Q7: Refuses To Start
One of the highly ranked luxury mid-size SUVs, the 2019 Q7 seems to have made up for its past faults. In 2007, there seemed to be a multitude of complaints against this car – most of them related to a refusal of the car to start.
There have been times when the ignition itself has simply upped and died on an owner, leaving them stranded with growing stress. To have your luxury car do this to you can shake your faith in just about every brand there is. But that’s just it. Audi’s electrical systems need far more work than they put in.
4 2014 Audi S4: Sudden Bucking
The 2005 S4 had a near horrific problem for a luxury car brand – on starting the engine, it tended to rattle. You would assume a problem like this was common in cheaper sedans past their prime – but an engine shaking in a brand new performance-oriented sedan could only be called criminal. But that’s not the only year the S4 faced problems.
The 2014 S4 came with more tales of woe – and this was more bronco than breed – at high speeds, the S4 was prone to bucking and making the driver panic with all the shaking. The brakes also tended to wear down far too early so this performance variant of A4 gave quite a few owners the fright of their lives.
3 2001 Audi TT: Problems Come In Twos
The Audi TT is a sporty roadster with a decent 225+ horses powering it. It looks a bit sedate for a two-door car but makes up for the bland design with a powerful performance. That said, the 2001 and 2004 models seemed to less than Audi quality.
The most common complaint about the 2001 Audi TT is an instrument cluster failure where everything on the dashboard would either go dark or a bit haywire as if being driven down the Bermuda Triangle. Other model years faced a dog clutch failure, as well as being stuck in drive mode (for AT cars) or stuck in gear (for MT cars).
2 2011 Audi A5: Far Too Oily
An executive coupe from Audi, the A5 is one car that may make you feel like you’ve finally made it. Driving comfort coupled with a sporty engine make the A5 the ultimate in luxury performance.
Some cars forgot to pass quality control though, which is why a common complaint was excessive oil consumption, coupled with an erratic oil light even when the oil was full. The timing belt was also considered below par and seemed to break with an alarming frequency for some harried owners who kept paying for repairs in vain hopes of their Audi behaving more like an Audi, and less like a disaster.
1 2015 Audi A8: A Noisy Ride
This four-door full-size luxury sedan should ideally have been the quietest ride so offered by an Audi – to take its occupants from here to there in picture-perfect comfort and luxury. For some A8 owners, this was not the case.
Many complained about a rattling noise coming from the dash even when the A8 was being driven on buttery roads at somewhat sedate speeds. Other model years head similar clunky noises coming from the struts and another common complaint was that the pre-loaded navigation maps were all out of date. So luxury may come with a price, but the price sometimes may not be worth the luxury.