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Mercedes-benz vs. BMW vs. Audi

@the_same_mountainbik, when the warranty runs out, your son will arrange for a visit from his personal mechanic. It will be a great excuse to visit with the family and help keep his Audi in top form. You’ll love it!

Um… “family”? It’s a business. Period. They pretend their customers are family, but that’s only good customer relations at work. The local Toyota dealer treats me like family too.
Will I love it? Nope. It seems like a nice enough car for my son, but I find it uncomfortable, difficult to get into and out of, and unjustifiably costly. I love my son and I’m very happy that he has a car he likes, but it’s not one I’d ever love.

For the record, my son lives 3,000 miles from me.

Mercedes and BMW are just not that distinctive from many other vehicles on the road. As for comfortable interior our 2014 Nissan Frontier is comfortable and all controls are in logical places. Buying a used AWD luxury vehicle is a gamble at best plus the fact you should have matching tires and thread on all four corners. I get the impression that the OP has not even gone to see any of these vehicles.

I can recall a friend of mine, who had to ride in the back seat of a BMW 3-series for several hours, complaining that it was “the most uncomfortable car seat that I ever sat in”.
I can’t say from personal experience whether or not that assessment is accurate, but I do recall that he liked riding in big Buicks, so I think that he was comparing the BMW seat to that of a big Buick.

Of the 3 makes you choose, Audi has the lowest long-term reliability and build quality, in my opinion and experience. I think the Benz will have the more durable chassis, interior, trim, and accessories, but the BMW will have a slightly lower ownership cost long term due to availability of aftermarket parts. This is just my opinion, anecdotal, with non data to back it up.

However, I should add that cost of ownership should be way down on the list of priorities when considering a Eurolux sedan. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard complaints about $180 for a burned out headlamp or $65 for a gas cap from people who wanted to drive a Euro car but didn’t want to pay the price.

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You mentioned he lives in California before. I meant that he might like to see you more, and fixing the items that you still can on his car is a way to continue to endear yourself to him. I do the same for my children when they need me, whether on cars or home projects.

Edit: I meant you as his personal mechanic. Apparently that did not come through in my previous post.

I’d love to see him and his family more too… and I know he and his family would love to see me more… but that’s an awful long and expensive (and in my case physically painful) trip to make just to help with a car repair. To call that unrealistic is an extreme understatement. I’d love to see my daughter more as well, but she lives 3,000 miles away too… in Oregon.

If I were going to spend all that money on a German luxury car I’d get the only good marque in Germany: Porsche.

Have a look at the Panamera.

Yummy! But expensive! Very expensive! :yum:

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Eh. All the German cars are overpriced. The Porsches aren’t going to be all that much more than a similarly-equipped, similarly-powered BMW (remember that for BMW, even extendable sun visors, standard on Hyundais and Fords, are a pricey option package, so once you get the thing equipped like a luxury car you’re paying a lot more than the sales flyer claims), and they’re going to be much more competently built.

Porsche is quite out of my budget.

What’s your repair budget, then? Because I bet BMW/Merc/Audi are out of that budget for you too. :wink:

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The TLX will cost $1500 to $2000 less in maintenance over the first 5 years compared to the Audi A4. BMW has free maintenance for the first 3 years, but it will get expensive after that. Drive the TLX and see if you like it.

Two thoughts on this interesting post. First, if you are a buying a used vehicle from one of those three brands with less than 30K miles and less than three years old you are crazy if you don’t buy a certified pre-owned model. My advice would be to ignore reliability completely and get the one you like best. Then trade it in when it reaches the end of the CPO warranty. You will have a fixed cost of ownership. My second thought is that if you can find a less than two-year-old sedan model from one of those brands at under 30K it is going to be either a base Mercedes CLA, BMW 320 or an Audi A3. I beg you to rethink your choice. You could have had a NEW Accord V6 or Kia Optima 2.0T for close to that money. Either will smoke all three in any performance category and is better in every measurable way.

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This does not directly answer your question but check out a brand new Cadillac ATS with the 2.5 liter non-turbo engine for about $33,000. It has plenty of power; uses regular gas, gas mileage is excellent easily at over 30 mpg highway and if you travel there are many more dealers than BMW, Benz and Audi. Even here in urban SE Wisconsin where we live there are considerably more Cadillac dealers than the Germans or the Japanese luxury brands. You get a new car warranty, ours is 4 years, 48k miles for everything including oil and filter changes and the power train warranty is 6 years, 60k miles. We have had our 2013 from WI to FL twice; the car worked flawlessly and we will go again this winter. The CTS and the ATS drive very similarly. What’s not to like? The back seat legroom is a bit crowded but for a single person or two people it is not a problem.

PS, the ATS has rear drive like Benz and BMW.

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My prior experience with German cars, a VW Rabbit of late 70’s vintage, was that it had many more problems with the fuel system than either of my current cars, a 90’s Corolla and a 70’s Ford truck. Not even close. And it broke down leaving me stranded on the side road more often than any other car I’ve owned.

And when maintenance was required, it was more expensive than any other car I’ve owned. Not necessarily a lot more expensive in every case, but definitely always at least somewhat more. So w/the later 70’s German Rabbit anyway, considerably more fuel system problems and each of the problems cost more to fix. Add to that the possible danger of road-side break downs.

That’s not to say the German Rabbit didn’t have its upsides. The road handling was very good for example. Better than any of my other cars before or after.

Whether any of this applies to current German cars, who knows? I’d look to Consumer Reports for that info.

Comparing a 70’s model VW Rabbit with a 2013 Mercedes or BMW. That makes perfect sense, I think not.

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What do you people think about a Jaguar XF or XE?

I’d rate them right up there w/MB and Audi. I still prefer BMW’s aesthetics for that price range.

I’d rate them in the same category as MB and Audi

But I’m not sure if that’s up there or down there

That really depends on your viewpoint and what is important to you