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Audi A6 4.2 vs Mercedes E350 4matic

wolfepack88wolfepack88 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Audi
I'm in the market and cannot decide between the A6 4.2 and the Benz E350 4 matic. I have a 03 C320 4 matic and love it but the reliability comments I hear about the E class are making me a bit worried about spending 55k for this car. I've never owned or no anyone who has owned an Audi and I've read comments the past A6's were not very reliable. What's the deal here with both of these cars reliability? Lastly I would like some feedback on deciding between the two. Is there a hands down winner here?


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    cwradio1cwradio1 Member Posts: 2
    I'm a three car audi owner. The last two were back to back 39 month leases on the a6. both cars were essentially the new model design, though I'm sure improvements continue to be made ('97 a6 3.0 and an '02 a6 2.7T). Both cars were great to drive and great to look at. Unfortunately, both leases ended in some pretty heavy repair work. 4K engine rebuild do to a faulty and failed timing chain bolt on car number one - which Audi covered, and 1.5k on car two the last month of the lease - which Audi didn't cover. This was a problem that had symptoms while under warranty but not correctly diagnosed until car completely failed about 10K miles after warranty. Went all the way to Audi for relief and got none.

    As a result, I picked up the last few months of a 2003 e320 lease on swapalease.com. Love the car. Lease ends this week and I am ordering a black e350 4matic tomorrow. My biggest worry is wether to choose the sleek charcoal interior or the soothing stone interior.

    Best of luck with your decision.
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    Jaynj1Jaynj1 Member Posts: 47
    If you are going to lease, then it does not matter. Audi is a great car. But you get pretty good deal on MB's due to good factory to dealer incentives.

    I think they took care of most of the bugs as this is 2nd year for e350.

    Good luck.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well neither car is going to see the reliability charts afire. The real question is whether or not you want the V8 in the A6 or a V6 in the E350, IMO.

    I personally would go with the A6 4.2 only because the E-Class is due for a facelift for 2007.

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    rjlaerorjlaero Member Posts: 659
    I'd get the 4.2 A6 hands down anyday over a V6 4 matic Benz. The Mercedes is easily $5,000 more money to get the same options. The E500 is the competition to the A6 4.2, not the 350.

    And the Audi has a new body style, and just remember there's no free maintenance anymore with Mercedes Benz.
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    masterdcwmasterdcw Member Posts: 1
    I am getting price quotes from local MB dealers $49,000 for e350x and $60,000 for e500x respectively. Both with premium pkg. Which one should I go for? Is the e350 comparable to e500 in terms of performance?
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    rdrtkdrdrtkd Member Posts: 1
    i just bought the e350. i too was worried about reliability especially since i come from a long line of lexus cars.

    but, lexus got boring, so on to mercedes. dealer quote was 49300 (premium package). seemed like a good deal.

    parents owned audi in early 80's, and of course they were a disaster back then, so i have never given them a second thought, even though they may have improved their car and reliability.

    good luck. would be interesting to hear what you did...
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    rrrlawrrrlaw Member Posts: 1
    I am trading in my lexus 300 for a faster awd car with that has high luxury. seriously thinking of the MD awd 350. Only because the Lexus 250 is slow.

    So with your E350, have you found it reliable? I'm a little bored too with Lexus but it is reliable an has a d cool interior with NAV. Any advice?
    Any ship visits? Any clinking in teh rear like we can read about on the web forums?

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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    I am an avid Audi lover, just to let you know.

    I own an S4 Cabriolet and an A3 2.0T DSG, and my wife has a Lexus RX330.

    We don't know if we want a sedan or SUV for her next car, and the Q7 is a bit big (we also don't want three Audis).

    The Range Rover Sport and E350 4Matic are our two top choices right now. Any comments?

    Is the reliability of those two poor enough to buy a Porsche Cayenne S? (especially after a Lexus)

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    autoenthusiastautoenthusiast Member Posts: 2
    I'm just recently on my second E-class 4matic in San Francisco.

    To be fair, all of the new Audis are beautifully styled, and I seriously considered the A6 before I bought my second MB considering the premium you pay for the MB.

    However on my last trip to the dealership for routine maintenance on my last car(which is still free last I checked), I chatted with the Enterprise rental car manager on site. I mentioned my lease was about to expire, and he informed me that he handles loaner cars for all the luxury dealerships in the city.

    The comment he left with me was memorable: "You don't want an Audi. I see those guys in here more than anyone else."
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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    That's fine and true- but Mercedes-Benz is no stalwart with reliability! That's why we're hesitant to trade in our Lexus for an M-B.

    Also, I've had four Audis (used A4 for my son, replaced with an A3, my own A6, replaced with an S4 Cabriolet) and none have had any problems, excepting an oil leak on our [used] A4. The A4 was replaced with the A3, and the A3 has been an angel- it drives like a BMW for half the price, has an interior that nothing in the price bracket can match, and is very practical, stylish, rare and even desirable. My S4 can be described with all of those adjectives, except switch "practical" with "unbelievably torquey and fast"!


    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Oh for pity's sake, now I have heard it all.

    The truth? Heck, I don't know the truth about the reliability issue between the Audi and the Mercedes. We did test drive Audis, BMW's and Mercedes and they are all very competent in every possible way.

    What an Enterprise rental car manager says has so many meanings and of course could (ya think) have some biases (as in, "don't we all?") -- but my Audi dealer offers "free" rental cars for ALL customers in for service. Period.

    Audi currently has the Audi Advantage and even though it will be a $550 option (you know it will be included or discounted) there are lots of folks like me who are in for an oil change and take the free rental so that I can run some errands.

    My wife's BMW dealer also provides free rentals -- [non-permissible content removed] for tat, however. If you have an X3 you are loaned an X3 or an X5, lots of 3's a few 5's and several 7's too.

    What this demonstrates may be something may be nothing.

    Mercedes, the last time I checked, outsells the Audis by at least 2 to 1. There are two Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealerships here in little ol Cincinnati.

    The largest BMW dealership in Ohio is here. My Audi dealership sells about 550 cars per year.

    The BMW dealership sells about 1300 -- I have no idea what the other two Audi and BMW dealerships sell nor do I know what the Mercedes dealerships sell.

    I would imagine that it is NOT impossible nor even improbable to imagine that the Audi dealer has X number of loaners, the BMW dealership has 3X loaners and perhaps the Mercedes store also has a multiple of X number for the customers to use Free of Charge.

    The Enterprise comment may be true -- I would lend no credence to it, however.

    An Audi A6 4.2 Sline with all the toys will be less money than a 6 cylinder E 4Matic. Both are fine German cars with great road capabilities and competencies.

    For performance, with little weight given to other attributes, the Audi wins.

    There are many attributes that may, for you, make the E a better choice.

    Typically the Audi will "win" in two areas, two arenas, if you will: the Interior and the Performance both in a straight line and on the track (in SLine trim at least.)

    It will NOT be as comfortable and isolating -- indeed it may be considered by some as harsh when compared with the Mercedes.

    The Mercedes is a fantastic car, clearly the most popular (at least in North America) -- but both the Audi and the Mercedes have much to recommend them.
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    autoenthusiastautoenthusiast Member Posts: 2

    I wasn't ripping on the Audi. I've never owned one, though in my last round I seriously considered the A6. Years ago I considered the A4, but on the test drive, I found it was revving too high for too little turnout. Nonetheless, I gave credit to the Audi for having blown away all the others on styling.

    By the way, Enterprise is indeed free. Mercedes pays for the loaners. That Enterprise services all the dealerships means they manage the loaner cars for all the dealerships at certain economies of scale and with better service because my service advisors don't have to worry about that nonsense.

    I've never taken my car in for anything but routine maintenance and to have accessories installed, like ski and bike racks. They've given me a loaner every time, free of charge. However that's not true from dealership to dealership, even in BMW's case. My sister has had BMWs for a decade, and as in my case, experiences different levels of service at different dealerships in the Bay Area.

    My point is about having to take the car in at all. Other than routine maintenance, you shouldn't have problems, period. If you're leasing new and only keep the car 2,3,4 years, even more reason not to. You should never have to bring it in more than once or twice a year depending on how much you drive.

    On the cars' attributes, I think I stated as much earlier, meaning, I completely agree with you. The Audi wins hands down on styling, and it will be better handling on the track, if that's the type of car you need. I've driven both of them to, in, and from Tahoe, in both cars and like them both.

    They're simply different cars. The Audi will be more comparable to the BMW as a "driver's" car. The Mercedes is more of a "rider's" car so it handles differently, though the Sport package narrows the gap. For me, I drive 60+ miles a day and I carry clients and other passengers including my dog. If it were just me, I'd be in a 5-series, but I think they appreciate the comfort.

    I have plenty of friends who love their Audis and will remain loyal forevermore. My comment about Mercedes vs. Audi is only that I've *heard* reliability is bad. I commute a ways and work long hours so I don't have time to deal with problems, so for me, reliability and safety are paramount.

    I'm not sure what you mean to say with the number of cars dealerships sell and loan out, and I sold cars to put myself through college. If it was an extension of MB loaners, they are free, even when dispensed by Enterprise.
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    The point was to suggest that the number of available [loaners] in dealership owned by the dealership cars could account for what might seem to be "more" free-rentals for one marquis than another.

    The BMW store certainly runs out of loaner cars -- but never in my experience. The Audi dealer runs out if you aren't there by 8:30AM. Most of the time I do get Enterprise cars or Cadillac's (since the dealer owns both brands.)

    Once, a fond ONCE, I got an S4, although it did have an automatic, as a loaner. I also got an A8 even when I no longer had an A8 myself. And, once for a three day weekend, I was given a Boxster (they own that brand too) and all I had to do was put gas in it -- and this time it WAS a stick.

    Funny, my preference for a stick worked in my favor as the service manager said, "take the Porsche, no one wants it for a loaner since it doesn't have an auto transmission."

    If the Mercedes is more comfortable and that is one of your needs, I would go with the Mercedes despite the bad service (need for, not bad dealerships) reputation it had for several years (especially with the brakes and electronics.)

    I think for both Audi and Mercedes the current offerings, while perhaps NOT bullet proof, are very reliable.

    Audis may have dealership issues that loom larger than actual product issues. Mercedes dealerships, in my observation, have been, on average, "better" than Audi dealerships, "on average."

    The best in our city is the BMW store -- and personally I've no bad or sad words to say about the Audi store I frequent (the Audi Connection.)

    But, it DOES make a difference when the dealership knows you and knows you have had over two dozen cars from them -- and when new tire kickers keep coming in dropping my name.

    Do I get better treatment -- probably. But for the most part the folks I know that use this dealership are delighted. It is just that it is that teensy weensy bit better at the BMW store.

    The diff is that the BMW store is owned by one guy and that is all he owns.

    The Audi store is owned by a corporation and they own the alphabet and dealerships repping America, Europe and Asia.

    The Mercedes 4Matics were absolutely wonderful cars that I would be happy to have.

    I am where I am with the A6 due in no measure to any concerns about Mercedes at this point. :shades:
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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    Lucky me...

    I've had no problems with the four Audis I've owned, and the dealership experience (sans The Audi Exchange, which I got my first A6 from) has been impeccable.

    When I got my S4, my dealer-friend, Paul, told me that my car was "the coolest looking car they'd ever had on the lot" and people stopped to admire it many times. That made me smile, and it didn't make me want to look at the newly re-opened Audi Exchange. He also gave my son a hat, and a poster of the R8 LeMans racer. When one of the other salesmen walked by and asked jokingly why he didn't get those things, Paul replied "Because you didn't buy an S4 Cabriolet!"

    Just my luck, I guess.

    Marginally camouflaged 2007 X5 shots have been released, and one of them has been touched so it doesn't have any camouflage. I must say, I was very impressed, considering the way the 5 Series looks. It retains the current X5's muscular, timeless lines, but adds a touch more menace, and the engine choices remain largely the same in America:

    3.0i is boosted to 260hp, but otherwise unchanged
    4.4i is changed to 4.5i, with 330hp (I question why they didn't use the 750/550/650 engine?)

    These engines are just speculation, but I am sure they are very close to the truth. It's convenient that the new X5 is coming out in October, and my wife is looking to replace her Lexus RX330 in January. The updated E350 4Matic is our top dog right now, while we are also looking at the Q7 4.2, Porsche Cayenne S, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and the X5.
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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    Also speculation- the X5 actually may gain the new 335ci coupe's bi-turbo 3.0 liter 6, producing approximately 300hp. This would give it more than enough power to be faster than the Cadillac SRX V6/V8, Infiniti FX35/45, Lexus RX350/400h, Mercedes-Benz ML350/500, and Porsche Cayenne/Cayenne S.

    This engine may be standard, but it also may just be the 3.0 260hp engine in the 330i sedan. Not sure.

    Also, there was an updated '06 CLK500 cabriolet behind my car tonight- as gorgeous as mine. Just wondering, though, why the CLK didn't gain the new 5.5 liter V8 as its larger engine, as the E-Class will have it for the 2007 model year.
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The CLK500 does indeed become the CLK550 for 2007.

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    reality2reality2 Member Posts: 303
    I am not sure what the Enterprise guy was thinking, but I find alot of ant-Audi bias out there for some strange reason. I have owned 9 Audis in the past 12 years with 3 pretty new ones in my garage. I have always wondered what all this talk was about Audi reliability compared to its competitors. From my personal experience, I have never had an issue with any of my cars and my current Audi A6 4.2 S-line and A6 3.2 Avant are gems. M-B cannot compare - sorry. JD Powers reliability surveys show Audi in the top 8 with the next round Audi is expected to be in the top 5. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with the purchase of the new Audi these days. They are solid and nicely pedigreed.
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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    At least most people on this website are civilized and respect Audi, knowing that it is a serious competitor.

    It's crazy how so many of my friends and acquaintances have Audis and love them- but then BMW ends up on top in my area.

    I have had four Audis (used A4 1.8T quattro for my son, replaced with an A3 2.0T I use in the winter; A6 2.7T quattro for me, replaced with an S4 Cabriolet), and each one has been more reliable than the next- not to say I have had problems.

    The worst I have had is the headlight washer caps flying off my first Audi, the A6, on the highway. The S4, A3 and A4 have all been (or were) perfect.
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    microrepairmicrorepair Member Posts: 508
    I'm curious as to how many miles you folks put on your Audis before you trade or sell them. And the same for the E-class owners. I've looked closely at the A6 V6's also but ended up owning 2 E320's. Maybe you don't keep them long enough to have any problems show up. The last three cars I have owned and used for myself have had 99K, 140K, and my current car has 78K. The first was a Mazda and except for a broken seat frame (my fault) was flawless. The next two were E320's; a 96 and my current 2001. I wish I could say they were reliable, but they do show problems in the 70/80K range, but they are relatively minor but potentially expensive. But that is why I buy them only with Starmark coverage. They are NOT Mazdas (or Toyotas like my wife's current car). If your priority is reliability, don't buy German cars.. Especially don't buy Swedish cars..! My daughter bought a Saab; huge mistake..
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    4rino4rino Member Posts: 2
    Thats bull, I have had a 2003 A6 for 2 years now and I have only taken it in for oil changes. I am so impressed with Audi, that i'll probably get the A8 next. Besides the price difference and the reliability so far,I also think the styling is better than that of Mercedes and BMW. Though I will admit that BMW does have better handling than Audi. To me Mercedes is just a name everybody knows,not really impressed.
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