Thread: BMW vs. Audi
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      06-18-2012, 11:48 PM   #85
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Drives: 2014 F10 M5 CP
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by WJGreer View Post
I've had an '87 Audi 4000s and an '04 allroad, and also an '01 X5 and now I have an '05 545. I drove all of them to above 80,000 miles, and the 545 has 74,000 right now.

This is a pretty wide span of years, and I assume all car manufacturers are constantly improving. I will say, though, that both Audis became much more expensive to maintain down the stretch, and the materials in their interiors became much more tired as the car aged, compared to the BMWs.

There are a couple design choices Audi has made that are guaranteed to contribute to higher maintenance costs, as well - the engines are belt-driven and IIRC they have to pull the engine out to replace the timing belt. That job was $2500 on our allroad. The suspension engineering was questionable on that car as well, and most of us who owned them saw ruptured suspension airbags between 70,000 and 100,000 miles, which were expensive to fix. My 4000 had lots of odd electrical issues that never went away.

I sold my X5 at 90,000 miles. It used to go through exhaust O2 sensors faster than it should have, but aside from that it was trouble-free. As for the 545, any coolant system issues it may have are yet to come, but until they do come, it has been very trouble free also. And, approaching 8 years old (9/04 in-service), the paint and interior surfaces still look new.

So, racing heritage aside, I think BMW is a better choice for long-term ownership based on my own experience. I usually buy CPO and hold long, but I would probably only lease an Audi. Then again I might not because I'd be able to get a lot more BMW for the same monthly rate.
An '87 4000 and an 04 All Road - That's a long time ago and times have changed. Unfortunately, I don't think many people own BMW's for that long any more and lease them for 2-3 years tops. Just read the e90 forums and see how many people couldn't even get past 1000 miles in their BMW before going through multiple HPFP's and other electrical gremlins. German cars aren't the best when it comes to quality control and there will be a many that are good, but some will also be rotten. The fact that BMW sells more in the U.S. inflates the perception that there are so many bad ones out there.