A6 or E320?

Right now I am stuck between two cars. Both are 2000 year models, an A6 (2.7T?) or E320 4matic. I have driven both and like the Audi for its sport and the Mercedes for its solid build and awesome luxury. I am looking for
the best car when it comes to reliability, quality, safety and performance. Which car is going to be my best bet? The Audi doesn't cost quite as much which is a plus, but I don't feel like I get as much either. Thanks for input.
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You want or need 4 wheel drive? That adds a lot of complexity to a car so be sure its really a need, for repairing it will be expensive.
If this were my decision I'd first consider what level car I'm leaving for the one that I'm buying and consider the move's "status" , especially if the M-B is found to be a deficient ownership experience for some reason, including its repair cost. Then I'd ask the selling dealer about each car's closed end (walk away) lease cost for the period you expect to drive it, or five years, whichever is shorter. This will give you the expected depreciation of each car regardless of your leasing it or buying it. Finally I'd ask the cost of a Starmark warranty extension and the Audi equivalent.
Those subjective and objective inputs will clarify and quantify the decision.
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I have never heard of anyone requiring repairs to the quattro elements of a torsen-equipped Audi - except, perhaps, the centre bearing of the prop-shaft. But then the rwd MB will also have a propshaft and, presumably, centre bearing. Maybe changing a rear wheel bearing is more involved on a quattro, compared with a fwd Audi.
I would never have any concerns with regard to reliability and maintenance of quattro. The only significant downsides of quattro are the extra weight and drivetrain losses which adversly affect performance and economy. However, I happily accept these factors in order to enjoy the advantages of the sure-footed roadholding and grip afforded by the quattro system in all weather conditions.
--
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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never have any concerns with regard to reliability and

When you say performance losses do you mean acceleration, road holding, top speed or what? I thought that acceleration was always improved by the four wheel drive.
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It appears that he is referring to additional frictional drive-train losses due to the extra differentials, etc, on the awd model vs the fwd model...
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No, four wheel drive will only improve acceleration where two wheels do not have sufficient traction. So, for instance, an A4 1.8T FWD should be able to out-accelerate an A4 1.8T quattro on clean, dry, tarmac, but the quattro will win when the road becomes damp and slippery.
By performance loss I mean acceleration and top speed. This results, as I said in my previous posting, from increased weight and drive-train losses. The drive train losses are greater because of the extra components involved in transmitting drive to the rear wheels.
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Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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top
The 2.7T makes its peak torque at 1850rpm. Press the throttle to the floor from a standing start and it rocks you back in your seat with the 4WD. Incredible.
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Indeed. I used to find my old 2.7T was quite quick, but my current RS6 is in a different league! If you get a chance to test an RS6 then go for it - but it might make your 2.7T feel a little pedestrian afterwards!
--
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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Peter Bell wrote:

Of course, there are aftermarket modifications that allegedly bring that "pedestrian" 2.7T into the 400+hp range.
http://www.goapr.com/Audi/products/stage3_27tko4.html
A lot cheaper than spending US$80K+ on an RS-6 if all you want is to be pushed back into your seat. 8-)
Personally, I find the E series Benz's to be rather ugly. JD Power also didn't have kind things to say about the E series in their latest report so this would be an easy choice for me.
Cheers,
C
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This site may answer your question wrt safety.
http://www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ratings.htm
I am a fan of Audis. I've never owned or even considered a Mercedes. But, Audi seem to have lost the plot a little with the C5 chassis. If my recollection serves me right, the C4 chassis was better tho I don't believe they had comparable tests.
Tony Ottawa

performance.
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