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How All 45 Generations Rank

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank
45th A4 Gen 3 2005—2007 8.74
44th A4 Gen 2 2001—2004 7.6
43rd A4 Gen 4 2008—2015 4.79
42nd A3 Gen 3 2013—2017 3.86
41st Q5 Gen 1 2009—2018 2.78
40th Q7 Gen 2 2017—2017 2.2
39th A6 Gen 2 1998—2004 1.95
38th S4 Gen 5 2009—2016 1.86
37th Q3 Gen 1 2015—2017 1.84
36th A6 Gen 4 2012—2017 1.81
35th A4 Gen 1 1996—2000 1.79
34th Q7 Gen 1 2006—2016 1.72
33rd allroad Gen 2 2001—2004 1.67
32nd TT Gen 1 2000—2006 1.6
31st S4 Gen 3 2003—2005 1.37
30th A6 Gen 3 2005—2011 1.37
29th A4 Gen 5 2016—2017 1.09
28th A7 Gen 1 2012—2017 1.02
27th A8 Gen 3 2011—2016 0.99
26th A3 Gen 2 2006—2012 0.79
25th A5 Gen 1 2008—2017 0.71
24th TT Gen 2 2007—2017 0.48
23rd S4 Gen 4 2006—2008 0.35
22nd S3 Gen 3 2015—2017 0.35
21st S5 Gen 1 2008—2016 0.24
20th S6 Gen 4 2011—2016 0.13
19th A6 Gen 1 1995—1997 0.09
18th S8 Gen 3 2010—2016 0.05
17th A8 Gen 1 1997—2002 0.03
16th A8 Gen 2 2003—2010 0.02
15th R8 Gen 2 2016—2017 0.0
14th SQ5 Gen 1 2014—2016 0.0
13th S7 Gen 1 2013—2016 0.0
12th S4 Gen 2 2000—2002 0.0
11th SQ5 Gen 2 2017—2017 0.0
10th allroad Gen 4 2013—2016 0.0
9th allroad Gen 3 2005—2005 0.0
8th S8 Gen 2 2003—2009 0.0
7th S6 Gen 2 2002—2004 0.0
6th S4 Gen 1 1992—1994 0.0
5th S8 Gen 1 2001—2002 0.0
4th A5 Gen 2 2018—2018 0.0
3rd TTS Gen 2 2009—2016 0.0
2nd S6 Gen 3 2005—2010 0.0
1st R8 Gen 1 2008—2015 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).