For decades now, the BMW vs Audi battle has waged on. Is there a clear winner here?
BMW is a name synonymous with German manufacturing standards built on strong reliability and elegant class for drivers looking to taste history. Similarly, Audi is another strong German automaker with roots in developing cars before the First World War even started. Both automobile manufacturers have advanced the way the world thinks about European design, with engine parts and domestic cars easily infused with prestige and honor that other countries had to fight decades to receive. But the question remains, which one is the better brand?
Both German car and motorcycle manufacturers are highly respected for their innovative production models and careful eye to detail. Both are active in the sports rally scene and capable of developing the latest technologies that burn engines longer without sacrificing more fuel. Audi in particular had contributed to the future design of all engine models with their fuel stratified injection system in the early 1900s and LED headlights in 2006, while BMW developed the EfficientDynamics system in the early 2000s to deliver more power with less emission.
Considering the history of design excellence from both automakers, there must be something that sets these two apart so we can crown a winner. Rather than use direct competition of production models as the only indicator, it would be fairer to present an overview of both companies and let the reader decide.
BMW vs Audi:
The BMW brand was first founded in 1917 as an aircraft production company manufacturing parts for the First World War. Following the peace treaty signalling the end of all war-related production lines, BMW shifted to making motorcycles in 1923 before shifting again to produce automobiles in 1928. Fast-forward to the current day and BMW is one of the most successful automakers in the entire world, ranking first in most reputable company.
Its long line of prestigious awards has only strengthened their brand image and dedication to excellence, going so far as to branch out from luxury cars and into every market available. BMW is also dedicated to developing less harmful automobiles and has an impressive track record when it comes to implementing green technologies.
The BMW 7-Series is one of their most popular design models, and it’s apparent from the start Germans do not mess around with luxury sedans. BMW is not really known for having flashy designs or unnecessary changes to their exteriors just for the sake of a new model. But from an engineering and technology viewpoint, there is simply nothing better than owning the latest 7-Series sedan.
BMW’s sometimes unfortunate mess of a control system, the iDrive, has been overhauled for 2013 and responds effectively well with built-in voice controls. The iDrive is also an excellent navigator along with a plethora of options for controlling everything inside and outside of your sedan from the driver’s seat. In addition to the standard features found in all luxury cars, the 7-Series also comes with an optional backseat entertainment system consisting of two LCD screens as well as massage functions for all seats. Night vision is also available on most models to assist the driver in spotting pedestrians, which is a really neat if perhaps an impractical feature.
Under the hood, BMW has outfitted the 2013 7-Series with a powerful V-8 capable of getting the average driver 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. While not amazing numbers, there are many fuel-saving options built into every 7-Series like automatic engine turn-off while idling (the car restarts itself when the driver releases the brake), an ECO-PRO mode for managing unused electrical options, and energy recharge that recaptures some of the car’s kinetic power while breaking and stores it for later use.
Overall, an amazingly smart choice for the driver looking to have the best experience possible sitting in a luxury sedan.
Audi vs BMW:
Audi is a collection of different automobile manufacturers that merged together to form the award winning company it’s known as today. Originally established in 1885, the companies that eventually formed Audi were the firsts of many dominant technologies including the first German car to have left-handed driving.
Following the events of World War II, all automakers within Germany were dismantled. It wouldn’t be until the late 1960s that Audi would emerge as an independent brand built from the ashes of several fallen companies. Consolidating their resources, the new Audi premium division introduced their first production model to the United States in 1970. From there, Audi continued to grow in the 2000s and gain loyal supporters until it became another powerhouse alongside BMW. With the latest generation of engines at their disposal, Audi has quickly become another strong name in German automobiles.
One of their most popular models is the Audi A7, a full-sized sedan for the premium market built upon the latest features and technologies. From the outside, the 2013 iteration of the A7 does not look much different than previous generations, especially when you’re just taking a glance. The real beauty of all Audi models is the engine and the interior cabin. Audi uses a high quality touchpad for literally controlling every single option your A7 has to offer. The MMI (Multi-Media Interface) system consists of a rotating dial for quickly surfing through the options while you’re driving along with GPS technology on an 8-inch LCD touchscreen. This is in addition to the standard features found in most luxury sedans like power everything, satellite radio, leather seats, and a surprisingly welcomed four climate control system for maximizing individual comfort. However, because of the smaller frame, there isn’t much headroom in the backseats. This low slopping body frame also cuts out some cargo room in the trunk.
The Audi’s powerful V-8 engine provides some much needed flair and really barrels down the road because of the lightweight frame. Achieving at least 18 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, the 2013 A7 is pretty standard in terms of fuel economy. There are currently no hybrid options available and that’s a shame for such a strong sedan.
Overall, for the expensive price tag, you’re getting exactly what you need in terms of a luxury sedan and no one will second guess buying an Audi.
A Victor in the BMW vs Audi Emerges?
There really isn’t a flaw in BMW or Audi that could dissuade the average driver from purchasing luxury on wheels, especially when they’re both known worldwide for quality cars. Both German brands represent the premium market well and you’ll undoubtedly be happy with either choice considering the amount of effort, design, and planning that goes into each production model.
However, if we did have to choose one, we liked the roomier BMW 7-Series better than the Audi A7. You can’t really put a price tag on comfort until you’re missing some head or leg room.