When it comes to talking about German luxury cars like BMW and Audi, all you think of is high-end levels of comfort, equipment, features, and great performance. The brands further offer top safety features and comfort amenities on their luxury car models.
BMW's tagline "Ultimate Driving Machine" has served its role well over the years by making some of the best handling cars in the world. Audi has also strived to deliver continued advancement through technology which can be seen in the manner they introduce the latest infotainment updates with lavish interiors.
But, if you plan to buy a new Audi or BMW, how would you differentiate both these German luxury cars? To help you determine which is the better one, let us go through some of the factors of Audi and BMW cars in terms of design, performance, and technology.
Audi vs BMW: Performance Level
BMW is reputed for producing high-performance engines. Over the years, the brand has developed a wide range of vehicles that cater to different driving preferences. The most common types of BMW engines include the Inline 4-cylinder engine (2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo), Inline 6-cylinder engine (3.0-litre TwinPower Turbo), V8 engines (4.4-litre TwinPower Turbo V8), and V12 engines (6.6-litre TwinPower Turbo V12).
Apart from these normal engines, BMW has the M Performance Division which is focused on making high-performance vehicles. These models are designed to provide more power, a more engaging driving experience, and sharper handling. Some of the notable M Performance models include BMW M2, M3, M4, M5, and M6 among others.
Audi's most utilised engine is TFSI (Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection) which delivers pure performance. The turbocharged direct injection engine produces a higher power output. For instance, the Audi A6 2.0-litre TFSI engine is capable of generating 243 bhp of power output and 370 Nm of peak torque. Moreover, the iconic Quattro four-wheel drive system has new benchmarks for engine performance. Cars like Audi A3, A4, A5, A6, and E-Tron all come with a Quattro all-wheel drive system. In addition, the Quattro's cutting-edge technology serves dynamism and safety while providing a unique driving experience.
Furthermore, Audi and BMW both have made investments in the electric vehicle segment. Audi e-tron SUV, e-tron GT, and BMW's i7 cars deliver impressive performance and a range of driving modes to enable drivers to customize the car's performance as per their needs.
Audi vs BMW: Exterior Design
BMW and Audi are known for their sleek and modern designs that blend performance and luxury. However, BMW cars tend to have a more aggressive and sporty look, with sharper lines and a more angular design. Audi cars, on the other hand, tend to offer understated and elegant design, with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic.
The kidney grille is one of the most distinctive features of BMW cars and now with the latest models, the brand features larger and more prominent ones which gives the cars a modern and aggressive appearance. Besides that, the BMW cars feature sharp bold lines, adaptive LED lighting, and sporty accents. In fact, the BMW Vision Next 100, which is a concept car, features a visionary design, showcasing the brand's vision for the future of mobility. One of the most striking features of this concept is the "Alive Geometry" design, which can change shape and colour to communicate with the driver and other road users.
In Audi cars, one of the most distinctive design elements is the company's single-frame grille, accompanied by sharp and angular headlights that give their vehicles a dynamic and aggressive look. Even the futuristic concept car, the Audi Activesphere features a futuristic and streamlined exterior design that is meant to showcase the car's cutting-edge technology and advanced aerodynamics. One of the most distinctive features of the Activesphere Concept is its smooth and sleek exterior. The car's grille is minimalist and understated, with a sleek design that blends seamlessly into the four-wheeler’s body.
Audi vs BMW: Interior Styling
Audi and BMW are both known for their luxurious and high-quality interiors, but they have different cabin layouts.
Audi interiors feature a clean and minimalist design, with a focus on simple lines, and high-quality materials such as Alcantara leather, wood trims, aluminium and carbon fibre inserts. The dashboard and centre console are uncluttered and simple, with intuitive controls that provide a sleek and modern feel.
BMW interiors, on the other hand, are known for their driver-centric design and sporty aesthetic, with a focus on creating a dynamic and engaging driving experience. The company uses high-quality materials for its car models such as leather, wood trim, aluminium, carbon fibre inserts among others. The dashboard and centre console are oriented towards the driver, with intuitive controls and a range of features designed to make driving easier and more enjoyable.
Comfort is top-priority for both Audi and BMW, all their cars offer supreme on-board experience be it for the driver, co-passenger and the occupants towards the rear.
Audi vs BMW: Unbeatable Technology
For technology, both these car brands are in a good position. One of the most-talked features in Audi is its Virtual Cockpit which is a digital instrument cluster that replaces traditional gauges with a high-resolution display and can also be customized to show the driver the information they need the most. It can display everything from speed and fuel level to navigation and entertainment information.
Another smart tech is Audi's MMI infotainment system is the central hub. The panel provides a range of features, from navigation and climate control to entertainment and phone connectivity. You can control this system via voice commands, touchscreens, or a rotary dial, and it also offers a range of third-party app integrations.
BMW, on the other hand, offers an iDrive infotainment system. It is designed to provide drivers with access to various features of the car, such as audio, navigation, and climate control. The system is operated using a central display screen and a rotary dial, known as the iDrive controller, located on the centre console.
Besides, BMW offers a feature called "Remote Control Parking" on some of its models, which uses radar-guided sensors to allow the car to park itself without the driver being inside. The feature can be activated via the BMW Display Key, which allows the driver to control the car remotely from outside the vehicle. Other smart tech features that BMW provides are Head-Up Display, Gesture Control, and EfficientDynamics technology.
Which one is worth buying?
Audi and BMW are the two crowning German giants in the market and selecting one of these would be inevitably tough. Both provide vehicles that offer smart tech features, unique and elegant designs, and good performance. So it does not matter which of these cars you buy, at the end of the day, you will be satisfied with your choice.