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New Audi A6 vs BMW 5 Series vs Mercedes E-Class : Comparison
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the best executive luxury sedan of them all? It’s the one question that just begs to be answered, doesn’t it? Even though many of us will never have the means to buy one of these Teutonic treats, these three, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 that is, represent the quintessential automotive aspirations for most of us – out of reach, yet bearing a hint of attainability. And while these three cars might don different badges and sport different lines, they symbolize pretty much the same auto-ethos – luxury, practicality (in context of course) and a great driving experience. The launch of a new replacement model in this lot, then deserves the other two to be dragged out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and thrown into ring for a right old fight. And if we’re going to have a tussle on our hands, we might as well get the most fun engines, the V6 petrol motors that is, which are on offer.
The car that has prompted all this is the new A6 from Audi. After the highly capable, but rather staid looking previous generation of the car, this follow up is all set to correct the shortcomings of its predecessor. But the competition isn’t exactly long in the tooth either. The latest E-Class is barely a couple of years old while the 5 Series only just arrived last year. And while all three might have similar capabilities, each has its own unique appeal. So if you’re the sort of person who is in the market for a luxury sedan and has about 50-odd lakh rupees to spare or if you, like most of us, are a keen auto enthusiast who just wants to know which one of these stands above the rest, the answer isn’t so cut-and-dry. Nevertheless, the following point-by-point comparison should lift the veil on this mystery once and for all, or at least until the next iteration of one of these comes along and ups the game a notch.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And that brings us to a dilemma because there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way any one of these cars looks. The current generation of the E-Class, the W212, stands head and shoulders over the last couple of generations of the car. Gone are the strange oval headlights, replaced by what almost look like gigantic diamonds set in the front fascia. The overall lines have been sharpened up a bit too, ditching the gentle, and rather ungainly, curves for edges which not only carry the shape of what is now accepted to be a modern E-Class saloon, but bring back memories of the E124 from the mid-80s – the best looking E-Class of all time in our opinion.
In terms of its looks, the current 5 Series on the other hand has been taken a notch down, if you ask us. With designer Chris Bangle’s design language notably absent, the 5 has lost a bit of its edge. Gone are those curvaceous headlights and that famous “Bangle-butt”. But all of this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While the earlier 5 was a “love-it-or-hate-it” affair, this one is much more palatable and far classier. The move to more traditional design cues seems to have rather helped this car’s case, and it pretty much stands on equal footing in comparison to its traditional rival, the E-Class. However, in our opinion, this Bimmer scores just a smidgen more than the Merc, thanks to its slightly sleeker proportions.
The new A6 on the other hand is a whole other story. Had this story been done a couple of months back, when we still had the earlier A6, the Merc and the BMW would have utterly trounced it in terms of looks. The problem with the A6, and most of Audi’s sedans, was that it looked like just ‘a car’ – any generic car. But this new car has really upped the ante by a large margin. Sharper, more muscular lines, a new front air-dam, all-LED head lights and even a redesigned rear end with an integrated spoiler lip make the new A6 really stand apart in this company. And one doesn’t have to say too much about it either – just the sight of this car standing amidst its competition should be enough for anyone to see which car has the upper hand. And if we need to spell that out for you, it’s the A6.