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MB E350 vs. BMW 530xi vs. Audi A6

My husband's 528xi lease is coming up in Sept. Test drove the Audi A6 (and A5 convertible), MB C and E class and the BMW 328xi. Didn't like the C class, but did like the E350 (I assume he drove the E350 4matic sedan). The 528 or 530xi is not available right now according to his dealer, so we'd need to extend his lease a month or two to wait on the 2012's (or look at the 335xi, I think...). He currently has a manual transmission, and is having parting anxiety, but is ready to sacrifice that to keep the AWD (a MUST in the northeast). So, what are your thoughts on these cars? We are looking to lease... What other cars might we be missing that we should look at in this category? NEED AWD, and seating capacity for 5.

Comments

  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    On my fifth M-B 4 Matic. Love em' in our 130 inch snowfall area in upstste NY. Second E Wagon for 2011 plus an S-class.

    Had several BMW's loved them too. 5 series wagon is now gone but it never had the usable space of the M-B.

    None of my known associates has ever bought an Audi the second time due to electrical stuff and parts distribution that can take months.

    My new M-B has paddle shifting and it is more funner than any stick.
  • wolfekmwolfekm Posts: 18
    Thanks!! I am looking to test drive the MB myself tomorrow - drove the Audi today and it was nice, but I'm not "feeling the love" enough to justify the high lease payment (the MB works out better - need to talk to the dealer tomorrow but suspect it is due to residual value and not the mf. Will have to check out the paddle shifting!
  • revdr2revdr2 Posts: 2
    Have had two previous audi's. Looked at 528i this year and the 2012 audi won out by far. Quatro excellent awd and audi comes with much more standard equipment. Audi dealer says buying is better deal than leasing right now because of high money factor on new audi lease. Mercedes has always seemed dull in styling to me.
  • wolfekmwolfekm Posts: 18
    Thanks - the lease prices on the Audi are quite a bit higher than the MB. Partly money factor, but also residual... Still on the fence! I do agree the Audi is more "fun" to drive, but not sure if it's worth $100+/month more if my husband is set on leasing...
  • noworriesinmdnoworriesinmd Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    I just drove the following
    11 335xi Coupe (loaded)
    11 E350 P1/sport
    12 A6 Prestige

    The dealership put all the cars side by side.
    I'm ranking the cars in order.

    Driving (smile on face)
    335 (amazing car, engine sings, just perfect)
    A6 (can't feel shifts....velvet 8sp trans)
    E350 (just refined)

    Exterior Styling
    E350 (this car is beautiful, classy, and screams I paid a lot)
    335 (who will really see this car, as you are passing everyone)
    A6 (Very boring side profile. Front is aggressive, this car will blend in)

    Interior Styling
    A6 BY FAR (geez this interior is amazing!!!! WOW)
    E350 (Toss up w/ 335; after the A6 who cares)
    335 (toss up w/ e350; after the A6 who cares)

    I still have not made a decision: leaning toward the A6 because I spend most of the time in the cabin. Do I really car about what people think about the car on the outside?

    If all I cared about is driving: 335 hands down (decision I would have made in my mid-late 20's)
    If all I cared about is prestige: E350 by a mile
    All around good but boring car w/ amazing tech and interior: A6
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,907
    If you own a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class but thinking about an Audi A6 for your next car, email pr@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than Friday, August 12, 2011 to be interviewed by a reporter on the subject.

    MODERATOR
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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I just drove my new E350 off the lot yesterday straight to a client. The car's sticker was a bit under $60K. I heard the following question twice: "so this was, like, eighty grand or so?". So yes, the E350 does have the "I paid a lot for it" factor. Don't think either the bimmer or audi have that going quite to that level.

    With that said - yeah, the A6 looks amazing inside. I was sorely tempted.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,941
    You really need to drive the new E350 4matic. The new engine makes this car the best in its class. The new engine develops 302 horsepower with fuel economy over 30 mpg. I just took delivery on my 2012 rear wheel drive E350, and it is unbelievable. You cannot compare the 2011 with the others. You must drive the 2012 to fully appreciate the changes in torque, acceleration, and fuel economy. Let me know what you think of the new 2012 once you've test driven it!

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,941
    You must drive the new 2012 E350 when comparing it to the audi and BMW. I've owned a 535i and an A6. My new 2012 if faster, handles better, and sure looks better. I test drove all of the cars you mentioned as well as the Jaguar XF, XJ, the new Lexus GS, and when I drove the Mercedes, it took my breath away.

    I just took delivery on it (they just came out in the sedan, coupes have been out since June). YOu must take the new one in the sport model for a spin.

    2015 Mercedes Benz E400

  • abacomike,

    I need to pipe in...I've always been a Mercedes lover/owner and have never considered a BMW up until recently. Due to lack of Mercedes inventory, I shopped around and ended up jumping to the other side and traded my E Class in for a new 535 a couple of months back and could not be any happier. I've driven the new E Class and there is no real comparison to the new 5 Series, the BMW out performs in all areas and has so much more value.

    The drive is completly different, the technological offerings are far more supreme and the fact that the maintenance has been included in the base price of the car for the first 50k miles is huge bonus. I've recieved more compliments on the BMW in the past two months than I have ever recieved in all my years of driving Mercedes.

    Not sure if I'll ever go back to Mercedes...

    MasterMugu
    --Camarillo, CA
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 968
    edited November 2011
    I drove every comparable car in August because I hated my 2011 Infiniti M37 and I bought myself out of the lease. I ruled out the BMW 5 series pretty quickly because of something that most folks don't think about....the seat belt cut across my wife's neck (she's 5'0") and there is no way to adjust the height...that ruled the car darn quickly. Additionally, our local dealer has a pretty poor reputation in the service area. I liked the A6, I loved the jaguar, but the resale is a killer (not my estimate..I use leasing residuals to compare estimated resales) since I don't keep any car more than 3 years. I liked the e350 (gas)...very solid and quiet, but the 2011 didn't have the pep of the BMW. I live in SW Florida where we have no hills or curves so you can buy a car with outstanding cornering ability and the only time you'll use it is turning a corner at a traffic light. Finally, I stumbled on the incredibly high residual of the e350 bluetec (Diesel) and on a 2 year lease, it was hundreds of dollars a month less than any of the competitive cars. I test drove one, I was amazed at how well the car drove and handled and it was a no brainer decision. It is an incredible car...if you are considering leasing your next car....take an e350 bluetec out for a test drive and get a lease price on it.
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    edited January 2012
    Well, it was almost anti-climactic after the several weeks of research, test drives, posting and reading on this website. I have been driving my black exterior/almond interior 2012 E350 which I picked up last week and really like it. While the black exterior does get dirty sooner than my medium gray BMW 528i, this color combination is very rich and elegant, yet sporty at the same time. Even though the car is black, it looks bigger than it is.
    My salesman was very helpful and spent about 45 minutes going through the car with me, from programing the nav system, syncing the contacts on my cell phone, adjusting the memory seats (driver and passenger) and the list goes on (even the emergency release inside the trunk). I felt that the time was sufficient, and look through the owner's manuals for more details or to find out something that I may have forgotten from his walk-through. Using the different gadgets helps me learn them.
    I got the sport package with the P1 package, lane change/blind spot assist and AMG wheels. The nav system is easy to use, as is the radio. The voice control is pretty incredible and very responsive.
    The cabin is beautiful: the almond seating contrasts beautifully with the black dash and black carpet and walnut burl. The adjustable seats with memory for both driver and passenger are very supportive but comfortable.
    The E350 definitely feels more solid than my 528i. It has a very nice ride, smooth yet sporty with good steering and handling. I think the 528 has a little more responsive handling, but that might be due to the lighter feel of the car.
    I'm very happy with the E350. I've owned several Lexus (ES300 and GS 300) and two BMW's (325 and 528) and I like the E350 more than any of them. All of them are great cars and I certainly am not knocking any of them. I think the E350 has features of both the Lexus and BMW. It has creature comforts of the Lexus (all of which the BMW does not have) but more personality than the Lexus. The sport package gives it good styling and handling more akin to the BMW, but it is much finer in detail, and roomier in front and back. The BMW is what I would consider a luxury sport car, whereas the E350 is more of a sporty luxury car.
    To all of you who are considering what to get, just read the comments of those who post on this site, see the cars in person and test drive them yourself, and get the car and features that suit you the best. Enjoy the experience.
  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    You made a good call. Is it the 4-Matic?

    Your next car will be the next gen S-Class!
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    Thanks. It's the standard sedan with sport package. I live in Los Angeles and did not need the all-wheel drive so didn't get the 4-matic. Funny you should mention the S-Class. A dealer I went to had a fleet of thirteen 2012 S-Class hybrid's that were used for the U.S. Open and they were running a special: 13 month lease for $995/month, with a residual of $69,000.00. They were all the same: silver with black interior and were beautiful. However, the short lease period and the fact that they were around $20,000.00 more than I wanted to spend made me pass on it.
  • I was driving a Lexus GS 350 and wanted a change. I drove the E 350 coupe P 2 and was really impressed. The leather seats are firmer than the Lexus, but the ride is smoother. The seats almost mold to your body. The voice recognition is flawless. The Lexus drove me crazy: me "Show restaurant icons" Lexus "Showing state parks." The Help menu for the voice recognition is great; it walks you through the steps. 10 GB hard drive for music, Hardan Karmon 5.1 surround sound, and USB port for music. Also, the new engine has 302 hp with 28 mpg on the highway at 78 mph and 18+ mpg around town with the Economy setting. I have never owned a BMW so I can't make a comparison.
  • cyndy23cyndy23 Posts: 1
    edited August 2012
    I owned 3 BMWs (3 Series, 5 Series & X3) and loved everyone of them. BMW are very reliable vehicles, and have great performance, however, my feelings are just the opposite as yours. Being a BMW girl I never imagined switching over to a Mercedes until I spotted the new E Class Sports model, test drove it and drove off the lot with it.

    No regrets on purchasing the E Class Mercedes. Even though I enjoyed my BMW's, and would recommend BMW, but I don't think I will ever go back to the BMW.
  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    Same feeling here.
    Great comparison test by the way.
    We've owned all the cars mentioned in this forum except the Audi.
    Waiting for the new S class though. I hate waiting.
    I am now going to test the BMW 650 GranCoupe and the Audi S7.
    Gotta have a V8.
    Best of luck with your new MB.
  • I have had three BMW, but this time I'm going with MB E350. I do not care for BMW run flat tires. They are more expensive and harder to replace, and in case of a real bad flat, there is no spare tire in the trunk. The second item is the new start\stop feature where the engine shutoff when you put your foot on the break, and when you release your foot off the brake the engine cranks back on. I'm not too comfortable with that. With the MB E350, I love the looks, and the active seats are so much better than the BMW. I think the MB E350 might prove to cost less in the long run and more reliable. But again, I'm 53, and want a smooth and silent running car.
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