Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

BMW 528xi vs. Audi A6 Q vs. Lexus GS 350 AWD

caoyijiancaoyijian Member Posts: 16
edited July 2014 in Audi
My A4 lease is to end soon. Thinking about these three choices of buying or leasing. Any thoughts and experiences about likes, or dislikes in these areas:
Service issues
Dealer experience.
Thanks in advance.


  • Options
    uglybearuglybear Member Posts: 26
  • Options
    billyperks1billyperks1 Member Posts: 151
    Too expensive- I priced it out with the Sports Package, Nav and a fewer other goodies and it came out to 60k.A similarly equipped GS 350 is 12K cheaper not to mention a RL.I just cant justify that steep premium.
  • Options
    achonkoachonko Member Posts: 51
    1. Handling wise, I will think the 528xi and A6 Q are pretty close.
    2. Comfort wise, I will probably say all three are the same.
    3. I think the GS350 is power luxurious.
    4. I will consider the BMW to be the safest, followed by the Audi.
    5. Although Lexus prides itself with the reliability thing, factoring the free maintenance from BMW, I will go with the BMW.
    6. I can't speak for Audi or Lexus, but my BMW dealer is very good.

    Now if you factor in cost into the equation, I will definitely look at the GS350, besides it has the most potent engine of the three.
  • Options
    macdadmacdad Member Posts: 75
    I currently have an 06 525 with the lease coming up soon and have looked at the three cars you mentioned (not the AWD though) as well as the Infinity M. Buying is one thing but if you are going to lease, the residuals on the BMW are much better. After reading customer reviews on the Lexus I find they all love the car but many of those owners often end their review with "but it is not a BMW". I have not done much homework on the Audi yet. Driving each will be the test.

  • Options
    littlewonderlittlewonder Member Posts: 20
    There is a recent report from some car safety board that ranks the BMW 5 series at the bottom of the list for safety due to poor side airbags.
  • Options
    shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    You know..., I've been hearing where various BMWs have performed less than satisfactorily on many IIHS crashes for at least a decade, and yet, insurance company actuarial data suggests that BMWs are just about the safest cars one can drive these days. Geez, my brand new 2002 530i with an MSRP of nearly $49,000 was as inexpensive to insure as our (then) four year old Dodge Grand Caravan. I asked my agent why it was so inexpensive to insure and she said, "They're hard to steal and they're safe to be in when in an accident."

    So, why the disconnect? The best explanation that I've heard is that BMW engineers engineer their cars to be safe in many, many scenarios, IIHS tests be damned. Sometimes the IIHS tests coincide with their analysis of what is safe, and the car gets a good score on that test, some times the tests don't.

    I liken this situation in a weird way to the whole Hybrid debacle, Hybrids it seems were developed to exploit the flawed EPA mileage testing, and as such these cars were released to the market with obscenely exaggerated mileage numbers, numbers that the cars cannot hope to achieve in real world driving. Meanwhile, cars like the BMWs that I have driven have had absolutely no problem exceeding their EPA ratings, even at extra legal speeds.

    Long story short, I'll gladly take my chances in a BMW, even in a side impact collision.

    Best Regards,
  • Options
    2001gs4302001gs430 Member Posts: 767
    my brand new 2002 530i with an MSRP of nearly $49,000 was as inexpensive to insure as our (then) four year old Dodge Grand Caravan.

    When I bought my GS, I was contemplating BMW 5/3 as well. However, insurance quotes were 15-20% more for the Bimmers.
  • Options
    hpia4v2hpia4v2 Member Posts: 62
    I hope this doesn't come across offending, but am I the only guy just care less about what what the insurance cost.
    Really, if I like the Lexus GS cause it's safe, reliable and rather fun to drive; which is the most important to me but it cost $400 a year more to insure than an Audi, so I went with an Audi?

    I just hope my wife would pinch real hard for thinking like that. Even if 20% translate to more that $800 a year, where is the threshold of pain? You are spending money on $50K or more already.
  • Options
    2001gs4302001gs430 Member Posts: 767
    You read too much into the posting. I just merely discuss the insurance aspect of chosing a car.
  • Options
    150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I have yet to test drive the BMW or the Audi, but I have driven the Mer C350 & the Lexus GS350. My head touched the sunroof of both. I think a 500 mile drive in either would give me a severe pain in the neck.
  • Options
    britcrlvrbritcrlvr Member Posts: 83
    the audi a6 will give you more room than the bmw 5 series. someone i know is 6-8 and has not complained about being cramped.
  • Options
    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    My 2005 A6 3.2Q with virtually every option was $53,286, leased for $640 for 36 months with no sec dep and no cap cost reduction (from me.)

    It has NOT been flawless -- but nothing that has gone wrong with the car has cost me a cent.

    Yet, the car at 42+ thousand miles on it has NOT aged in terms of ride, handling, fit and finish, rattles or what have you.

    I say this as I have been loaned 2007 A6's while mine was in for service and been able to roll out of the 2007 right into my 2005 and not be able to feel any difference.

    I have had to replace the tires, Audi replaced ALL of the chrome which had been damaged by US car washes and just today ALL of the brakes were replaced free of charge (the pad light came on.)

    Early on, the pushbutton starter had to be replaced once per month for the first three months in a row.

    The A/C is strong enough even for today (110F with the humidity factored in) -- and everything works and looks almost brand new (the leather on the steering wheel is now shiny from my mits wearing it down.)

    The thing is higher in content than many 2008's from other companies.

    Even though it is motivated by just 255 HP, the six speed transmission puts it all to great use. The 50 50 torque split never offers up torque steer and it can be pushed into understeer (offset somewhat by overinflating the front tires -- 39F 36R.)

    The sound system gets (today) an A-/B+ (for the money) but if you've a couple grand extra you can do better.

    The gas mileage is fantastic -- must be the FSI engine.

    Service intervals are 10K.

    My wife has a 2005 X3 -- all optioned, too. The BMW service is somewhat better (probably regional) than the Audi service in that she can get new wiper blades every 15 minutes if she wants -- Audi won't go that far anymore.

    No seams have split, no parts have fallen off, the thing is just well screwed together -- this applies to both her BMW and my Audi. I can assume this generalization could apply to other Audis and BMW's.

    I've rarely read anything bad about the Lexus -- but the car is often damned with faint praise, or "this thing is like driving the nicest sofa you can imagine."

    I nearly went for the M35X in 2005 -- and I still, to this day, think I would have been satisfied with it, despite its 5 speed auto transmission.

    More power -- 535xi,fer instance -- would be wonderful. The Audi 4.2 is fantastic but it sucks gas and I can go 80MPH in the 3.2 without breaking a sweat and, after all, even in lil ol Cincinnati, that is about all the traffic will allow (often, as in today, 20MPH was all the traffic would allow.)

    The sound of the Audi 3.2 at full cry is "almost" like the V8 -- and, getting in a place where full cry is even possible is getting less and less possible, so, whattyagonnado?

    At this point, I would get the one with the best lease deal and, based on what I have read, go with the one that seemed to "go like a snake in a rat hole" (as my wife says.)

    I'm not entirely sure I know what that means, but I think it means the one that handles the best wins.

    I'd be hard pressed to dis the BMW or the Audi -- the Audi feels bigger inside and at the version you are looking at, the Audi will probably feel more powerful.

    I have extensively test driven the no longer offered 530xi and found it a tiny tiny tiny bit less urgent than the Audi (but the Audi did have the 18" wheel and tire package and the Bimmer at the time had skinny 17"-ers.)

    The Infiniti M35X is a very nice machine, but TODAY it seems to my eye to need a fresher body style -- the Audi still seems "contemporary" -- and, as usual, the Bimmer is an acquired taste.

    Food for thought, from an Audi guy.

    I would look, long and hard, at an all optioned 2008 CTS AWD 3.6 direct injection equipped Cadillac, too.
  • Options
    terminatorx5terminatorx5 Member Posts: 3
    I always thought, a car is a car is a car, get's you from point A to point B. Until I tried a 530i, '94 model year. I ended up buying it (used, can't afford a new one). At 8 years of age and 100K, the car was running circles around many of the newer cars. When I sold the car 5 years and 60 K later, the car was still running circles around so many of the newer cars on the roads. the guy that bought it, was so happy after a test drive, that he could not wipe off a smile off his face.
    Since that car, I tried other German cars (others are too soft for my newly aqcuired taste), because I thought it would be a sign of bad taste to stick to a single brand - long story short, I am on a 3rd bimmer now... But this is a matter of money and personal preference - my mom tried a bimmer but she preferred an A6.

    Audi outperforms BMW in many races but BMW is exactly what it is - they try to keep the brand undiluted as much as it is possible in today's market, while many others are sharing the platforms with other sibling brands, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, Honda/Acura, Audi/Volkswagen, Ford/Jaguar/Volvo...

    BMW in comparison to AUDI is more of a status difference than technological difference... Granted, the price difference is gone into areas that most people don't see and hopefully will never get to use, such as safety features or some crazy engine functions that are more racing functions than everyday driving deals...

    Also, think about the cost of ownership, during the normal lease duration, all you pay for is the lease payments, any warranty issues are resolved at no cost AND the maintenance is taken care of at no cost as well - this is how BMW is insuring that the dealer keeps a close eye on a car and the car retains its attractiveness on a second hand market, thus insuring higher resale value for a vehicle that allows the manufacturer command a higher price on a new model line-up... Very interesting and intriguing business model that is aimed at the upper consumer level, where the higher profit margins are easily realized...

    Of course, in the process, you, the consumer, are treated accordingly... Of course, the level of service depends a lot on a specific dealership, but generally speaking, this applies to most dealers.

    Prime example, in the country where I am at now, there is only one BMW dealer for the whole country - while the monopoly could have had them go nasty on their customers, they know that most people buying their cars are of certain financial value and accordingly hold certain positions within society, therefore they demand certain level of respect...

    FYI, on one of my bimmers, that was many thousands of miles out warranty, I had missing pixels on the cluster display - BMW NA had replaced the $1000 cluster for the cost of labor of $120, as a goodwill gesture to its customer base.

    Just my 2 cents...

  • Options
    lazerlazer Member Posts: 4
    Forget about brands, let's talk about cars.
    A8 has a biggest cabin
    528 has sporty handling
    GS 350 is most luxurious, has the best engine of three, has most comfortable ride and is most reliable.
    I had no [problem of making a choice after driving them all a couple of times.
    I got white 2008 GS350 AWD fully loaded with light beige interior.
    The best car I ever had!!!
  • Options
    satyargsatyarg Member Posts: 5
    I drive a BMW 5 series RWD and a GS AWD.

    I agree the Lexus feels more Luxurious however I am not 100% happy as they improved the road feedback trying to make it more sporty. Making the tires noisy for a Lexus.A lot of buyers might like the feedback and new sporty GS.

    I did not expect it to be all in one.I feel It falls between being Sporty and luxury.
    I would have still preferred to be removed from the road and elements.
    Personally prefer the new ES 350 for its cushy and roomier ride( I tried it as a Loaner car from my dealership) and was blown away even if it lacked in options and
    an asserting sporty ride. It felt quieter than my GS. What an improvement Lexus had made in it compared to the earlier year models ( 2007).I must admit I haven't driven the new GS 2008/2009. I am comparing it with my 2006 GS
  • Options
    hhgolfhhgolf Member Posts: 3
    I would like to hear a discussion on the value and sport-drive enjoyment of late model 5 seriesAWD. I like the semi-automatic feel and performance of my 2007 x3.

    any 5 series as much fun at the price point I will have to face at my current lease's end?
  • Options
    gardisgardis Member Posts: 185
    I looked at Audi today. I cannot figure out, is the A4 the same size as a 3 series BMW? And the A6 would be the equivalent to the 5 series? Although the A6 looks longer somehow. To me the A4 lookoed bigger than the 3 series. I want a car that's roomier than the 3 series which I currently drive. I prefer the 5 series, but want to be sure of what I'm doing. Thanks Guys. How's Audi on the mechanicals? I keep cars a long time. Are they good cars?
  • Options
    tayl0rdtayl0rd Member Posts: 1,926
    The new A4 is bigger than the 3-series, but they still compete in the same class.

    A4 = 3-series = C-class = IS
    A6 = 5-series = E-class = GS
    A8 = 7-series = S-class = LS
  • Options
    adamjmankadamjmank Member Posts: 10
    I feel the same way, about the GS 350.
    I drove the new ES as a loaner Car when I dropped my GS for service.
    I felt the ES was even quieter than and more roomier inside than my GS 350.
    I even parked them side by side and the GS is longer and taller in exterior dimensions. :mad: If only I knew Lexus would bring the ES to these levels, I would have waited and saved big- almost 10- 12 K.

    Coming to BMW vs Lexus- The Beemer 5 series is much sportier than the Lexus in looks and handling. however my GS 350 is much luxirious inside ( the 5 series is bland in comparision once inside). The ride is a lot comfier, silent, the controls are made with almost flawless precision and the stability control is awesome.
    The only complaint I have is there is a HUMP in the Back seat leg room space which in not comfortable for three adults in the back on long drives. The ES does not have this :confuse: do not know why the japanese geniuses included it in a large car like the GS.

    I myself brouht the GS 350 AWD because it was less expensive than the 5 Xiseries and am Happy with the gas mileage 29 m/gallon on highways for AWD :blush: and the compromise it offers between luxury and handling.
    It finally comes to personal preference as both are very good.
  • Options
    bmw_audi_fanbmw_audi_fan Member Posts: 1
    One thing to really consider is the manufacture's intention with these vehicles. BMW is a sports car, first and foremost, with the 'extras' added in. With sports minded features considered, I feel that BMW is tops. But when it comes to adding luxury features to the mix, BMW leaves a lot to be desired (by design). The best way I can describe a BMW interior is "Sterile".

    The Audi conversely, is a lot more appealing to the eye (amongst other body parts). It may not be quite up to the task of competing with the BMW in top speed or 1/4 mile, but as someone said earlier in this post, where are you going to be driving 110+ on a regular basis.

    Bottom line, if your a lead foot aggressive driver (like me!), the BMW is your car. If you want to get there in style, go for an Audi.
  • Options
    mattsammattsam Member Posts: 25
    Good point, but don't sleep on the raw performance of the A6 especially with the 3.0T supercharged engine. This engine is probably in 75% of the engines they will have in the show room. I just got one last week, wow 300HP 5.9 0-60 and the quattro all wheel drive. It may not top the 528 but I bet its real close in a race. Plus its much larger inside with a better interior.
    So far I have been ecstatic with the A6's performance.
This discussion has been closed.