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Old 08-14-2016, 06:09 AM   #1
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BMW or Audi........

I don't post much here, but I always lurk here and really appreciate the knowledge, humor and info.........I love my 02S. Its my weekend ride, but not practical for family stuff. My current DD is a 04 MB E320, but its starting to require a lot of work and $ to keep it going.........Im starting to look at other cars to replace it and have narrowed it down to either a BMW 535 or an Audi A6 QUADTRO 3.0. Im leaning toward 2011-12 model years. Not interested in another MB Because the newer MBs are too boxy/ square looking to me. Any words of wisdom/advice/info on these 2 cars out there?..........Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-14-2016, 08:45 AM   #2
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I have a 2012 BMW 535I M-Sport we bought new in December of 2011. It is one of four cars that my wife and I share and is used primarily as a highway and travel car. It currently has 39,000 miles on it. When I ordered it I knew I would keep it for a long time so I picked out the options that were important to us. It has been a great car. Very comfortable, reliable and good highway gas mileage; 30 MPG.

Like all cars these have depreciated by 50 per cent. The window sticker was $71,773. After all the rebates and discounts and dealing (& doing a European Delivery), we paid $64,189.44 out the door. You should be able to find a nice one in the $35,000 range (I think). IMHO, stay away from the 550I with the V8s. The early ones have some major engine issues. The later ones are better but are not proven. The 528I is an under powered (IMHO) 4-cylinder. The 535I is a straight 6 with a single dual scroll turbo and has great power and will cruise all day at 90 MPH. We have driven to Idaho a couple times to white water rafting and on one leg did eleven hours. The Luxury seats have a massaging feature on the lower cushion that moves the muscles in your lower back to keep it from cramping upÖ it works! The active cruise control is amazing and works in stop and go traffic. The heads-up display is very cool. I canít recommend this car enough.

The 2013 model added a feature where the seats side bolsters can be adjusted. For someone that is slim (6-2 160) this would have been nice to have.

I would go for a 2012 or 2013. The 2011 was the first year for the F10 model and there were some growing pains. Next year they are introducing a new 2017 5-Series (the G31). This will depreciate the current F10s even more.

Because you are buying used, there is a gamble there. How was the car driving and maintained? BMW offered free maintenance on these cars for the first 50,000 miles. But on my car they would only change the oil when the carís computer recommended it. This could be anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000 miles. No way. I make sure it is changed every 5,000 miles.

I would recommend finding a car optioned to your liking with the lowest miles. Take your time. There are a lot of them out there. Consider CPO from BMW or buying a third party warranty.

There is a very good and active BMW 5 series forum that is very informative; F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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2012 535I;
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Mods - Quad Exhaust Tips, HID Fog Lights, Clear Front Reflectors, M5 Spoiler, Soft Close Doors, Calipers Painted Black, 12.5 mm Rear Wheel Spacers, Tint - 15% Rear, 35% Front & 50% Windshield - BlackVue Dash Cam, Blendmount for Valentine One

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Old 08-14-2016, 11:59 AM   #3
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This is coming from someone who was in your position...

We had several BMW's, 3 series, X5 and last a X3. We really liked the quality, but also the 5 year "no maintence cost", unfortunately they make up for the five years on day one of year six. Back in 2006, we wanted another vehicle for a "drive to airport car" as we traveled for business a lot. I was looking at a used 3 series, but knew that if I went "dealer service" route, it was going to cost. Here is where I will give my wife lots of credit...she saw a 2001 Audi A6 (the bi-turbo 2.7), I will admit that nothing about the cars appearance impressed me, I just saw another 4 door sedan, but she wanted, so we purchased. It didn't take me very long to realize that this was quite a good car, bordering on excellent. The thoughtfulness and engineering really impressed me and when it came to service, prices were just about the same as any domestic. We ended up owning this car until 2013 and drove to over 150,000 miles and only sold because we didn't have garage room for 4 cars. This car impressed me so much that we abandoned BMW and went the total Audi route; we now have a 4.2l S5 and a V6 3.2l Q5 (as well as the Boxster). I love Audi, I love the my service group...the only thing I don't love is there are too many damn Audis out there...guess I blame Audi marketing (ever notice that EVERY big movie has to have an Audi in it?)

Anyway, my point...for low service cost, good engineering and (I would say) ride quality, go the Audi route, but be prepared to see a car that looks just like yours almost everywhere you go. As a disclaimer, no, I don't work for Audi.

One last 2-cents... Because the A6 is very popular on leases and used a lot as corporate "executive" vehicles (both leased and as corporate fleet), there are a ton out there with low mileage and well looked after, because of this not only is inventory high, but prices are low. I have always said that the best value on any car out there is a 4 year old A6. I would advise NOT going with the base or entry trim though, look for a loaded "Premium Plus" or "Prestige" with the V6, and the Bang and Olufsen sound system is a huge upgrade over the stock system. If you want to go crazy, look for a S6 or RS6, but the prices are much higher, and I really don't think it's worth it for a daily driver.

Best wishes.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quattroworld.com is a good website for Audi chatter. I'm only familiar with the TT Mk1 section but think the others are probably just as good. You should be able to find the pluses and minuses on the particular Audi you're looking for. Plus they have an active Classified section.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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A coworkers wife has a 3 series not sure the model year. He just had to have the water pump and thermostat replaced. Apparently to replace the thermostat the intake manifold had to be removed. The bill was 2100.00.......not impressed with that engineering !
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:19 PM   #6
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What year 3 series

I have an E36, can replace the water pump and thermostat without taking all that stuff off...about an hours work from start to finish
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
A coworkers wife has a 3 series not sure the model year. He just had to have the water pump and thermostat replaced. Apparently to replace the thermostat the intake manifold had to be removed. The bill was 2100.00.......not impressed with that engineering !
I think that intake removal problem you mention is to replace the plastic heater pipes that runs under the intake runners. Pretty silly.

I replace a thermostat in my Son's E46 3 series at 165K mles....

$32 part
30 minute job.
No beer spilled during the work.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:32 PM   #8
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I have owned a number of BMWs over the years, all have been very good cars. My e46 coupe is my daily driver along with the Boxster. The e46 is probably the best car I have ever owned; quiet, quick, comfortable, safe and reliable. It now has 230K on it. Sure things wear out, but you just fix them. Parts are not stupid prices if you know where to buy them, much like those for a Porsche. Never take it to a stealership, find a good indy. A guy in Wichita KS is worth driving to if you live within 300 miles (and yes, people do that to have Maurice service their cars).

My suggestion is to stick with a simple drive train, straight 6 if available as they are bullet proof. No turbos or X drive, just more stuff to break. If you go with an auto tranny, change the fluid twice to extend it's life. Other than that, simply enjoy owning a fine car!

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