Are you trying to choose between OBDEleven and VCDS? We’ve made your choice easier.
Since OBDEleven was released, it has been heavily compared to VCDS by enthusiasts and mechanics. There are many great points on both sides of the debate since the diagnostic tools offer a ton of amazing functions that VAG owners and mechanics find useful. All that noise can make it more difficult to choose between OBDEleven vs. VCDS.
In this comparative review, we’re going to help you cut through the noise so you can clearly see which software is right for you. We’re not trying to pick a winner in the OBDEleven vs. VCDS debate, just trying to show you which one fulfills your car repair needs.
- Key Similarities and Difference Between OBDEleven and VCDS
- The Right Adapters for Both software
- Which One is Right for You
Let’s get started.
OBDEleven Vs. VCDS: Complete Comparison Chart
|Best Adapter||Editor's Choice|
OBDeleven Pro (NextGen)
Aidixun OBD2 Cable
|Supported operating system||iOS, Android, Huawei||iOS, Android, Windows|
|OBD2 Functions and enhanced codes||10/10*||10/10|
|Advanced service functions||8/10||5/10|
|Vehicle coverage||All VAG cars, SUVs, and light trucks since 1996 to date.||All VAG cars, SUVs, and light trucks since 1996 to date.|
*Notes: Excellent: 9-10; Good: 7-8; Fair: 5-6; Poor: 3-4; Very poor: 1-2
OBDEleven Vs. VCDS: What Are The Similarities And Differences?
OBD2 Functions And System Diagnostics
Both OBDEleven and VCDS can perform all ten OBD2 test modes. This is pretty much expected of professional diagnostic software like these. However, both of them manage to add a layer of depth to these otherwise generic scans.
For instance, both VAG scanning software can read live data, but VCDS allows you to speed up the sample rate considerably with its Turbo button. OBDeleven also allows you to view live data as graphs or charts on your smartphone.
With the OBD2 software, you can ace your emission tests the first time around. Apart from determining emissions system readiness, you can also view freeze frame data, clear pending, stored, and permanent DTCs, read O2 sensor data and read vehicle information.
Both OBDEleven and VCDS can perform OBD2 diagnostics to its full extent, so any of them will work for you.
Advanced Service Functions/Reset Functions
Both VAG scan tool software packs have advanced service functions to help you complete your repair. OBDeleven packages these reset functions, including EPB release, oil reset, DRL reset, battery registration, and so on, as One-Click Apps that you can buy with credits. Although not as many, VCDS several reset functions like oil service reset, brake pad change, SRI reset, etc.
OBDeleven offers more reset functions for most VAG vehicles.
I should start by saying that both OBDEleven and VCDS can help you code and customize your vehicle. They support Coding, Long Coding, Coding II, adaptations, and Control Units Gateway List Coding.
Professionals who compare these two products often consider their coding function to be one of the key differences between them. In reality, both of them are equipped with simple to advanced coding functions but how they work is where they stand out.
VCDS codes like you’d expect a professional tool on a Windows PC to do. It goes really in-depth, which means it has a lot of options and dropdowns that you’d need to understand to code it right. Enthusiasts and professionals won’t have any problem working through those settings, but it might be tough for drivers.
OBDEleven, on the other hand, adapts all those bells and whistles into a simple interface that anyone can use. All the coding options are preset, so you often only have to click “ON” or “OFF” or similar simplified options. Hence, OBDEleven is much easier to use for the layman that wants to make complex customizations to a VAG vehicle in one click.
Both of them allow you to save your ECU settings so you can restore it if something goes wrong. VCDS has its Auto-Scan feature that lets you save those files and retrieve them from your VCDS-Cloud.com account. OBDEleven offers Vehicle Full Backup for the same purpose.
If you’re an enthusiast or a mechanic with coding experience, buy VCDS. Otherwise, buy OBDEleven for its simplicity.
OBDEleven supports J1850 VPW, ISO 9141-2, J1850 PWM, ISO14230-4, and more recently, ISO 15765-4/SAE J2480. The VCDS controller can also communicate in KWP-1281, KWP-2000, CAN, and UDS. VCDS doesn’t support J1850 VPW and J1850 PWM since they are used by American vehicles made before 2008.
Since VCDS is built solely for VAG vehicles made in Germany, the manufacturer doesn’t support those protocols. You can use these VAG scan tools to get OBD2 codes from non-VAG cars, but you can’t expect them to be reliable since they aren’t optimized for those ECUs.
Both scan tools support all the necessary protocols to cover all VAG Group vehicles.
Supported Vehicles Years And Models
Generally, both VCDS and OBDEleven cover all VAG Group vehicles made since 1996 to date, with OBDEleven even going as far back as 1988 and VCDS supporting some 1990 vehicles. VAG Group vehicles include Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, and Bentley. Both devices also support the latest models of these vehicles.
|Audi||1988 till date: 80, 90, 100, 100/200, 80/90, A1, A2, A3, A4, A4 Cabrio, A5, A5 Cabrio, A6, A7, A8. Cabrio, Coupé, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, R8, TT, V8, e-tron, e-tron GT.||All|
|Volkswagen||1979 till date: Amarok, Arteon, Atlas, Beetle, Beetle Cabrio, Bora, CC, Caddy, Corrado, Crafter, Derby, Eos, Fox, Gol, Golf, Golf Cabriolet, Golf City, Golf Sportsvan, Golf plus, ID.3, ID.4, ID.6, Jetta, Jetta, Clasico, Jetta NAR, Lamando, Lavida, Lupo, Magotan, New Beetle, New Beetle Cabrio, New Bora, New Jetta, Nivus, Novo Gol, Parati, Passat, Passat CC, Passat NMS, Phaeton, Phideon, Pointer, Polo, Polo vivo, Polo classic, Polo variant, Sagitar, Santana, Scirocco, Sharan, T-Cross, T-Roc, Tacqua, Taigo, Taigun, Talagon, Taos, Tayron, Teramont, Tharu, Tiguan, Touareg, Touran, Transporter, Up, Vento, Viloran, Virtus, Voyage, XL1.||All|
|Seat||1993 till date: Alhambra, Altea, Arona, Arosa, Ateca, Cordoba, Cupra Born, Cupra Formentor, Exeo, Ibiza, Inca, Leon, Mii, Tarraco, Toledo.||All|
|ŠKODA||1991 till date: Citigo, Enyaq iV, Fabia, Felicia, Kamiq, Kamiq CN, Karoq, Kodiaq, Kushaq, Octavia, Pickup, Rapid, Roomster, Scala, Superb, Yeti.||All|
|Lamborghini||2003 – 2020: Aventador, Centenariom Gallardo, Huracán, Sian, Urus, Veneno.||All|
|Bentley||1998 – 2020: Arnage, Azure, Bentayga, Continental, Flying Spur, Mulsanne.||All|
Plans And Price
OBDEleven has three plans you can buy after purchasing one of its devices; Basic, Pro, and Ultimate. VCDS doesn’t have subscription plans, but it divides its product offering into Professional and Enthusiast, each with different price ranges and feature sets.
On OBDEleven, the Basic plan is free, but it packs a lot of features through its access to One-Click Apps. It comes included with OBDEleven Standard and Starter Editions. It has basic features like live data, vehicle full backup battery status, vehicle identification from VIN, and many more.
Pro Plan adds a bevy of advanced features on top of those in the Basic Plan. You get access to coding and long coding, UDS, adaptations, long adaptations, Gateway auto code, login finder, etc. Pro license comes included in OBDEleven Pro package and costs $28.93 after the first year.
The Ultimate Plan adds two more features to the Pro plan; Show Raw Data and OCA builder. But its biggest value comes from its unlimited access to One-Click Apps, so you never have to buy credits. It comes included with the OBDEleven Ultimate pack and costs $115.74 after the first year. Even if you start with Basic, you can upgrade any of the packages to the Pro or Ultimate plan at any time.
Updates And In-App Purchases
You can update or upgrade your VCDS software and plans on the official website. It has a forum that might come in handy if you have any questions, although some of the Professional Class products have email and call support. OBDEleven, however, can be updated through the app, and its plan can be upgraded on the manufacturer’s websites.
Only OBDEleven has in-app purchases. One for the yearly license and the other for One-Click Apps. One-Click Apps are basically diagnostic features you can buy for your vehicle with plan-included, bought, or earned credits.
If you want to avoid in-app purchases entirely, choose VCDS.
VCDS can be quite expensive to buy. Its Professional class products will cost you about a thousand bucks, and its other classes aren’t cheap either, but there aren’t any recurring costs after that. It can also be fairly complex to navigate and use for newbies. Its manual does try to help with this, but it can’t cover everything. For help, you’ll be best served on its forum or contacting support if you have the Professional class scanner.
OBDeleven offers many features in all its plans, but they are hidden behind a paywall. You do get some free credits to use those features, but you do have to pay yearly subscription fees. It has an iOS mobile app now, but its advanced features don’t work on it yet.
The Best Matched Adapters For OBDEleven And VCDS
OBDEleven has four devices you can buy now, each with a different level of diagnostic functionality. This allows you to choose a device that matches what you need in terms of features and price. Some devices also come with free credits to purchase One-Click Apps. Below are the 4 OBDEleven devices and their prices:
- OBDEleven Standard; costs $64.99
- OBDEleven Starter; costs $109.99 + 100 free credits
- OBDEleven Pro Pack; costs $149 + 200 free credits + Pro license
- OBDEleven Ultimate Edition; costs $259.99 + Unlimited credits + Ultimate license
We recommend OBDEleven Pro as it comes with the 12-month Pro license you need to access advanced features like coding, coding II, and adaptations. After the first year, the Pro license costs $28.93 per year.
There is also a free Basic plan included in the Standard and Starter Editions. The highest plan is the Ultimate Plan, which is included in the Ultimate Package and costs $115.74 to renew after the first year.
VCDS USB Cable
VCDS products are divided into two classes: the unlimited Professional class and the limited Enthusiast class. Professional class has three products, and they all include VCDS-Mobile® software for diagnosis over any smartphone or tablet regardless of OS.
Professional is meant for mechanics who want to work on multiple VAG vehicles, while the Enthusiast is meant for drivers and enthusiasts who only want to use it on a couple of vehicles.
These are the products in the Professional Class:
- VCDS® Premium Professional Kit: costs $1,299
- VCDS® Professional Kit: costs $899
- VCDS® & VCDS-Mobile® with HEX-NET® Professional – WiFi & USB Interface: costs $599
These are the two products in the Enthusiasts Class:
- VCDS® & VCDS-Mobile® with HEX-NET® Enthusiast – WiFi & USB Interface: costs $449 (10 VINs)
- VCDS® HEX-V2® Enthusiast – USB Interface: costs $199 (3 VINs) – $299 (10 VINs)
There is also a final budget class with VCDS-Lite software that can work with third-party cables and costs only $99.
The best matched third-party adapters for VCDS Lite. They are VIMVIP VAG-COM KKL 409.1 USB cable and Aidixun OBD2 KKL 409.1 USB cable.
VIMVIP VAG-COM KKL 409.1 USB cable
Aidixun OBD2 KKL 409.1 USB cable
Should I Choose OBDEleven Or VCDS For My VW Audi?
OBDEleven is generally cheaper to buy, while the professional-level VCDS is quite expensive. Hence, your first criteria should be budget. The second one should be familiarity with advanced coding features. OBDEleven has easier-to-understand coding, while VCDS can be complex.
If you’re a driver or enthusiast with a modest budget and average scan tool experience, buy OBDEleven. It offers all the features you need to repair your car for years to come.
If you’re a seasoned mechanic with coding experience and many cars to repair, choose VCDS. You’ll enjoy the level of diagnostic depth it brings to the table that easily rivals OEM tools.
VCDS and OBDEleven target different types of customers. OBDEleven is easier to use for drivers and beginner enthusiasts, and it offers multiple plans and device packages to deliver flexible options for them. Its ONE-Click Apps ensure you only buy the feature you need instead of paying for an expensive tool that you don’t fully explore.
VCDS is best for experienced enthusiasts and mechanics who can take advantage of the advanced features it offers on many VAG vehicles. It has a slightly expensive price tag, although its functionality makes it worth it. If you want to save money, you can buy a third-party adapter and buy the cheapest version of the software.
Bonus: OBDeleven Standard: Bluetooth OBD2 VAG Car Scan Tool Review