Depreciation takes its toll on otherwise excellent cars.
It’s interesting to observe how a high-end Volkswagen sedan and an entry-level Audi compare in the moderately expensive mid-size realm. The VW costs $8K less than the Audi, despite them being the most highly equipped Passat and the least kitted-out A4.
Meanwhile, the Passat offers 150Nm and 30kW more than the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol A4, courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that uses less juice to contribute to a 26 percent (or $260) annual fuel saving.
The Passat, however, doesn’t hold its value as well as the A4, according to Glass’s forecasts. You’ll see $23,745 go down the drain in the VW compared with $22,755 in the Audi, thanks to respective 50 and 59 percent three-year resale figures, which narrows the ownership cost difference between these German sedans.
The A4 might have less herbs and use a bit more fuel than the Passat, but the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine is a sweet, light unit that makes the Audi more fun to drive.
In a solid Gold Star campaign, the Swedish sedan splits the Germans on price and resale, uses less fuel than either of them, and is the least costly to insure.
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