Which is the Better Buy: Audi, BMW or Mercedes?

You’re probably going to consider Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz as possible candidates for your next luxury vehicle purchase if you buy at that end of the market. All three brands are highly rated and it’s difficult to choose a side as endless discussions inevitably take place between you and whoever else’s opinion you want or need. So when it comes down to it, is Audi, BMW, or Mercedes better, and why?


In January 1886, when Karl Benz developed the first internal-combustion engine, Mercedes-Benz was founded as a company. Emil Jellinek, Benz’s business associate, licensed the Mercedes trademark with his daughter’s middle initial in 1902.

In the United States, affluent families such as the Rockefellers and Astors rapidly adopted imported early models of Mercedes-Benz. Since 1909, the famous three-pointed star, the brand’s logo symbolizes the company’s goal of developing automobiles that can be used on land, sea, and air.

What makes a Mercedes stand out?

In addition to having power at your fingertips, a Mercedes-Benz vehicle can often provide unrivaled quality and functionality across various categories, including driving dynamics, passenger comfort, fuel economy, security, and in-car technology.

However, the brand has gone through its good and not-so-good periods over the years, and the quality hasn’t always lived up to its reputation. Even so, that three-pointed star is a powerful draw and lots of people will buy a Mercedes for the badge and the kudos of being a Mercedes driver, regardless of whether the vehicle is any good or not.

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Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

What attracts so many people to Mercedes-Benz cars?

Mercedes-Benz is a globally recognized symbol of high-quality transportation. These prestigious vehicles excel in all categories: performance, luxury, safety, and these days, even environmental friendliness.

People who drive Mercedes-Benzes are stereotyped as being detail-oriented and meticulous. Rather than prioritizing speed and efficiency, they prioritize ease of use and relaxation.

It’s fair to say that owning a Mercedes doesn’t come with some of the negative connotations that are sometimes associated with other auto brands. People who don’t own a Mercedes or can’t afford to own one will usually assume anyone who does must be pretty wealthy.

Of course, that’s certainly not always the case, and Mercedes has some reasonably affordable models in its portfolio these days. And that’s before you even think about used examples. If you want to know how affordable the new Mercedes you’d like is in your area at the moment, use the free, no-obligation form below.

What makes Mercedes-Benz better than Audi and BMW?

Mercedes-Benz is one of the most prestigious automotive brands in the world, and I’d say it ranks above BMW and Audi in that respect. Are its vehicles actually better than their Audi or BMW equivalents these days? Not necessarily.

A couple of years ago I leased a new Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, and I have to say that it really was pretty special. I also owned a brand new Audi A4 years ago. And although it was a great car (until a faulty ignition coil took it off the road for 4 months!!!), it didn’t make me feel the way the Mercedes made me feel.

My first ever brand-new car (a very long time ago) was a BMW 3 Series. That car made me feel like a king, but I was only 20 years old at the time and I’m not sure a 3 Series would have that effect on me today.

These days, I think the Mercedes brand is probably more prestigious and desirable than BMW, and definitely more prestigious than Audi. But when it comes to quality and value for money, the jury’s out on those.


In contrast to Mercedes-Benz, the Audi brand has a more convoluted history, and its name didn’t appear until 1965. Its original name, August Horch & Cie, was replaced by “Auto Union” in the early twentieth century.

To this day, Audi remains one of the most well-known automobile brands produced in Germany. Their name has become synonymous with elegance, sophistication, cutting-edge technology, and modernity.

Why is Audi so well known?

This German luxury brand is renowned for its sporty performance, refined cabins, and innovative Quattro all-wheel-drive system, as well as its cutting-edge technology and sophisticated design. Almost all of them have reliable performance and possess plush, clean, and functional cabins.

With the introduction of the Audi Type K, Audi joined a select group of automakers who focus on both racing and left-hand-drive vehicles with a floor-mounted gearbox.

Audis are expensive, but are they worth it?

Audis have a reputation for being reliable new vehicles, but problems can arise, and repairs can get expensive if left unattended. That ignition coil issue I mentioned earlier resulted in me being instructed not to drive it and it being recovered.

There were so many Audi vehicles with the same problem at the time, that the waiting list for the part to fix it was 4-6 months. I ended up telling them to keep it after four months and I bought a boat and a cheap pickup truck instead!

Think about insurance costs as well. Audis are a luxury brand with higher insurance rates than many other vehicles that come close to the same status. This is more of a cautionary note than a severe criticism. The costs associated with buying, running, and maintaining an Audi these days are in the same ballpark as Mercedes and BMW. However, you may ask yourself if they are really anything more than a Volkswagen with a better badge.

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2022 Audi A8

What makes Audi better than Mercedes-Benz and BMW?

An Audi is typically the best choice for you if you care most about how you appear to other people while driving, but that doesn’t apply when it comes to the prestige factor among your peers. It is fair to say that the Audi badge means a lot more today than it did a decade or longer ago, and it could give BMW a run for its money in that regard.

But are people going to be as impressed when you tell them you drive an Audi as they would be if you tell them your drive a Mercedes? I think you know the answer to that one. After all, they don’t reference Audi in rap music like they do Mercedes-Benz.


The headquarters of both Rapp Motorenwerke and Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik was located in Munich, the Bavarian capital. After Otto’s bankruptcy in 1916, the company became Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW). Shortly after, Rapp modified its company name, becoming Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH or BMW in 1917.

What makes a BMW so exceptional?

BMW has spent years creating the best possible experience for its customers, and the company continues to push the boundaries of innovation with each new product release. BMW takes great pride in producing motor vehicles that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also of the highest possible quality.

The all-wheel-drive system that BMW uses is widely considered to be among the best in the industry. Those who enjoy taking risks will be pleased to know that their BMW can confidently traverse various terrains, including snow and off-road conditions.

Like Mercedes, however, BMW has had its ups and downs when it comes to quality over the years. But on the whole, BMW has always put a stronger focus on the driving experience than either Mercedes or Audi. After all, the company couldn’t have got away with the advertising slogan, “The Ultimate Driving Machine” if its cars weren’t renowned for how they perform.

What sets BMW apart from the competition?

The meticulous attention to detail is one of the attributes that sets BMW automobiles apart from the competition. The BMW team has arrived at what they believe to be the perfect tone for an automobile’s door, for example. It is just the right amount of heavy or light. The owners have reported feeling an assurance of safety and accuracy due to the product’s low but audible click.

Every BMW is great to drive, whether it’s an entry-level 1 Series, an X5, or an M8. You know that when you go to buy a BMW, and that leaves you free to concentrate on other things like standard and available features and equipment.

BMWs also have a distinctive style. It’s not always to everyone’s liking, but you know a BMW when you see one. The BMW also passes the keyring test. And by that I mean will you make a strong impression in a bar, restaurant, or hotel when you put a BMW keyring on the counter?

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BMW 430i Gran Coupe

What makes BMW better than Mercedes-Benz and Audi?

BMW is a safe bet if you are looking for a thrilling and enjoyable driving experience. BMW is also a brand that puts lots of the latest high-tech goodies into its cars early these days. That wasn’t always the case, I can tell you.

When I bought my 318i in 1988 I basically got a body shell, seats, a steering wheel, and the drivetrain. Almost everything else was extra, including rear electric windows. It’s certainly not like that anymore.

Unless you are buying at the very top-end of the ranges, you’ll probably find a BMW to be a more rewarding driver’s car.

Be warned, though. Becoming a BMW driver will make a lot of other road users see you in a certain light, and it’s not a good one. Let’s just say that BMW drivers have a reputation for not being the most considerate of drivers. A lot of people believe that turn signals must be extra cost items on a BMW because most BMWs never appear to have them!

Three factors to consider when deciding between the three brands

The luxury automobiles produced by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are each remarkable in their own right and share neither their similarities nor their differences with any other automobile brand. When choosing between the three automobiles, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration before making a decision regarding which one is the best.

When choosing between cars, here are three factors to keep in mind:

  • The term quality of the vehicle’s build and the reliability and longevity of all its parts and accessories is one of the factors that you need to consider.
  • The initial purchase price of a vehicle is typically not even close to covering the total expenses involved in car ownership over time. Asset value, fuel, repairs, renovations, and insurance are all components of the overall cost of ownership.
  • A car’s overall reliability. The great news is that most vehicles designed and made in today’s market are highly dependable. Most warranties on brand-new cars cover the vehicle for at least three years or 36,000 miles, and some go as high as ten years or 100,000 miles. Despite this, you should still look for a car that has a good track record of reliability.


If you are having trouble deciding which is the better buy between an Audi, a BMW, or a Mercedes Benz, the most important thing to remember is what you want. If you were looking for value for money first and foremost, you’d probably ignore these three and buy a high-spec Kia, Hyundai, or Volkswagon.

If you want to impress people, buy a Mercedes. If you want the best driver’s car and still have plenty of cool points with the badge, buy a BMW. If you want a stylish, high-quality car that qualifies as a luxury brand but can still offer decent value for money, an Audi is probably the way to go.

And whichever brand or model floats your boat, use the free tool below to find out the best prices currently available in your area for any vehicle of your choice.