Audi v BMW

How do you rate the quality of a modern Audi compared with a modern BMW (that's interior/exterior finish, engine, gearbox)? Comparable, better? I'm thinking specifically of the A3 and A4 here, so whether they are different
quality to the A6s A8s? TIA matty
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Audis are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive cars -- BMWs are real-wheel drive cars. Rear-wheel drive is fine as long as you don't want to drive turns, especially on wet or snowy roads.

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Frank Puck wrote:

If you know how to drive RWD, nothing could be more fun. ;)
Jone T.
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Last April, I traded in a 1998 BMW 3-series for a 2002 A4. I don't regret the move. They're very different cars to drive, so if you're used to one, you might find the other something of an acquired taste. After test-driving the Audi, I was really unsure of myself. After sleeping on it, I decided to go ahead. I don't regret it.
To answer your question, though, I think that the Audi build quality is at least as good as BMW's, if not better. The visible finish is certainly at least as good. It's too early to be certain what the maintenance costs on the A4 will be, but I have difficulty believing that they'll prove as bad as the GBP1200/year that I paid the local BMW dealer.
The seats in the Audi are *much* more comfortable. (The BMW's driving seat was so bad - no lumbar or lateral support - that it caused sciatica and I replaced it with a Recaro.)
The driving position is better. (The steering wheel and pedals are straight in front of me, where the BMW's were offset a bit. The gear lever is slightly further back, and thus easier to reach.)
The Audi gearchange is slicker (both cars have manual gearchanges), though not as easy as in my father's VW Golf.
The BMW was very susceptible to sidewinds. This is far less of a problem in the Audi.
The BMW scores on overall driving experience. The engine is smoother (straight-6 2.5l in the BMW, V6 3.0l in the Audi). the BMW was better balanced and, once I got used to rear-wheel drive, the handling was easier. Rather to my surprise, I actually preferred the BMW's rear-wheel drive cornering to the Audi's, even though the latter is a quattro. The Audi might have power to the back, but its tail is a bit light.
Power/litre is about the same - roughly 70bhp/l. I can certainly feel the extra power that I have in the Audi, even though it's a heavier car.
HTH
Peter.
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Grief - that's more than I paid for my Audi in the first place!
--
Skipweasel
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.
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I've been driving Quattros since 1984 and wouldn't buy anything else. My wife drives a Lexus SUV, but when the new Q7 comes to the states, that will be her next car.
In over 20 years of Audis I have had very few issues with their quality or reliability. I replaced a heater core on a 1990 Turbo Q wagon, and a transmission seal on a 2000 A6 4.2. With five Quattros in more than 20 years, the above is the only problems I have encountered, except for normal wear/tear like shocks, brakes, tires. My first three Qs all had manual transmissions that performed flawlessly, and I never replaced a clutch (more than 100K miles on each of them.) In 22 years of Audis, I have never replaced a muffler (and I live in New England with lots of salt on the roads in winter months).
BMW is also a great car, and it's rwd makes it so. It handles differently than any Audi, much less understeer and is much easier to "toss" around. I believe the new BMW M5 would eat my RS6 on a road course, but throw in rain or snow and the RS6 would win.
Dave 1984 4000 Q 1984 Porsche 944 (oooops, forgot that one) 1990 5000 Turbo Q. wagon 1994 S4 2000 A6 4.2 2003 RS6 (Current ride until the new RS6 comes ashore)
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