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I did plenty of research on both the cars. The Mercedes was constantly ranked "tops in the industry" as far as reliability, and all the E-CLASS owners I spoke with said their cars never broke and that they were the best vehicle they've ever owned. The Audi also did well, their quality and reliability has come a long way since the 'dark days'. I talked to one owner who said "All I have to do is change the oil and drive" and another said it was simply a fantastic car that gave him no trouble. This may not be the answer your looking for, but there are also plenty of sources out there for reliability/quality ratings. Another factor which swayed me to the German brands is safety. BMW, Mercedes and Audi are notorious for building the safest cars with the best innovative safety features that could save your life or keep you from getting seriously injured in a crash. That means a lot to me, especially when I have my kids in the car. Let us know what you drive and what you think. Good Luck.

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Hint: try and find a German taxi that isn't a Merc. You certainly /can/ find them, but you have to look. Quite hard.
That said (and in no way intended as an insult), according to some German friends, that reputation has taken quite a bashing since the DC merger - some of the US-derived designs and manufacturing processes don't seem to be quite a bullet-proof as Merc drivers were used to.
One, I know, was planning to go down the Audi route unless his pet salesman could lease him an AMG for the price of a diesel.
Don't know what happened in the end, though. He's driven Mercs for at least 10 years and finds BMWs too "common" around Frankfurt. A bit snobbish, methinks, but he doesn't "do" corners.. just scary speeds in scary conditions on the Autobahn. When I get a lift, I prefer to sit in the back.. can't see the road that way :o\
And just in case I'm about to be accused of marque bias.. the BMW MINI sources a GM-derived engine from (IIRC) Brazil, my TT is really built in Hungary and the (2WD) Nissan 350Z has the heart of a Renault Vel Satis.. yes, /that/ one.
HTH
Hairy One Kenobi
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this opinion do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the highly-opinionated person expressing the opinion in the first place. So there!
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My girlfriend has a 99 Audi A4 Quatro. It is the best car i've ever driven in winter conditions, its ride is more comfortable than any ford explorer. I've never driven or even riden in a Sabb but they are manufactured in Northern Europe and everytime i see them advertised they are going through some arctic environment.
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A base-equipted Mercedes E-class 4-Matic without the unecessary and trouble laden bell's and whistles is as good a car as you are likely to find!
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your recommendations for the most reliable 4 wheel drive car

I got 220Kmiles out of my 88 80 Quattro relatively trouble free. The most I did was suspension rebuilds. Never was stranded. I like the A6 Q.

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xxx writes:

Yet another testimony of the bullet proof Quattro. Dave
http://hometown.aol.com/davplac/myhomepage/index.html
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from
If you want *dead bang reliability* in an AWD car and it's not too small or 'beneath' you, I'd take a long look at the Subaru Legacy sedans (or wagons, if you don't mind a bit of boxy luggage room.). Strikes me as the Audi 4000 Quattro for the New Millennium. Another poster suggested that the smaller Impreza might be roomy enough for 6-footers. The Legacy is even bigger. -- C.R. Krieger (and I'm a Bavarian car guy ...)
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a
not
or
wagons,
Heard plenty of good things about the Subaru. Haven't heard much good about Audis from people who actually have to work on them...
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The owner of an independent garage was so impressed with my Audi 90 quattro after working on it (145,000 miles - original clutch, exhaust etc), he went out and a brand new Audi A4. -- Doug Ramage
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wrote:

Hmm....what's missing: "crashed into"? or "bought"?
;-)
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quattro
went
"Was hit by"
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wrote:

lmao ;-)
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Stan writes:

Nice troll. d;o) Dave
http://hometown.aol.com/davplac/myhomepage/index.html
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We've got a E46 325i and a Subaru WRX wagon. The BMW is better quality materials, but mechanically the Subaru is very well done. And the AWD is wonderful on the few times we get snow - the BMW can't even get up the driveway, the Subaru just goes. I'm thinking of trading the WRX wagon in on the new 2005 Legacy GT wagon which will have the 2.5l turbo engine with a bit more torque and power as well as another 12 inches of car which will mostly matter in the back seat. The 2005 Legay just won the Japanese car of the year award by a large margin, it's going to be much closer to the BMW in terms of quality interior, and still priced at around $28,000 which is a great deal.
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