Here’s some good news for eco-minded SUV lovers: Executives at Audi confirmed today that they will begin selling the tiny Q3 SUV in the United States within the next year.
It will also be a welcome addition to Audi’s national fleet. Not that it needs the help. Last month the automaker sold a record 150,300 units worldwide, up 10 percent year over year (up 6.2 percent in the U.S.), and is up nearly 8 percent for sales year to date (13.6 percent in the U.S.). Market share nationwide is up more than 10 percent over last year.
“We continue to perform better in every region around the world than the respective overall automobile market,” Luca de Meo, a member of the board of management for sales at AUDI AG, told reporters.
Audi’s success is due in part to an overall reputation for making vehicles with a low cost of ownership, says David Wurster, the president of automotive analytics firm Vincentric.
In fact, the Audi Q5 SUV ranked No. 1 on this year’s list of the most affordable luxury cars on the market today, and the brand lodged three models out of the top 10 that made the cut. They and a few other imports (think along the lines of Acura and Mercedes) join American newcomers like the Cadillac SRX and Chevrolet Corvette as the luxury cars with the best overall value on sale this year.
Behind the Numbers
In order to make this list we used data provided by Vincentric, which is based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Analysts there tallied the cost of ownership for each 2013 or 2014 model-year vehicle by evaluating the manufacturer suggested retail price and five-year totals for fuel costs, maintenance, repairs, average national insurance rates, depreciation, interest, opportunity costs and taxes.
We assumed an annual rate of 15,000 miles driven per vehicle and a price of $3.566 for regular fuel, $3.901 for premium and $3.907 for diesel. We applied a national-average inflation rate of 3.5% for these fuel prices, since the calculations predict costs over five years. We evaluated only cars, SUVs and sedans (not pickup trucks) from recognized premium and luxury brands with base MSRPs of more than $50,000.
1. Audi Q5 Diesel
Total Cost of Ownership: $57,315
Opportunity Costs: $694
2. Acura MDX
Total Cost of Ownership: $60,662
Taxes/Fees: $3,550 Fuel: $15,074
3. Chevrolet Corvette
Total Cost of Ownership: $63,882
Opportunity Costs: $702
4. Acura RLX
Total Cost of Ownership: $64,274
Taxes/Fees: $3,451 Fuel: $13,412
Opportunity Costs: $707
5. Cadillac SRX
Total Cost of Ownership: $64,532
Opportunity Costs: $736
6. Audi A5
Total Cost of Ownership: $65,045
Opportunity Costs: $742
7. Mercedes E Class Diesel
Total Cost of Ownership: $65,586
Opportunity Costs: $670
8. Infiniti Q50
Total Cost of Ownership: $65,778
Opportunity Costs: $726
9. Audi Q7 Diesel
Total Cost of Ownership: $66,027
Opportunity Costs: $779
10. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Total Cost of Ownership: $66,216
Opportunity Costs: $692
Full list: The Hottest Luxury Cars of 2013