A6 or E320?



Would you give me your thoughts on the 2007 or 2008 Audi A6 and the 2007 Mercedes E320?

I currently own 1997 E320 with over 290,000 miles on it. It won’t be long before I will need to change cars. I only buy used cars and my car choice in this question says something about what I like. I am a 55 year old college professor.


If you like your E-class, why not go for another one?


I have a colleague who drives a Mercedes Benz because his wife had a bad accident and he feels that she wouldn’t be here if she had been driving another make of car. The Mercedes Benz is a nice looking automobile, although I prefer the looks of a Jaguar. I’m a 68 year old college professor and I use my 1978 Oldsmobile to drive to functions that involve the university administration. It is best to go looking poor. Besides, our college town has neither an Audi dealer nor a Mercedes Benz dealer and I refuse to drive 60 miles to visit a dealer. The people I know who have the Mercedes Benz cars seem to like them, but I’ve known some unhappy Audi owners.


Do you mean E350? Or was the E320 diesel made in 2007? Which do you like? Do both have complete and documented maintenance?


Yes, you are correct E350 for 2007.


How many days a year do you work? “Work” in your profession is a relative term I know…

No wonder our kids are $50,000 in debt when they graduate…

Stick with the Benz…Audi is where Benz engineers find jobs after Benz turns them down or fires them…Audi engineers all WISH they worked for Mercedes…


My issue is reliability. Cars.com gives a “best bet” to the Audi A6, but you find more customer reviews for the E350. When I do, I want to best purchase.


I was intrigued by your comment: “it’s best to go looking poor” Please elaborate.


Thank you for the response–I work 5 days a week and weekends at home when it becomes necessary to do so.


The E350 has a much better long term repair record (mostly ‘better than average’) on Consumer Reports than the A6 (‘worse than average’ or ‘much worse than average’ prior to 2007), but '07 A6 is OK, not much time for problems to show up. I’d go with the E350 if reliability is a high priority.


I had a good friend and colleague who bought a new Mercedes Benz 240 diesel back in 1977. His wife admitted to us that our credit union would finance the entire amount on the Mercedes Benz because at that time the depreciation was such that they would never be upside down on payments. The total cost of the car at that time was $10,000. The next year I bought a new 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass with the 4-4-2 trim package for about $5000. In terms of depreciation, the Mercedes at $10,000 was a better buy. However, I still have the 1978 Cutlass and my friend hasn’t had the Mercedes for a long time. I did like riding in his Mercedes.


What about Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Summer Vacation and Sabbatical leave?? That leaves about 150 days a year, Right? I’m not complaining, I’m just jealous…


I learned this “trick” from a college president. When I was a senior at a small college, the board of trustees decided to purchase a car for the use of the president. Some students really objected to this. I was seated at the dinner table one night with some other students when the issue of the car for the president was brought up. I said that I thought it was common for a college to provide a car for the president. One of my classmates, whose father was on the board agreed. He explained that the president was driving thousands of miles a year to raise funds for the institution. The president’s wife was pushing for a second car, because the president was on the road a lot of the time with their only car. Therefore, the board decided that a car should be part of the president’s salary package. I had no idea about what kind of car had been purchased until I was walking into town and the president stopped and offered me a ride. The car was the bottom of the line Cheverolet, manual transmission, no passenger side sunvisor, etc. I made some wisecrack about the car and the president responded, “I picked this car out”. I guess he saw the surprised look on my face. He then laughted and said, "I really did pick this car out. I have to raise money for the college and I want potential donors to see that we are using our money wisely. How much would you contribute if I arrived in a Cadillac?"
As a senior professor myself, I have often thought about this. I would rather the administration see me in my old car. Then they know that I am not overpaid.


I love my work as a professor, particularly working with students. My breaks are spent doing research and writing up the results for publication. I used to teach summer school, but for the last 12 years I prefer to do research, since my son is on his own and I don’t need the money. I would rather be rested to start the fall semester. I’ve also put in countless hours on various governance committees for my university. Thirty three years ago I was offered a position in industry that would have given me a salary of two and a half times what I was earning as an assistant professor. I decided that I would rather teach and have never regretted the decision.


Well, you’ve given me reason to pause. Thinking back just a year ago, a colleague remarked that I was the only one in the College of Education to drive a Mercedes. I did not give it much thought at the time; now I am wonder.

Thanks for the explanation.


Yes, we get all the holidays off including Mardi Gras–for 3 days this month.


Great response–thank you very much.


MB hands down especially since you likely have a competent MB mechanic already given your long ownership and pleasure I imagine in it.


I think people should own the things that they can afford and enjoy. If a person wants and can afford a particular car, I don’t see a problem. The problem happens when one becomes a slave to one’s possessions. I have spent my career teaching mathematics and computer science, but I love classical music and have played semi-professionally. I presently play in a small chamber orchestra and am president of its board. I also play in two concert bands. The chamber orchestra provides free concerts to underserved areas. For this reason, I drive a minivan so I can transport musical instruments (tympani, string basses, etc.)along with performers. I think it would be fun to own a Mazda Miata, but I get more satisfaction out of the investment I made in my French horn.

A Chevrolet Uplander minivan isn’t the most exciting vehicle to drive. If you enjoy driving a European luxury sedan, by all means buy one. You’ve earned it and you have a right to enjoy it. Don’t let it possess you.

It is certainly o.k. to spend money. I have a friend named Wes who was in elementary school with me. About 25 years ago, he came to my institution as a professor and bought a house around the corner from my house. One Saturday I was replacing the water pump on my car and turning the air blue. Wes came padding around the block and asked, “Why are you doing that? From your language, you don’t enjoy doing this work. Use my rule: ‘If I can’t do a job in half an hour, I hire someone to do it’. Take your car to a good mechanic who likes doing this work and will no doubt do it better than you can do it. He also won’t be polluting the air”.

I’ve learned that it is no sin to spend money you have on something you enjoy. I’ve used Wes’ rule many times and spend my time on things I enjoy.


Both are fairly expensive to repair. If you don’t mind that, the A6 will be slightly less expensive. Other possibilities are the Cadillac STS, Infiniti G35, and the Lexus G350. All will be several thousand less to maintain and repair over the next 5 years. Test drive them and see if they meet your standards. If you don’t mind the extra few grand, then buy the car that suits you best.