Buying a luxury sedan: Confused between the BMW 3-Series & Audi A6

I think Audi A6 has the best interiors. I love how the interior ambient lighting is not overdone and there is no sound inside the car.

BHPian ElderHokage recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


As the Audi A6 Premium Plus roughly costs the same as a BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class, I wanted to get some expert opinions on this comparison.

The comparison is between the Mercedes C200, BMW 330Li and Audi A6 Premium Plus Model Year 24. No diesel for me whatsoever because of low running.

The cars I own right now are:

The super awesome Linea T-Jet with only 65K km (2013 model).

The super reliable EcoSport Diesel (2017 model).

My own experience with test drives of these vehicles:


Felt the narrowest and smallest of the three and it is just that. I felt the power was missing and I felt the gap between the pedal and the brake was more than that in the other two. It made driving uncomfortable. During acceleration, the car takes its time to make up its mind.

The ground clearance is the lowest and the car touched all three speed-breakers (outside my colony) with three persons sitting in it. The Audi A6 and BMW 3-Series didn’t touch those speed-breakers with 4 persons sitting inside.

The interiors are lovely, but that’s it. I think Mercedes is doing wrong by providing these puny engines in their cars. It doesn’t feel like a full-blown premium car.

BMW 3-Series:

This was probably the best car I have driven. It gave me the same connected feel as my Linea T-Jet but like it was on steroids. I loved the drive. The road presence is fine as well. The interiors are okay, but I drove this after A6, and I think the Audi spoiled me.

Audi A6:

I think Audi A6 has the best interiors. I love how the interior ambient lighting is not overdone and there is no sound inside the car. I felt the difference was night and day between the Audi A6 and the other two. And the A6 felt like it was from a segment above. The engine is super silent and that gearbox is super quick. I have apprehensions about the DSG though.

After the test drive, I am sure that it is the 3-Series vs Audi A6 for me. I did a quick notes exercise to write down the pros of each car over the other. This is what I ended up with:

A6 Pros:

  • Interiors
  • Ambient lighting
  • Boot space
  • Drive comfort and comfortable suspension
  • Level up
  • Size and dimensions
  • Chauffeur driven car (if applicable in the future).
  • Tail-lights of the A6 are beautiful
  • Gear lever (don’t like what BMW and Mercedes have done with their gear levers)
  • Lane assist (just mentioning)
  • Electric steering adjust
  • Welcome function, I like that

3-Series Pros:

  • Driving pleasure (How much difference though? Will it matter in the long run?)
  • BMW grille (I liked it since I was a kid).
  • Steering feel (A6 felt light even in dynamic)
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay (I don’t know why the A6 doesn’t have this)
  • Sunroof (A6 is smaller but I think it provides more safety)
  • Knob for controlling screen (I like that, don’t know how useful it will be in the long run)
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Internet connected car features.

A6 Premium Plus Cons:

  • That Audi has a 10 speaker music system. I heard it and didn’t like it much. I heard the B&O in A4 and was blown away. Correct me if I am wrong, but the same speaker combo is present in Audi A4 Premium. So it is not sitting well with me.
  • The alloy wheel design is okay but I like the wheels to be diamond cut.
  • Doesn’t have a 360-degree camera, which might have come in handy in tight situations.
  • Doesn’t have comfort key (don’t know why it isn’t standard in the A6)
  • Doesn’t have Park Assist, which might have been useful or not, but I think it would be good to have.

All these cons are pushing me towards the A6 Technology. The difference is around 6 lakhs. What do you think of the comparison?

Also, please share your thoughts on the transmission that the A6 uses. Is it a DQ381? What is the long-term reliability of the gearbox? I have we reached a point where DSGs are as reliable as other ATs. I personally think the BMW transmission is more robust and reliable. Please comment.

What is the after-sales service like for BMW and Audi? I heard Audi’s service is notorious.

Also, for the same price, what do you think about Audi being a class higher than the 3-Series. Is it just a better product overall?

Which one would you have purchased between the Audi A6 Premium Plus and 3-Series and why?

PS My driving will be mostly in Delhi NCR with occasional road trips to Kanpur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and some hill stations which premium sedans like these can handle.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

You own a Linea & EcoSport, two dynamically accomplished cars. You clearly “live to drive”. If I were you, I’d choose the BMW 330i for the sheer driving pleasure on tap. This is the best 3-Series generation ever built and offers great looks, perfect suspension balance, a high-revving turbo-petrol & among the best AT gearboxes in the world today. Brownie points for being a RWD vs the Audi’s FWD.

The Audi will be great as a luxury & family car. But for driving pleasure, it can’t touch the BMW 330i. Plus, being that the 3-Series is only available as the longer Gran Limousine now, it offers more than enough space at the back for your family.

This would be my choice.

Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Out of these two I’d hands down pick the 330 Li. It’s got a nice enough back seat in LWB guise and the driving pleasure of the BMW will just be a MUCH nicer experience. The B48 engine too is one of the smoothest engines around and is a joy to experience.

Even in terms of maintenance, my general perception (having experienced BMW but not Audi) is that BMW should trump Audi in the upkeep and peace of mind department.

Here’s what BHPian iliketurtles had to say on the matter:

Go for the 330Li. The A6 feels and is from a segment above, as you said, but what the BMW loses on plushness and outright luxury feels is more than made up by its improved dynamics vis-à-vis the Audi and the much better track record of reliability.

That, coupled with its easy ownership plans (seen in BSI) make it an easy recommendation over the A6 for me.

PS: I know of FNG owners who have told me pointedly not to buy Audi’s because, and I quote “when they crap the bed, they do so spectacularly”. Make of that what you will.

Here’s what BHPian sandeepmohan had to say on the matter:

If you’re after outright comfort as a driver and passenger comfort is also important, get the Audi. If you’re after fun behind the wheel, it can only be a BMW.

The A6 is pure elegance. The 330i is a sharp shooter.

You can’t fault either on anything. They are both very good cars.

Here’s what BHPian anothercar had to say on the matter:

We own C class 2021, 330Li 2022 and Audi A6 premium plus 2022.

Keeping C out of the equation, for the other two, you can consider following key points:

  • You cannot compare drive quality of BMW with Audi. (leaving out Quattro in Q3 vs X1)There is a stark difference if you drive both one after the other. But if you don’t feel the same, this point then stands cancelled.
  • Audi A6 no longer comes with Air suspension, so try the new one properly. Call both of them home at the same time and take repeated test drives on same routes.
  • Take 5 year warranty and service plan, both would be good.
  • Strikingly, 330Li is more comfortable in the rear seat than Audi A6. It’s not personal opinion, many family members use both everyday.
  • Class difference, yes A6 is a notch above 3, apt car would be if there were a 5 series in comparison. Its got a large boot.
  • Current offers on both, check the 1.99% ROI on BM and tell Audi to match BM price. They will. Audi does not have Audi financial and thus there won’t be any buy back offers with them, if you are contemplating that route.
  • Resale: You can do some homework to see what will cost you more over the period you wish to keep
  • Audi has visible tech, BM has all the tech(more than PP for sure) but it isn’t all in your face. Voice commands of 330 feel better than A6
  • Lastly as GTO says, invest in what your heart wants. Driving a 330Li and then feeling you could have gone a class above, won’t feel good. Driving 330Li and feeling that butter smooth power that makes you ignore everything else, would be cool.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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