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2015 Audi R8 Review

The 2015 Audi R8 has supercar styling and athletic performance, along with an approachable demeanor. But for thousands of dollars less, many class rivals tout potent engines, user-friendly tech, and better reliability ratings, which is why the R8 sits in the lower half of our luxury sports car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Lineup of robust, growly engines
  • Handling is athletic, responsive, and affable
  • Supportive seats accommodate many body sizes
  • Miniscule trunk
  • Low fuel economy rating
  • High average price and select ownership costs




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 4.5
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Audi R8 Overview

Is the 2015 Audi R8 a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 Audi R8 is a good luxury sports car. It's responsive, robust, and extremely quick, with a trio of satisfying V8 and V10 engines. Despite the exotic appearance of this midengine supercar, the R8 is highly refined. Its comfortable seats and agreeable nature welcome a full day of driving. However, many rivals capably deliver a similar level of athleticism for a fraction of the price, and they place higher in our rankings.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Audi R8 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 63 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2015 Audi R8?

Based on listings for the 2015 Audi R8 Coupe and Spyder on our site, the average price is $106,100. Prices range from $91,800 to $125,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 Audi R8 Cost to Own?

The 2015 R8’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $51,800, or $10,360 per year. Those are some of the highest costs among luxury sports cars.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New R8?

The 2019 Audi R8 Coupe starts around $170,000, and the Audi R8 Spyder can exceed $182,000. Compare that with the average price of a 2015 Audi R8 ($106,100), and it's clear that you can save a considerable amount of money with an older model. Just know that you'll be missing out on some key changes, as the R8 was redesigned for 2017. Second-generation R8s boast a more powerful 540-horsepower V10 base engine, which replaces the V8. It also has cutting-edge technology such as Audi's Virtual Cockpit. Before committing to a 2015 model, it's worth taking a peek inside a 2017 or newer R8 to see what you may be missing.

Read about the new Audi R8 »

Though the new R8 is certainly pricey, there are several new luxury sports cars that are close in price to a 2015 R8. The 2019 BMW 8 Series costs a bit more, starting around $112,000, but spirited drivers will salivate over its 523-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine. The 2019 Porsche 911 and the 2019 Lexus LC also rank near the top of the class and deserve a spot on your shopping list. You can also get into the 650-horsepower 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 for roughly $80,000 to $90,000, depending on the trim.

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Which Model Year of the Audi R8 Is Best?

The 2015 R8 is the final model of the car’s first generation, which started with the 2007 R8. Other than the addition of the V10 Plus model for 2014, there were few major changes for the R8 toward the end of this generation.

After skipping the 2016 model year, the second generation began with the 2017 R8, which likely boasts the best features for the least amount of money. Audi made few changes to the 2018 R8, so consider buying the nearly identical 2017 model instead.

Compare the 2015, 2017, and 2018 R8 »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Audi R8?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 R8 a reliability rating of three out of five. That's about average for the industry, but it’s below average for a luxury sports car.

Read more about R8 reliability »

2015 Audi R8 Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2015 Audi R8.

See more information on Audi R8 safety recalls »

Which Used Audi R8 Is Right for Me?

For 2015, the engine distinguishes the Audi R8's three trim levels: V8, V10, and V10 Plus. All three are available in the R8 Coupe, and the latter two are available in the R8 Spyder, which is the convertible body style. The upper trims come with a few additional standard luxuries, though many of these are available in the base trim.

For the best blend of heart-pumping performance, styling, and interior indulgence, we recommend the midlevel V10 trim. In addition to its 525-horsepower engine, this model comes with Nappa leather seats, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

See 2015 Audi R8 trims and specs »

What Does Audi's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Audi offers a certified pre-owned program for cars five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Qualifying vehicles bought under the new-car warranty period have coverage until five years from the vehicle’s original in-service date, with no mileage limitation. Certified pre-owned Audis purchased after the four-year new-car warranty has ended receive an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage comprehensive warranty. This is not an extension of the new-car warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, so read Audi’s warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass a 300-plus-point inspection.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Audi’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Infiniti, Lexus, and Jaguar.

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How Safe Is the R8?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested the R8 Coupe or Spyder, which is typical for high-end luxury sports cars.

No advanced safety features come standard in the R8, but you may find models with a backup camera and front and rear parking sensors.

See R8 safety scores »

2015 Audi R8 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Audi R8 or 2015 Porsche 911?

The 2015 Porsche 911 is one of the top-ranking vehicles in the luxury sports car class. The 911 is well-balanced, boasting both athleticism and elegance. Compared to the R8, the 911 brings far more to the table, including three different body styles, four trim levels, and a vast selection of upgrades. Its lineup of six-cylinder engines ranges from 350 to 560 horsepower, and its handling is extraordinarily responsive. As average prices between the 911 and R8 are similar, the choice may come down to the sports car that best reflects your personality and desires.

Which Is Better: 2015 Audi R8 or 2015 Nissan GT-R?

The 2015 Nissan GT-R isn't as luxurious inside as the R8, and it doesn't have the same brand cachet as Audi, but it’s a superb coupe. It's much easier on your wallet, with average prices that are around $30,000 lower than the R8's and lower ownership costs by almost $2,500 a year. Though the GT-R doesn't offer V8 and V10 engines, its turbocharged V6’s are brawny. If you can't justify the R8's price tag, the GT-R could be a satisfying luxury sports car alternative.

Compare the R8, 911, and GT-R »

2015 R8 Performance

How Does the 2015 Audi R8 Drive?

The 2015 R8 boasts one of the most powerful base engines among luxury sports cars. The standard 4.2-liter V8 produces 430 horsepower and lets out a magnificent exhaust note. Its available 5.2-liter V10 engines are just as refined but even more potent. The V10 has a 525-horsepower rating, and the V10 Plus gets a boost to 550 horses. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a seven-speed dual clutch automatic is available. Both transmissions are smooth and satisfying.

The R8 comes standard with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Its handling is incredibly responsive and athletic, yet its approachable demeanor and composed ride won't leave you feeling worn out after a day behind the wheel.

Does the 2015 Audi R8 Get Good Gas Mileage?

One downside to the Audi R8 is poor fuel economy. The base V8 engine with an automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, and the V10 gets 13 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. These ratings are among the lowest in our luxury sports car rankings.

Read more about R8 performance »

2015 R8 Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 R8 Seat?

The R8 is a two-door, two-seat supercar. The heated seats are all-day comfortable, with supportive cushions and 12-way power adjustments. The standard upholstery is a combination of genuine leather and Alcantara (faux suede). Available upgrades include Nappa leather seats and interior trim and manually adjustable sport seats.

2015 Audi R8 Features

Standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, a seven-speaker stereo, and a six-disc CD player. Available features include navigation, a 6.5-inch display, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and iPod integration.

The 2015 R8 doesn't come with the same high-tech virtual cockpit that draws so much praise in the new generation. Instead, its dated infotainment interface relies on a set of controls that aren't very convenient, though the menu interface is arranged in a logical fashion.

See 2015 Audi R8 specs »

Read more about R8 interior »

2015 Audi R8 Dimensions

Audi R8 Cargo Space

The R8's 3.5-cubic-foot front trunk – or "frunk" – has enough room for a small suitcase, but not much else. You can squeeze a pair of golf clubs in behind the seats, according to Audi, but this may be unworkable for a taller traveler who needs to slide their seat back for extra legroom.

2015 R8 Length and Weight

The R8 is about 14.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,583 to 3,957 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Audi R8 Built?

Audi built the 2015 R8 Coupe and R8 Spyder in Germany.

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