Audi Vs BMW – Finding the Right German Luxury Brand For You

Audi Vs BMW – Finding the Right German Luxury Brand For You

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Audi and BMW are the two German luxury companies with the most identical identities among the Big Three. 

While Audi and BMW advertise their performance and technology, Mercedes markets its interior design as being attractive. But which of these two companies is the superior one?

Audi and BMW have been compared by  based on factors including cost, performance, safety, interior quality, and more. 

Additionally, we have compared how the two brands fare in various car segments.  

 I did a Survey on a FB Group and here is what I found from the Luxe car owners Themselves.

Pay particular attention to features that are  significant to you because the brand that triumphs overall might not be the one that best suits your needs.

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Performance AUDI Vs BMW

Which one is better: Audi or BMW?

When viewed from a distance, BMW and Audi produce largely comparable automobiles. similar ranges, comparable pricing, and comparable quality.
It’s close between the two in terms of styling, although it depends on the model. 

As per Brandon M 

“For instance, the basic Audi A4, A6, and A8 seem sharper and sportier than BMW’s 3, 5, and 7 Series, but neither the R8 nor the A7 can be matched by BMW.Except for the i8.
The SUVs from BMW can occasionally appear a little jumbled, while the SUVs from Audi can also appear a little boring.
In a way, every Audi has a similar appearance.
Audi, on the other hand, projects a more upscale image”

But the fact that BMWs are excellent driver’s cars is what really sets them apart from Audis. The steering and engines are just incredibly linked and responsive.

There is a world of difference between driving Audis and BMWs.

I have an Audi with a 3.0 TFSI petrol engine, and even a typical 10-year-old 2.0 BMW is more fun to drive.

Given every car needs to be driven, the smarter choice tends to be the BMW

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BMW excels in these area:

  1. Driving Experience
  2. Punchy Power
  3. Safety
  4. Has a Sporty feel to it

And Audi excels at:

  1. Comfortable Ride
  2. Extremely good when sitting in the back
  3. Suspension System
  4. Interiors 

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Where in Sally D says 

“However, if we were to discuss brand value… Audi definitely has a lower Brand Value than BMW. Choose a BMW if you wish to drive the vehicle personally. 
The Audi is the greatest option if you want a really comfortable ride in the back; otherwise, a Mercedes is the best option for a “Comfortable Ride.”

Between Audi, BMW, and Mercedes overall…

Audi is the Jack of all trades. If there will be tests between the three, Audi will come 2nd in all the Tests. If, you want a driving experience better than a Mercedes and a comfortable ride better than a BMW then Audi is NOT for you.

BMW completely concentrates on the Driving Experience and the way the power is delivered to the Wheels, and the way car handles at higher speeds.

Mercedes completely concentrates on providing a comfortable & Safe ride, suspension and safety. You would rather like to be in the back seat of a Mercedes than driving one.

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As per Jane Newton, 

“I think Audi makes safer, more reliable, more beautifully designed cars. I prefer Audi from both a product and brand perspective over BMW”

Times I would not recommend Audi over BMW include:

  1. If I know the person prefers a flashy vehicle—BMW offers many exciting colors and trims, while Audi’s look is more classic (some call boring)
  2. If I know the person previously had a bad experience with Volkswagon—it’s hard to overlook the fact that they are owned by the same parent company
  3. If the person is price sensitive—BMW North America offers far better warranty packages and financing specials than Audi of America

Here is My Comparison Audi Vs BMW

Style

Wins BMW. Audi styling is very conservative and understated. BMW is more sporty and edgy. Unless you prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate, the choice seems obvious.

Power train:

Wins BMW. It is about company culture. BMW builds a car around its engine and transmission while Audi takes its engines from the VW empire’s parts bin. Don’t get me wrong, Audi engines are also very refined and performant but they are not in the same league as BMW. It is like mechanical watches; some brands have in house movements while others buy from suppliers like ETA.

Interiors:

Wins Audi. This is the area that Audi excells whereas for BMW it seems an afterthought. Audis have better fit and finish than BMWs as well as better designed user interfaces.

The VW group in my opinion have moved the game forward a lot as far as what is expected from interior design, fit and finish in a car. In every segment that they compete in the VW group product will usually have the most impressive interior.

So as far as I am concerned, in every class it is present in, the Audi will have objectively the best designed interior. I actually don’t like their interiors, for me they are a bit too serious and lack a sense of joy and excitement that you find in some other brands but that is highly subjective.

Driving dynamics

BMW wins hands down. Audi shares the same front wheel platform with other VW group cars. BMW develops its own rear wheel drive platforms which are much more fun to drive than Audi’s.

Audis generally are not great to drive. They stick to an out of date layout, longitudinal mounted FWD that makes them nose heavy and prone to understeer. 

There are exceptions of course, the R8 is phenomenal. Speaking generally though, for every Audi, there is a BMW that is far better to drive or a Mercedes that is more comfortable to drive. Audi is firmly in third place of the Germans in this regard.

History and prestige.

Bmw wins. Do any body remember any legendary Audis from the 60’s, or 70′s? I wouldn’t think so. This is because Audi was not a luxury brand before VW Group bought it in 1965 and decided to move it upmarket in order to compete with BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Design

I like how Audis look, I think the recent generations look great, however so do Mercedes and BMW. I will give Audi extra points there for visual innovation, they seem to be the visual trend setter in the class.

Engineering

This is a problem for the entire VW group, from Porsche to SEAT, Audi included, all have developed numerous, well documented mechanical gremlins. 

While BMW and Mercedes have also been through this in the past, it seems that VW is very weak on reliability and engineering quality since the mid 00s. I hope this improves soon but for now Audi is in 3rd place of the Germans and 5th place if you include Lexus and Jaguar.

Safety:

To distinguish the issue of safety is a struggle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the BMW 3-Series five stars overall, however the IIHS has given it a Marginal rating for small-overlap protection. Despite the fact that the NHTSA hasn’t yet commented, the A4 is a Top Safety Pick+.

Both the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 offer something to appeal to the majority of luxury shoppers thanks to the broad selection of models and body types hidden behind each brand. 

Although the Audi S-cars aren’t far behind, the BMW still retains the performance edge that adrenaline enthusiasts continuously seek. But when cutting-edge technology and a more minimalistic design are the stronger draw, the Audi lineup triumphs.

BMW makes one of the best infotainment systems out there. And there seems to be no debating that. BMW’s focus has always been performance and faster cars, the X5M is the fastest luxury SUV it even beats the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S in 0–60 times, even when the Porsche is priced twice. 

They lead all other makes in cc:hp ratio, producing 567hp from a 4.4 Litre V8 with 553 nm troque. In recent years they have gone into variety mode, they’re all over the place with new models and product lines, sometime there sales people get confused as to which model to discuss. 

Now they have 1–7 Series, plus X1, X3–6, M Series, Z-Series and i-Series, can you name a model from each series?

Irene M says 

“BMW has never been known for its luxurious interiors, which have historically looked cheap in comparison to Mercedes’ and more lately, Audi’s. 
This marketing is all  about quattro being the most cutting-edge AWD technology. AWD has existed since its creation more than a century ago”

To make up for its lack of a rear wheel drive, Audi introduced Quattro in response to Mercedes and BMW.

In actuality, normal front-wheel-drive Audis cannot compete in terms of driving dynamics with BMWs or Mercedes. It makes up for this with better interior design and technology. 

It is simply different in terms of strengths and weaknesses, not better or worse. Personally, I care a lot more about the driving qualities and would choose a BMW over an Audi any day.

MW’s forte is SUV segment, Audi stands no where when its comes to the SUV world (or SAV as BMW calls it). 

Audi Q’s are more utility and daily drivers than performance. BMW sucks in X1/X3 but then X5/X6 are too good for an Audi. 

The power and performance is limited to a supercharged v6 in Q7 (333hp/325T) and a further tuned v6 in SQ5 (354/347). On the other hand BMW has V8 and M-models to cater to almost any segment of SUV’s.

Conclusion

Overall Audi is my least favourite premium car brand, I still like them but I will chose them after BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar or Lexus. Reliability and Driver engagement being the primary reasons for this.

So the thing is:

Prior to 2008 cars = BMW
After 2008 cars= Audi

BMW was once the true driver’s car but in the last 10 years, BMW has really lost that advantage. Their cars aren’t really fun to drive anymore and their technology and overall build quality is way behind Audi and the other major German brands; Mercedes and Porsche.

There is also the unfortunate stigma of being a  rash driver that comes with owning a BMW these days… I’m not saying you should care what other people think but it’s an important aspect to consider when buying a BMW since you will most likely have to park it in public places and you may have to worry more than others do about vandalism.

I personally rank the German brands as follows based on current models:

  1. Porsche
  2. Mercedes & Audi (tied in my book)
  3. BMW

Overall, these two makes are neck to neck in competition. Both have competing models in each segment, except SUV’s and Electric vehicles which only BMW has and the Audi RX-8 sports car. 

Though these differences are not that huge to pit one against the other, even the prices are pretty much the same for competing models in each segment. In the end,, it comes to the choice of the customer and the feature important to them, hope it helps!

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