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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 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Luxury car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Audi and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 256hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 245hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, 5 Series offers a marginal difference of 2% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, at least on all of the models level. These are the official statistics, 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. Independent research findings rank A6 as average reliability-wise, and 5 Series is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as Audi A6 rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 5.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.5 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 244 kilometers per hour, 6km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be Audi A6, averaging around 6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (47 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 18% difference compared to 5 Series.
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, 5 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. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's really tough to make a final decision here, but if I'd need to, I'd say Audi. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. 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.