Both Porsche and Audi are part of VAG, so there are lots of parts being shared between them. However, they do differ when it comes to reliability. Porsche manages to top Audi on almost every reliability chart out there.
That being said, Audi has seen somewhat of a resurgence in the last couple of years as the rings of Ingolstadt have become noticeably more reliable. For a spot of context, J.D. Power placed Audi in 15th place on the 2020 J.D. Power dependability ratings with 136 reported problems per 100 cars.
Porsche placed 4th with 104 reported problems per 100 cars. Porsche has consistently been placed in the top 5 on most reliability charts in recent years, while Audi is only slowly starting to gain better reliability results as a brand.
But such surveys don’t necessarily paint the whole picture, as it takes a lot more money to maintain a Porsche compared to an Audi. However, it is well known that an average Porsche owner takes better care of their cars compared to an Audi owner.
Porsche earns its reputation for reliability
Not all that long ago, Porsche was not as reliable as it is now. But thanks to a pretty dedicated customer base, increased levels of attention to detail, and the general progress of Porsche research and development and manufacturing methods, modern-day Porsches are superiorly reliable.
According to Porsche insiders, the reason why Porsche has become somewhat of a synonym for engineering quality is due to Porsche staff trying really, really hard to come up with new ways of making every single component a bit better than before.
It’s also worth mentioning that Porsche is a brand with a cult following unlike any other brand out there. Porsche customers love Porsches, and they want to keep them in tip-top shape as much as possible, especially if the model in question is a limited-edition variant.
Some models like the 911 have been in continuous production for decades, and Porsche has managed to improve the platform as much as possible over the years. With each newer generation, Porsche does a little bit extra, and it all adds up to an impressively reliable outcome.
Audi’s reliability is a work in progress
Audi used to be a bit of a mess when it came to reliability, just like any other premium German brand. But it seems that Audi has been slowly gaining some traction when it comes to adequately reliable products. There is still a long way to go before Audi can be called reliable as a whole, but the progress is unquestionable.
Brands like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi tend to overcomplicate and focus on technology, efficiency, and luxury above and beyond anything else. With such high levels of complexity and innovation, you are bound to end up with a platform that is susceptible to issues.
Not all Audi models are created equally. The Audi A4 is one of the most reliable Audi models out there. Audi has also learned quite a bit after many A4 generations, and the A4 platform is also even being used for other VAG products like the VW Passat for example.
Of course, reliability in actuality depends a lot on the precise vehicle and how its treated, rather than on how it scores in a reliability ratings chart. For example, I own a 2018 Audi A3 Sedan (reported as one of the least reliable Audis), and I am happy to say that I have had zero issues since the day I first turned the wheel.
Is a Porsche more expensive to maintain than an Audi?
Except for the Audi R8, every Audi model costs less to maintain compared to any Porsche. This is mostly because Audis are far more common, and maintaining an Audi happens more frequently, so the individual maintenance prices are lower.
Additionally, most Audis don’t differ all that much from many VW models, which further lowers the price of maintenance. Porsches are mostly unique. For example, you can find parts sharing between a Tuareg, a Cayenne, and an Audi Q7, but a 911 is mostly original.
One of the reasons why Porsches are so reliable is due to high maintenance costs. To keep a Porsche in tip-top shape requires lots of attention and money, and most people out there are just not ready to do that. That’s why they buy Audi’s, and if the car drivers, everyone is happy.
How accurate are car reliability surveys?
Car reliability surveys, index charts, comparisons play a massive role in brand popularity. As such, it is only reasonable to question their legitimacy. After all, the results could be swayed one way or the other, and it’s almost impossible to check the legitimacy anyway.
These surveys should be taken with a grain of salt. A more accurate indication of how reliable a car is in the long term is how the specific owner has maintained the car over time.
What’s the core difference between Audi and Porsche?
Market positioning-wise, Audi and Porsche do overlap in certain areas such as luxury SUVs and luxury sedans. However, Porsches are more exclusive thanks to a number of sporty models such as the 911, Boxster, Cayman, 918 Spyder, and the Carrera GT.
Audi also has its RS Sport division which offers sportier models, but the only true sports car Audi makes is the Audi R8. The R8 is more of a grand tourer sports car than an outright uncompromised sports car. That being said, Porsches are sportier, more exclusive, and almost always more expensive to buy and maintain.
Does Porsche make better EVs than Audi?
As of right now, both Porsche and Audi offer an electric sedan. The Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-Tron GT are probably the best electric sedans on the market right now, and they follow the brand identity as expected.
The Taycan is faster, more expensive, and more fun to drive, while the e-Tron is more comfortable, cheaper, and easier to drive. Both the Taycan and the e-Tron are capable of 0-60mph times of under 3 seconds, but the Taycan Turbo S is considerably faster in a quarter-mile.