Originally Posted by Ti335
The prestige hierarchy that you are suggesting simply does not exist anymore. Mercedes has long stopped being #1. In fact, most of their models, except for the very high end ones, cost less than comparable Audi and BMW models.
I respect your opinion and understand all your points but I have to disagree respectfully.
Mercedes has more "mass" production
cars over $100k: S, CL, G, SL (and SLS). Compared to BMW only has M6 (not to mention not as rich in history as Mercedes cars such as SL)
I am aware that when you compare 535i to E350, 535i is more expensive, but when you think Mercedes, you think of big and expensive cars such as S, CL, SL, G.
When you think BMW, you think of 3 series and maybe 5 series.
If you ask an average person, sure, he or she might not know the gap between Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Cadillac and say they are all on the same level, but I think the hierarchy definitely exists and it will not just go away overnight.
IMO, it goes Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura. Not sure where Cadillac would be.. probably between Lexus and Infiniti.
If I may add, as last thought, I'm pretty sure even an average person knows Mercedes and BMW are at least slightly "better" than Audi. At least in the US.
edit: p.s. I'm not sure how sales figures show which brand is more prestigious. BMW sells the most globally but I don't think BMW is more prestigious than Mercedes because of that.
When you see what cars celebrities and sports stars drive, not counting super luxury cars such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari, majority of them drives a Mercedes or/and Range Rover. I think that's another "proof"
Just my personal opinion, of course