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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 Mercedes Benz). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 180hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 184hp engine designed by Mercedes Benz.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? On the other hand, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, Mercedes Benz E offers a marginal difference of 3% 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, all the models observed together. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Audi with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the Mercedes Benz badge with 4.4 out of 5. Independent research findings rank A6 as average reliability-wise, and E 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 5.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Audi is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.3 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 224 kilometers per hour, 1km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be Audi A6, averaging around 6.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (43 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 14% difference compared to Mercedes Benz E.
Audi 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, Mercedes Benz E offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with Audi 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 Audi. 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.