Comfortdriver

BMW 525d vs. Mercedes E280

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Hi,

 

I recently test drove the Mercedes E Class (280 CDI) and the BMW 5 Series (525d). I am sure that Autocar will bring out a formal review, but I wanted to post some of my generic feedback on these cars.

 

BMW 5 Series

==========

 

1.       The ride quality on the 5 series seems a little harsher than the Mercedes E Class. It may have something to do with the run flat tires in the 5 series, and maybe it could also be resolved by using a higher profile tire such as 55 or 60 instead of the 50. I would hate to drive the 530i which has a 40 profile tyre.

2.   The interiors are very fancy and flashy with a lot of electronics. It lacks the class and elegance of the Mercedes which focuses on practicality, elegance and class. One of the examples is the electronic gear shift in the BMW which is very flashy, but still needs three levers to be activated (breaks, gear switch and gear) versus the Mercedes which needs just two levers (breaks and gear) to be activated. One other example is that the BMW has three levers near the steering while the Mercedes has two. From a class and elegance perspective, the overall layout of the dashboard and door handles are much better in the Mercedes than the BMW, which boast of many more electronic gizmos to make you overlook this aspect.

 

Overall the car is excellent and has huge number of pluses to make up for the above... but you only wish that BMW took some of these aspects into consideration

 

Mercedes E Class

===============

 

1.   The features in the car for this cost is much to be desired. I think that Mercedes has now got their first true competitor in India and they will improve on the features that they present in the cars that they sell at such high costs. An example is that Mercedes does not provide memory seats in a car that cost 50 lakhs with a logic that these cars are chaufer driven. While this may be a fact, I dont think it is fair for Mercedes to make this decision as many people switch between Chaufer and self and need to change seating positions. Also if this logic held, why did they introduce memory seats in the S Class? The current seats in the Mercedes need to be adjusted manually and electrically while the BMW has a 8 way adjustable electronic seats with memory.

2.   The interiors are very elegant and classy, but lack the electronics of the BMW. For example the park sensor is just a set of LEDs in the Mercedes while the BMW has a visual display on a LCD screen showing three angles.

 

In spite of these iritants the car is good, but you get a feel that you are not deriving the value for money spent on the Mercedes. This includes the engine options where at a particular cost, you will get better engine performance options from BMW compared to Mercedes.

 

One lingering doubt that I have is the servicing capability for BMW in India compared to Mercedes. Mercedes has been in India for a long time and have a great servicing network. I dont think BMW has even got their sales network in place and you will face major challenges even getting a test drive organized.

 

Another concern is that both these cars are quite low profile and tend to get their bottoms hit on real bad roads. Bad roads are a reality in India and both these manufacturers need to take note and sometimes we use these roads which end up damaging the car.

 

This is just my view and is limited to feedback. These are great cars with a lot of great features which make the above feedback not very significant.  I look forward to a more comprehensive review from Autocar.

 

Thanks

 

Regards

 

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Good analysis comfort driver and well summed up. I drive a E280CDi so let me give my two bits. The two things that stand out is the creamy smoothness of the V6 diesel and the 7-speed auto box that makes good use of the huge torque. The ride quality is again outstanding and far better then the Bimmers. Take your point on the interiors mine is black which is a bit too dull and the manual fore / aft adjuster for the drivers seat smacks of stinginess. Car hasnt given a days trouble in one and a half years (it has 10k on the clock). the rubber patti on the rear door sill gor undone (promptly fixed) and the horn has gone hoarse. brakes squeal every now and then but have largely worked fine except for the customary groaning of the SBC system.

Apart from the mega Rs 25k bill for the 10,000km routine service, havent spent a bean on maintainance. I have been delighted with the car so far.

 

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and one more thing. I have found the ground clearance decent and the car has never bottomed.

 

I drove these cars on real bad roads and found the bottom getting hit. I drive a C Class as well and have had this problems in bad roads. I feel a little additional clearance will help...

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In any case, I am looking forward to a formal review from Autocar to check their views on these cars. The new Volvo S80 priced at about 38 lakhs seems to be a good buy though I have not reviewed what they offer for that price.

 

 

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i appreciate the finer aspects of analysis on two cars ,i wish the both manufacturers should have given option of automatic hieght control air suspension system for indian condition, is bmw 525 diesel quicker than merc 280cdi? i feel bmw has slight advantage in fuel economy is concerned ,correct me if iam wrong, how about audi A6  diesel? i had fun driving audi A6 specially in sport mode,.it keeps RPM in max torque mode.

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i appreciate the finer aspects of analysis on two cars ' date='i wish the both manufacturers should have given option of automatic hieght control air suspension system for indian condition, is bmw 525 diesel quicker than merc 280cdi? i feel bmw has slight advantage in fuel economy is concerned ,correct me if iam wrong, how about audi A6  diesel? i had fun driving audi A6 specially in sport mode,.it keeps RPM in max torque mode.[/quote']

 

To my knowledge the BMW 525d is slower than the 280cdi (169bhp vs 190bhp), but it is also cheaper by about 2 lakhs and has a bunch of additional fancy features. I am not sure about the fuel economy between the two cars. I have never driven the Audi A6 so I will not be able ot provide any insight.

 

Thanks

 

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In any case' date=' I am looking forward to a formal review from Autocar to check their views on these cars. The new Volvo S80 priced at about 38 lakhs seems to be a good buy though I have not reviewed what they offer for that price.

 [/quote']

 

Yup, 38 lakh for the S80 is very good. Drove the car in the UK - a bit soul-less but a solid, safe car all the same. not sure if I would buy one now. maybe when Im 64.

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In any case' date=' I am looking forward to a formal review from Autocar to check their views on these cars. The new Volvo S80 priced at about 38 lakhs seems to be a good buy though I have not reviewed what they offer for that price.

 [/quote']

 

Yup, 38 lakh for the S80 is very good. Drove the car in the UK - a bit soul-less but a solid, safe car all the same. not sure if I would buy one now. maybe when Im 64.

 

:-). One problem that I am facing with the Audi and the Volvo is that it is very difficult to even get a test drive on these cars. I just cant imagine how their service response is going to be if they are not very eagar to sell these cars :-(. I had a similar problem with BMW where there response to a request for a test drive was very poor, but they atleast responded and got the test drive arranged. No such problems on the Mercedes though where they have got their sales and service setup:-).

 

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For me...its the MERC all the way!!smiley1.gif

 

I only hope that they realize that there is competition and provide better value for the price they charge otherwise they are going to find quite a bit of their market taken away by competition. For example not providing memory seats and a monitor in a 50 lakh car is just not acceptable. I know that BMW has taken a large part of their market in the initial launch inspite of their lack of readiness in service and sales!

 

So Merc better come up with better value than what they are offering now, otherwise they are going to be finding themselves in a deep pit :-).

 

 

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I wish to remind you all' date='

We are BORED with mercedes,

 

BMW is the new thing for our roads.

 

and the fact remains that the BM is a compassionate drivers car.
[/quote']

 

I only wish that BMW had the ride quality quality of the Mercedes. I am also very concerned about their ability to service as their response to sales calls is very poor:-(

 

But right now BMW has so many orders that the waiting period for the 5 series is about 4 to 5 months! Similar case in the 3 series as well where they seem to be outselling the C Class by quite a margin!

 

 

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Hi,

This might help all of you.

I own an AUDI A6 3 litre V6 TDI quattro for the last six months. I called Audi in Delhi for a test drive after I had driven the Mercedes (BMW still did not have their car ready for test drive though I went through their spec sheet extensively and have prior experience of a BMW 5 series in UK) and they were really up to it. I was invited to their showroom and was given both the petrol and the diesel (they had just two then and now five - two diesel and three petrol to choose from) for the test drive. I never had a diesel car and was not looking for a diesel either so drove the petrol.

Now the interesting thing - I decided to drive the diesel also only because of the fact that it had 450 nm of torque and a fantastic 225 bhp.

My God - I was blown away. On the sports mode it gave a headache because it was doing unreasonable speeds before I even knew and ride was just luxury. (no - not as good as the Merc but I did not drive the Merc at those speeds also) I came back home totally smitten and decided to spend some more time with this car. Merc launched the new 280 CDI at the same time and I drove it but just could not forget how I felt when I drove the Audi.

I bought the AUDI in black - it made sense.

The facts and figures that make sense to the people who buy a car of this segment :

- It is the fastest among all its competitors.

- It is longest among competition.

- Fantastic luxury and fit and finish.

- Great ride at that sort of speed and handling.

- Good to drive and good at the back.

- Exclusive since it makes no statement.

My Experience:

- Prompt service though I needed to just get it serviced once after it completed six months. The bill was only 18000 including a 3M protection that I ordered.

- Audi calls and updates me with everything that they are doing all the time. It gives confidence.

- Drove at insane speeds around northern Rajasthan with all safety features working overtime. It was a great experience.

- The four wheel drive makes it safe and no electronics cut in so you could do great corners.

- It surprises a lot of people in the red lights and on highways.

- The AC is light years ahead of competition.

CONCLUSION:

The AUDI 3 litre V6 TDI quattro is still the most powerful among its competition and gives me loads of confidence with the best brakes in business. remember that the torque is available at 1500 rpm only. Just go and test drive one.

THE ONLY NEGATIVE if you guys insist:

The steering is a bit light.

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whilst comfort drive has summed up everyhting about he two cars.The Merc is fabulous engineering andhard to beat in terms of comfort and ride,but lacks character when you drive it compared to the BMw.The Audi I feel gives you a great compromise between the two enough character and power to enjoy the drive and still good measure of ride quality and comfort to enjoy the back seat.

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Hi' date='
This might help all of you.
I own an AUDI A6 3 litre V6 TDI quattro for the last six months. I called Audi in Delhi for a test drive after I had driven the Mercedes (BMW still did not have their car ready for test drive though I went through their spec sheet extensively and have prior experience of a BMW 5 series in UK) and they were really up to it. I was invited to their showroom and was given both the petrol and the diesel (they had just two then and now five - two diesel and three petrol to choose from) for the test drive. I never had a diesel car and was not looking for a diesel either so drove the petrol.
Now the interesting thing - I decided to drive the diesel also only because of the fact that it had 450 nm of torque and a fantastic 225 bhp.
My God - I was blown away. On the sports mode it gave a headache because it was doing unreasonable speeds before I even knew and ride was just luxury. (no - not as good as the Merc but I did not drive the Merc at those speeds also) I came back home totally smitten and decided to spend some more time with this car. Merc launched the new 280 CDI at the same time and I drove it but just could not forget how I felt when I drove the Audi.
I bought the AUDI in black - it made sense.

The facts and figures that make sense to the people who buy a car of this segment :
- It is the fastest among all its competitors.
- It is longest among competition.
- Fantastic luxury and fit and finish.
- Great ride at that sort of speed and handling.
- Good to drive and good at the back.
- Exclusive since it makes no statement.
My Experience:
- Prompt service though I needed to just get it serviced once after it completed six months. The bill was only 18000 including a 3M protection that I ordered.
- Audi calls and updates me with everything that they are doing all the time. It gives confidence.
- Drove at insane speeds around northern Rajasthan with all safety features working overtime. It was a great experience.
- The four wheel drive makes it safe and no electronics cut in so you could do great corners.
- It surprises a lot of people in the red lights and on highways.
- The AC is light years ahead of competition.
CONCLUSION:
The AUDI 3 litre V6 TDI quattro is still the most powerful among its competition and gives me loads of confidence with the best brakes in business. remember that the torque is available at 1500 rpm only. Just go and test drive one.
THE ONLY NEGATIVE if you guys insist:
The steering is a bit light.[/quote']

 

Thanks, this really helps. The issue with Audi from my perspective is the lack of service network at the moment except in some places such as Delhi and Mumbai. The same issue is with Volvo and I really hope that they expand their dealer and service network.

 

I also hear that the Audi is now brought in as a CBU which would mean higher taxes and hence higher costs. BMW did the same earlier and the cars used to cost atleast 50% more than what they cost now. This has a a huge impact on the resale value of these cars as they subsequenly get manufactured locally.

 

Do you know if Audi plans to manufacture these cars locally?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Hi,

Yes, Audi is going to assemble the A4 & A6 in the skoda plant and as per information available to me the India assembled cars will be available from March - June 08. They are not taking orders for the same though so you can expect a delay.

There will indeed be a price difference but not more than 1 - 2 lacs I think. For example the car I bought was for little over 50 lacs on road and once they sell the India assembled ones it would be 48 - 49 lacs. So, for an extra couple of lacs you get original German fit & finish with all the international trims - no compromise. They cannot be 50% cheaper so do not expect a A6 for 30 lacs or so.

I could say the above because I window shop a lot and compare prices all the times. I remember buying a Skoda Octavia before they started assembling them here and besides the fact that I am very happy when they launched the Aurangabad factory assembled ones the prices went up by 50 k to 1 lac hence I benefitted heavily - moreover they stopped the 2 litr petrol with all the safety features (which my car has) hence I always get offers which are much more than other India assembled Octavias six months to one year newer than mine.

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Hi' date='
Yes, Audi is going to assemble the A4 & A6 in the skoda plant and as per information available to me the India assembled cars will be available from March - June 08. They are not taking orders for the same though so you can expect a delay.
There will indeed be a price difference but not more than 1 - 2 lacs I think. For example the car I bought was for little over 50 lacs on road and once they sell the India assembled ones it would be 48 - 49 lacs. So, for an extra couple of lacs you get original German fit & finish with all the international trims - no compromise. They cannot be 50% cheaper so do not expect a A6 for 30 lacs or so.
I could say the above because I window shop a lot and compare prices all the times. I remember buying a Skoda Octavia before they started assembling them here and besides the fact that I am very happy when they launched the Aurangabad factory assembled ones the prices went up by 50 k to 1 lac hence I benefitted heavily - moreover they stopped the 2 litr petrol with all the safety features (which my car has) hence I always get offers which are much more than other India assembled Octavias six months to one year newer than mine. [/quote']

 

My own expectation is that once Audi assembles the A6 in India, the cost will be around Rs. 40 to 42 lakhs which would end up at about Rs. 45 lakhs on road. However you may be right about the features being removed. I recently traveled to Europe and found that there were more new BMWs and Audis in the road compared to the Mercedes. The Mercedes has more taxis, but private car ownership seems to be going the Audi and BMW way...

 

 

 

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Hi' date='
Yes, Audi is going to assemble the A4 & A6 in the skoda plant and as per information available to me the India assembled cars will be available from March - June 08. They are not taking orders for the same though so you can expect a delay.
There will indeed be a price difference but not more than 1 - 2 lacs I think. For example the car I bought was for little over 50 lacs on road and once they sell the India assembled ones it would be 48 - 49 lacs. So, for an extra couple of lacs you get original German fit & finish with all the international trims - no compromise. They cannot be 50% cheaper so do not expect a A6 for 30 lacs or so.
I could say the above because I window shop a lot and compare prices all the times. I remember buying a Skoda Octavia before they started assembling them here and besides the fact that I am very happy when they launched the Aurangabad factory assembled ones the prices went up by 50 k to 1 lac hence I benefitted heavily - moreover they stopped the 2 litr petrol with all the safety features (which my car has) hence I always get offers which are much more than other India assembled Octavias six months to one year newer than mine. [/quote']

 

My own expectation is that once Audi assembles the A6 in India, the cost will be around Rs. 40 to 42 lakhs which would end up at about Rs. 45 lakhs on road. However you may be right about the features being removed. I recently traveled to Europe and found that there were more new BMWs and Audis in the road compared to the Mercedes. The Mercedes has more taxis, but private car ownership seems to be going the Audi and BMW way...

 

 

 
I definately agree with you .I have seen that they prefer BMW and AUDI specially the M5 and A8..The MERC is used as Taxi specially the c andE class.smiley1.gif

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I was in a cab in Zurich which was a old model Mercedes S Class. The car had done over a million kms and the driver was saying that the Taxis prefer Mercedes due to its reliability. There were Merc Taxis running in Zurich which had over 3 million kms on them. The best part was that there is always a buyer for the Mercs irrespective of the number of kms done.

He did mention that the private car owners however seem of late to prefer the Audis and the BMWs due to their sportiness. Their resale value is not as high as the Mercs, but it seems to be getting better.

 

So it seems that the Mercs have its legendary quality attached with it which is pushing its sales while the features provided by Audi and BMW seem to attract the new car buyers. From the numbers as well it seems that BMW seems to be the top selling luxury brand followed by Merc and then by Audi.

 

 

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