Audi is a German executive premium brand focused on designing and making luxury cars that can suit almost all of your daily needs. Audi makes sedans, hatchbacks, estates, coupes, sports sedans, full-size luxury sedans, SUVs, crossovers, and even supercars.
This means that you can definitely find an Audi that suits your needs perfectly. Audi’s tend to be expensive, luxurious, and extremely technology-driven. This also means that they are intricate pieces of machinery that need constant and precise maintenance in order to last a long time.
Ford on the other hand is a more consumer-level brand which means that Ford models are not as premium as Audi models. This also means that they are not as complex nor technology-driven, yet they are also not the most reliable cars on the market.
Overall, you ought to properly maintain an Audi, otherwise, it’s prone to all sorts of issues. Ford models are not as expensive as Audi models are to maintain and it seems like most Ford’s tend to be more dependable as a whole because there are fewer things that can go wrong with a Ford.
Audi reliability – Mediocre and highly dependent on proper maintenance
According to the majority of reliability surveys and charts done by Consumer Reports, What Car and J.D. Power, most Audi models tend to reside in the mediocre reliability segment. Newer Audi models are a lot better when compared to Audi models from a decade or two ago.
The Audi A4 is the most reliable Audi model currently because it is based on a fairly old platform that has been continuously upgraded throughout the life of the A4. Older Audi A8 and Q7 models are the least reliable Audi models and they also cost a lot of money to maintain.
The main reason why Audi models tend to be relatively unreliable is that most people are not aware that they need proper and constant maintenance. These cars are complex and they offer all sorts of convenience, safety, and practical gadgets that may seem overbearing at times.
There are simply too many components that can go wrong and the only way for an Audi to last a long time is if maintained properly.
Ford – Slightly above average, but not as consistent
Ford is an economy-level brand that makes SUVs, crossovers, trucks, sports cars, and hatchbacks. They tend to be not as advanced as most Audi models are which means that they still use naturally aspirated engines and manual gearboxes while those are non-existent on modern-day Audi products.
This means that some of these are relatively reliable such as the Ford Mustang GT which is the most reliable Ford model as a whole. The reason being is that the Ford Mustang GT uses the same recipe for decades and Ford has managed to improve it continuously.
The Ford Escape and the Ford Explorer are the two least reliable Ford models at the moment. Consumer Reports, WhatCar, and J.D. Power rate Ford to be mediocre, but some Ford models are more reliable than the most reliable Audi models.
Ford’s are not as delicate as Audi’s which means that proper maintenance is important, but not as much as in the case of an Audi.
Conclusion – Ford is slightly more reliable
Ford makes simpler, cheaper, and less refined cars that tend to offer fewer technologies and features when compared to Audi’s. Audi is a brand willing to sacrifice reliability in order for a more plush and luxurious experience and the reality is that most Audi customers don’t mind that.
On the other hand, Ford’s are not luxury vehicles which means that they need to satisfy a common Ford customer differently. They do so by being fun to drive, economical, cheap to run, and relatively reliable in most cases.
As such, less complexity equals fewer potential issues and that is why Ford takes the cake as the slightly more reliable brand as a whole. Finally, maintenance is a crucial aspect when it comes to long-term reliability, and it’s safe to say that most Ford models are not nearly as delicate as most Audi models are.
These results tend to vary on an individual basis so don’t base your buying decisions solely on this data. Many online sources say that Audi is the more reliable brand as a whole because these are only marginally different.
Why does an Audi cost more to maintain than a Ford?
Because an Audi is a lot more delicate and more complex. This means that most Audi models on the road are packed with all sorts of 21st-century technologies in order to separate them from more affordable and basic brands.
Luxury brands tend to make heavier, more complex cars which are usually a bit more fragile when compared to an affordable brand. As such, the more features a car has, the more time and money it takes to maintain those features.
Are European cars more reliable than US cars?
If you maintain a European luxury car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, they are more reliable. Most car enthusiasts tend to agree that European cars are better as a whole because they feel more refined, are more luxurious, and tend to handle better when compared to US cars.
Some European brands such as Porsche are more reliable than 99% of US car brands, but most US car brands are more reliable than some European brands such as Jaguar or Alfa Romeo. Of course, all of these brands keep on improving as time goes on, but it’s safe to say that both US and European cars will last a long time if properly taken care of.
Do car reliability charts and surveys make any sense?
Not all that much because they can never be thorough enough to include older models, newer models, and proper maintenance. Some scarcely equipped models are likely going to be more reliable when compared to fully loaded ones.
A great example of this is the Mercedes AIRMATIC air suspension system which is known to be quite faulty, especially on older Mercedes models. An older Mercedes S-Class without an AIRMATIC system is likely going to be more reliable in the long run when compared to an AIRMATIC S-Class. All in all, there are way too many variables that influence brand reliability, and most charts and surveys are unable to assess all these variables thoroughly.