3.5 years ago I was ripping along downtown Vancouver in my 13-year-old Toyota Echo. Just as I entered the busiest intersection in the city, the car died. There I was stuck in a busy intersection during rush hour. Horns were blaring. I feared I’d get nailed. I put it in neutral and did the car push of shame getting it to the side as fast as possible. Insult to injury – I was then issued a ticket waiting for tow truck.
We fixed the car but due to my business taking off, I decided it was time to buy a luxury car (low-end luxury that is… not a Bentley).
I wanted something fast but I also need a four-seater because I have two young kids to cart around. While we have a family SUV, I do prefer driving a smaller car.
While I typically don’t take much time making buying decisions, I did take my time choosing my car.
I actually took the time to test-drive the following:
- BMW 4 and 5 series
- Lexus GS
- Mercedes C and E Class
- Audi A4 and A7.
Interestingly, when I set out to test drive cars, I wasn’t going to test an Audi at all. I thought it too cliche. So many people have an Audi in our area.
I was particularly interested in the Mercedes E class and nearly went with it but I decided at the last minute to see what all the fuss was about with Audi cars.
My first Audi test drive was the A4.
I could tell right away that Audi was the car for me. I loved it. I loved the smooth, but powerful motor. I loved how responsive the acceleration and steering were. I loved the appearance of the dashboard and interior.
My sales guy, being a sales guy, gently suggested that if I liked the A4, I’d really like the A7.
The A7 was more than I wanted to spend but I thought this was a chance to give it a drive, so I did.
Within a kilometer, I knew I’d break my budget and get the Audi A7. I loved it right away.
It offered all the A4 offered, but looks much, much better and offers plenty of interior space. More than enough space for the four of us.
I don’t think the sales guy was surprised when after returning to the dealership I said “I’ll take it.”
I signed the lease then and there.
The first 12 months owning my Audi A7
I ain’t gonna lie. I loved driving my Audi A7 for the first 12 months. I looked forward to my commute (go figure).
I drove it whenever and wherever I could.
Did my Audi A7 lose its luster after 12 months?
3.5 years later I love driving it almost as much as when I first bought it. I’m not kidding. I’ve enjoyed this car tremendously.
It’s been worth every penny.
Speaking of pennies, how much did this car cost me?
How much did the Audi A7 cost?
I leased it with zero down. The sticker price with all the upgrades I opted for came to $87,000 CAD.
Since I lease it, the pertinent price is my monthly payment which comes to $1,400 CAD per month. Yeah, I know that’s a big chunk but given our monthly payment for the Toyota Highlander is $855 CAD, paying an extra $645 per month for such an awesome car is worth it.
When a luxury car is not worth it… including the Audi A7
Like anything, no higher-end car is worth it if it causes you financial stress. I would not want this car if I stressed out coming up with the monthly lease payment.
The only reason I leased the Audi, other than the fact that I loved it more than all comparable cars is because the monthly lease payment is no problem.
What upgrades did I get?
I opted for quite a few upgrades including Bose sound, racing leather seats and sport grill. I’m a big fan of sport grill. The black on black looks awesome. We opted for the same for our recently purchased Toyota Highlander.
Unexpected costs of owning an Audi A7
Until I leased my Audi, I owned inexpensive cars such as a Toyota Echo, Volvo 850 (actually, this was a nice car but I bought it used so it was cheap), Toyota Venza (great crossover BTW) and Honda Civic.
I thought maintenance costs were expected until I leased the Audi.
Audi maintenance costs are outrageous. I sucked it up and didn’t quibble, but it costs more than lower-priced cars.
For example, the tires don’t last all that long. I had to replace them after two years with less than 15,000 miles on it. The cost for four new tires was around $3,500 CAD. Ouch.
Another example is the cost of gasoline. I had to agree to use only the 91 to 94 octane gasoline, which costs much more than lower octane gas. Over time, this has cost quite a bit more cash than if I bought lower octane gas.
My car insurance costs a tad more because I buy collision and since the car costs more, collision costs more.
Aren’t high-performance cars a waste of money in the city?
Actually, with speed limits on every road, it’s arguable that high-performance cars are a total waste of money. I get it and in many ways it seems laughable to spend so much on such a car.
However, the power, torque and speed are still enjoyable on any road. It really is. Moreover, this thing turns on rails which makes navigating roads fun as well.
Sure, I don’t get to really see what this car can do unless I head out to some remote area or hit a remote highway, but it’s still enjoyable to drive such a machine on regular roads.
Isn’t owning a car like this really about the prestige factor?
To a certain degree, owning an $87K car living in the suburbs is a status symbol. I admit it. Part of the great feeling of owning such a car is the prestige factor.
The thing is, the prestige factor doesn’t matter to all people and for them buying such a car probably isn’t worth it. I happen to be susceptible to the appeal of owning a status symbol car.
Is the $1,400 per month I pay for my Audi A7 worth it?
Yes, it is. But I say that with two caveats.
First, I have the money. The extra $700 per month this costs compared to many other cars doesn’t impact my standard of living.
Second, I enjoy the prestige factor of owning such a car. This is an intangible benefit of owning an Audi A7. If status is meaningless to you, unless you’re a performance nut, this car is not worth it for you.
What will I get when my lease ends?
My lease is up in 6 months.
Will I lease an Audi A7 again?
No, I won’t and it’s not because I don’t like it; it’s because I want an electric car.
Audi tells me they will have an electric car available mid-2021. It looks great.
But I’m also going to check out the electric Porsche Taycan and of course Tesla.