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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Executive car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (4 x 4 for the Audi and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 10-cylinder, 40-valves 450hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 12-cylinder, 48-valves 544hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
Unfortunatelly, neither of the two vehicles was submitted to the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. This makes it virtually impossible for me to pick one over the other and I'm generally against buying such cars as the safety should really always come first. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the executive car segment, which is generally a fortune safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, 7 Series offers a marginal difference of 7% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, all the models observed together. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Audi with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. Unfortunatelly, I don't have enough insight that would allow me to comment in more details on the specific models level. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as Audi A8 rank it on average as 3.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.5 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 250 kilometers per hour, exactly the same as the other car does. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 13.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (21 mpg), in combined cycle.
BMW appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, 7 Series offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the BMW. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.