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BMW 535i vs Lexus GS 350 vs Audi A6



  • Congrats on your new Audi A6!
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    There's something special about the 4.2 over the 3.2 V6. There's nothing like an Audi V8. I just love the engine whirl and how it sounds. It's one of those cars I like to turn the radio down and just hear the engine puur. Such a sweet sound.
  • jc07jc07 Posts: 5
    Agreed. The V8 & sport suspension really tops up the A6 and brings it a bit closer closer to the 5-series in terms of performance. The 535i/550 would still be my choice if I was an enthusiast for performance handling and road feel.
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    On rough roads (NYC) I did not like it. The stock 5 series has the perfect blend (suspension) IMHO. Wish my Audi felt that way.
  • As an avid BMW e39 owner who may very well elect to purchase the new 535SP, I must say I was very impressed with the new S5. It has the 4.2L V8 and it is a very sweet ride. Currently available only with 6M, it performs as a true touring/sports coupe should. Also a beautiful design in person - pics don't do it justice, IMO.

    I've driven the 335i Coupe a few times and found it also to exhibit everything I love about BMW. Sure would love to have the 535 & S5 in my garage! One thing I can say... my 2003 530SP has been nothing short of a tremendous ownership & driving experience! Gives me the impetus to stay in the BMW family, but that S5 sure calls my name ;)
  • Why worry so much about reliablility of the turbos. Trust me, if something goes wrong BMW will fix it. I have a 2003 7 series and have spent $0 other than uprading my maintenance plan which was just over $1000. Yes, I have had to bring the vehicle in plenty of times because something needed to be fixed, but they gave me a car to drive and I left there will a bill for $0. I got a 335i to drive a couple of times while my car was being serviced. WOW! Now that was a FUN car to drive. Slow down in the curves? For what? Just give it more gas!

    Again, if you are worried about have to shell out $$ for the maintenance of the 535, then talk with them about the maintenance plan.

    That's just my experience.
  • I must say I was very impressed with the new S5. It has the 4.2L V8 and it is a very sweet ride.

    I too like V8 performance. Try the 550i, you'll be very impressed!
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    I was trying to decide btwn the bmw and audi, also. I now have the 550i. I last had a 2001 530sp. I like the new body much better as far as size. Much more comfortable for me with passengers. The idrive is a pain! It's easy but inconvenient. You have to go thru multiple steps to just change stations. The newest bmws have improved a little in that regard. They now have some preset buttons. With the runflat tires, I get this forceful message when you just get a little low on air. It says, "Stop immediately!!!" The first time it happened it freaked me out. It's happened twice now and I tend to ignore it a little. I check the tire pressure and fill it up. No flats yet! As far as cupholders, the newer cupholders are tons better than in my 2001! I didn't think they'd be that good, but they're perfectly fine to me. I had so many spills in my old car. I agree with the fact that the Lexus is not for me. It's too small inside with very little headroom. Not sporty enough for me, either. I do like the Audi. It does get better side crash ratings. I also wish bmw had xm radio instead of Sirius. Minor issue. It's tough to move away from bmw once you've had one. Reliability on both have been excellent!
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I drove a GS and an ES just to see what I was missing by driving BMWs. It turned out that I wasn't missing anything. The numb Lexus driving experience and the steering column made of rubber bands were immediate deal breakers. I also fundamentally object to paying $50K for a vehicle that's mass produced (to a significant extent) from parts that are designed to be cost effective in a $25K vehicle.

    The Mark Levinson stereo almost could make it worth it, though.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    A BMW dealer can install XM satellite radio of you don't like Sirius.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    Thanks. I didn't know that. I do prefer XM. :)
  • they are all great cars. currently, i am finishing up my lease on a 2005 A8. A car i absolutely love, but that has been in the shop so many times you can't imagine. All little stuff, all covered by warranty, but nonetheless, I must have had that car in the shop every 6-8 weeks over the course of the 3 years.
    I have been looking at Bmw 5 series, the a6, and the gs. If the 5 series didn't do god awful in the side impact test, i would get that car in a second. But i have a baby so thats out of the question.
    I have discounted the a6 completely because of all the trouble i had with the a8. But safety is very important to me and the a6 kicks butt in the safety department, and even though I live in california, the confidence in inclement weather that quattro provides is incredible. and i checked consumer reports and they feel that the 2007 a6 for some reason is incredibly reliable. According to them, the a6 is just about as reliable as the lexus. i find it very hard to believe.
    by the way, i have mmi in my car and its absolutely incredible.
    so the a6 is back on my list vs. the gs.
    the 5 series which i initially wanted is out because of the bad side impact results.
  • Papesphus, let me understand this, you bought a 7 Series and you are happy when they give you a 3 Series loaner????
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    Is an X5 an option? The interior is identical to the 5, just a little bigger, and I believe it received 5 star side impact ratings for front and rear passengers. It's an SUV (sort of), but might be a reasonable compromise. Personally, I prefer it to the 5 series for many reasons.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    Probably because the 3 series is a blast to drive and it's nice to swap sometimes, especially after spending time in a large sedan.
  • If you are looking at the AWD versions, i am afraid you are missing out a lot by not driving the audi quattro versions. they rank alongside the subaru for being the best AWD implementations on the market.
  • after 3 fantastic years with my 05 A6Q 3.2 my lease is up, so i wanted to see my options and to possible save some money. I wanted my lease payment not to be too high...I also do not believe that you should ever put money down on a lease(other than inceptions, first month and fees..)(reminder GAP insurance does not give you back your inceptions and fees)..anyway I had the best 3 years with my A6, no real problems at all, a few rattles, trunk latch issues but no real problems... it was a pleasure to drive and exclusive, everyone that sat IN the car loved it, but never got a "great car" comment unless they sat inside..So i decided to look at the GS350, good looking car, nice interior, but such cheap plastic, mushy seats and a lifeless soft ride, braking and steering that were emotionless...and zero down 36/15K lease for 785/month--two dealers also! way to high for a really nice toyota. I looked at another A6, but no real changes and $800/month also(and no more free maintainence), so i had to drive the 535I because every single revie says it is one of (if not the best) engines around..after two minutes in the car i was sold, nothing is faster, smoother and handled better...yes, the interior and cupholders are way inferior to AUDI, it is still world has set the standard so high with the mix of performance and handling, audi sets the standard for safety and quattro and interior and fit and fininsh...but i needed a change and when the payments on the new 535 were $75/month less and free maintanence, i decided a change would be in order..i will miss my a6 terribly, but i will love speeding onto I95 with my twin turbos...... :)
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    You did not get the xi, so you are not comparing apples to apples dollar wise. BTW, I went for the A6 4.2 and believe I got the best of both cars - and most important ..... safety. I believe you will miss the AWD in certain circumstances.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    I am also driving the 4.2 and agree that it is the best of both worlds.
  • asteinbergasteinberg Posts: 138
    I had Audis and liked them.
    My last car was leased BMW 530i.
    I'm actually considering 535i, because it resolved some key 530i problems (somewhat better NAV w/integrated live traffic; memory buttons for radio and AM-FM-satellite band-switching; voice recognition that actually works). Mileage worse than Lexus GS350 with more value, but lease terms not so great, and BMW has free maintenance (w/brakes!). Still prefer NAV and other user friendly items on Lexus, Infiniti and other alternatives I'm exploring.
    As long as I can avoid my local dealer here in Calabasas (So Calif), I may give BMW another chance!
    (1) Given the slowness of the auto market, how close to invoice does 530i go?
    (2) Does BMW offer financing deals, or just leasing deals?
    (3) Other than premium, sports, comfort access, navigation, sirius satellite radio, does anyone reading this recommend any options ...especially if they are perosonally familiar with them? If I go beyond the above, I must special order:
    (4) Are head-up display and night vision use mere toys or useful? (Seems odd that night vision visible only in NAV system.)
    (5) Is rear door side impact airbag safe, or a threat to kids?
    (6) power rear &manual side sunshades worth the money to keep the kids happy?
    (7) any other options truly worthwhile and worth the money?
    (8) Last time, I did 24 mo, cheaper per mo than 36. Now, 36 slightly higher. I still think 24 mo, to save buying 4 costly fun-flat tires.
    (8a) FINALLY -- does anyone know what the Money Factor will be for 535i for APRIL for 12000, 24mo, 36 mo, and, possibly for 15000. If I go BMW, I could buy/lease Mon/3-31 or wait until Tues/4-1, if MF different.
    (8b) IF I special order, due to other items, I'd use March MF or June MF, whichever is lower. My guess is June MF would be lower. Thoughts?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, there really is no need to post this in so many places. People tend to read all discussions about vehicles which interest them, so you don't have to worry about it being seen.

    Since this is a specific vehicle comparo, let's ask anyone who can respond to so at this link asteinberg, "BMW 5-Series Sedans" #12442, 29 Mar 2008 6:47 pm instead of in this discussion.

  • asteinbergasteinberg Posts: 138
    Thank you, Pat.
    I find these discussions very helpful, and I've recommended them to many friends.
    Leasing a car means I'll likely be with it for 2 or 3 years; buying it for more.
    I think it's worth the time to get the one right for me.
  • usp357usp357 Posts: 3
    I thought I would add my 2 cents to this forum as I recently went through the same mental anguish of what to do when my '06 530ix lease was expiring this month. I looked at replacing with the 528ix, the A6, or the GS350 AWD. The A6 was out because I just couldn't get past how dated the car looked from both the inside and outside. I know they freshened up the A4 but I didn't want to get stuck with a A6 if a new design was going to be coming up in the first year of my lease. It then came down to the BMW or the Lexus.

    The fact is that for the same price, the GS comes with a lot more toys than the BMW. You would think for the money, the BMW would come with xenon lights, keyless access, ventilated seats, and a few more things but only if you start checking off boxes at the dealer (not even sure BMW has ventilated seats). Also, the paint on the Lexus is far, far better than on the BMW. The reliability of the BMW came into question because my 530 did die on me once when heavy rains caused a short circuit that fried the electronics. Good thing for the warranty because I saw that the dealer charged BMW about $7,000 for the repairs. Would be horrified if I bought the car outright after the lease expired. My friend's 7 month old 528i also died on him as he was driving. Fortunately, he was able to pull over on the shoulder before his transmission failed. A new car at this price point should never, ever leave you stranded.

    In the end for me it came down to ride and the fact that I have young kids. Everytime I pushed my 530ix, my wife for raise eyebrows. That being the case, what's the point of having a superior handling car if I can't flog it? That then led me to the GS which for someone who wants a lot of luxury and quiet, it's hard to beat. True the BMW handles infinitely better but the GS is much smoother and quieter. Also, for flat out straight line acceleration, the GS easily trounces the 528. So in the end, not a bad deal.
  • addamsaddams Posts: 74
    Same mental anguish . My list is 08 535i, 08 GS350 or a used next year 09 G37 sedan. I'm giving my wife my 02 Altima 3.5SE. Need something for some traveling we want to do when i retire in a few years. I've got $40,000 to spend from a small windfall.
  • I just closed on another 3 yr lease on my second A6 4.2. Before re-upping,I drove a few in the class and a few out of class-Range Rover Sport Suprer-charged, Infiniti FX 50S. They are fun vehicles as was the 48 X5 and the 5-Series. It's boring to go back to the same instrumentation, etc. The upside of the A6 is what a fun car it is to drive, particularly under the most extreme (and fun) conditions, and I've never felt safer in a car. I'm no youngster, but in the 4.2 no one knows. Only wish one didn't have to trade the shifting paddles on the steering wheel for the cold package...we can use that package here in Chicago. BTW, my thanks to Car_man for all his help in allowing me to research a lease. His help was invaluable.
  • Bimmer was just out of range by the time it came comparably equipped to the GS350 AWD. And those damned cupholders. I drive 35 miles one way to work and drink coffee in the car EVERY day. It' s not like I need those things sometimes or once in a while. I needed a car and the new supercharged A6's weren't out yet. So between the deal I got (17K less than the 535xi comparably eqiupped) and the cupholder nonsense, the Lexus won out.

    6500 miles. No real complaints. Very good in the snow. Fast...a little too fancy schmancy with the wood and whatnot. The nav system is less than perfect. But all in all, I'm satisfied. Oh...and rain sensing wipers are about the least useful thing I've ever experienced.
  • addamsaddams Posts: 74
    How's the dash sounds so far in the GS?
  • Started out good. Then got cold out. Lots of creaking and sounded like the glass would flex and the dash wouldn't (or vice versa). There is a TSB to apply a "noise kit" and that has solved that problem.
  • mobiusf1mobiusf1 Posts: 15
    I drove both the GS350 and 535xi, and other cars in the segment and easily picked the 535xi which I was fairly confident I was going to pick earlier. M35x, although the 2nd best performer I drove (really enjoyed driving it), is still slightly behind the 535 in terms of performance, the build quality was also lacking in addition to a lack of split folding rear seats (kinda important to me, gives a huge increase in practicality), and not so great gas mileage. A6 looks nice, has a great interior (except for strange omission of auto steering wheel adjustment unless they changed that) and costs a bit less than the 535xi (only the A6 V6 version); but definitely exhibited more body roll in the corners than the 535xi and weaker overall performance

    The 535's engine is simply awesome, its a twin-turbo inline 6, with stronger performance than Audi's V8, and better fuel economy. And the cost advantage for the Audi only comes with the A6's V6 engine.

    MB E Class, forget about it, a joke, and it costs more than the 535, at least the Lexus has a price argument. Lexus GS350, sorry, no way. Its steering is numb compared to the 535xi, noticeably more body roll in the corners, and headroom seemed to be an issue. I don't really need to go into any more about it because if the performance is not there than the other stuff doesn't matter. For others though, this may not matter as much. Lexus and Mercedes Benz don't make cars that fit my idea of enjoyable driving. The 535 is a true sports sedan and I certainly can't say that about the GS350. The iDrive, while it could be a bit more intuitive, is not that bad, and is not a deal breaker by any stretch. In fact I don't mind it at all. And no, the cup holders were not even a consideration, haha.

    This is an honest opinion, no bias, if Lexus made a GS model like their own IS-F against the 535xi, then it would far more difficult.

    Although the 535 has sharp handling, excellent road feel, fantastic engine performance and efficiency, I must also mention that the ride quality is excellent.

    I could go into even more details but its late so here it is summed up in 1 simple sentence. If you want a floaty, relaxed (I would say boring) ride take the Lexus, if you want to drive, get the BMW ...and I love to drive.
  • What do you guys think of the new A6 supercharged version. I was thinking of getting that instead of the 535i. I would be getting the plus version with sports package.

    Let me know your opinions.

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