With such highly regarded new midsize sports sedans at the ready, natural rivals BMW and Audi are ready to compete for the hearts of driving enthusiasts. In one corner, from Munich, we have the 2012 BMW 535i. In the other, from Ingolstadt, we have the 2012 Audi A6. Both are excellent options, but only one can win. Let’s see how they measure up.
Under the Hood
The Audi A6 is offered with either a 211-hp turbo four-cylinder or a 310-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6. The former is available with front-wheel drive only, is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and drinks fuel to the tune of 33 mpg highway. The Audi V6 offers standard quattro® all-wheel drive and manages 28 mpg on the highway. The BMW 535i features the critically acclaimed 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine. It’s rated at a stout 300 hp and, at 30 mpg highway, it’s nearly as efficient as the Audi’s less powerful base four-cylinder. Another perk for the BMW driver is that the 535i can be had with a manual transmission – a treat for enthusiasts who prefer to handle all the shifting themselves. In addition, the 535i can be outfitted with xDrive all-wheel drive.
On the Inside
Both the Audi and BMW feature standard leather seating surfaces, but where the A6’s front seats offer eight-way adjustability, the BMW 535i offers an even greater degree of user configuration with 10-way adjustment. Ambient lighting is standard only on the top-tier Audi A6 Prestige trim, but it’s standard on all 535i models. Both cars offer standard 10-speaker audio systems, but when it comes to rear-seat entertainment, the Audi falls short. The BMW 535i can be equipped with a dual-screen, high-resolution, multimedia entertainment system; the Audi A6 does not offer anything comparable.
Safety and Security
Both cars feature a full suite of airbags for optimal occupant protection, as well as standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TRAC) and available all-wheel drive for sure-footed driving in even the worst weather conditions. The BMW Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, however, also includes Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying and Brake Stand-by features. The BMW 535i goes even further with the standard BMW Assist™ telematics system. A four-year Safety Plan subscription is included, which provides drivers with the added security blanket of Automatic Collision Notification, Emergency Request, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Door Unlock Service, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Customer Relations, TeleService, which allows your car to relay its service needs directly to your preferred BMW Center and Mobile Office features.
The Ultimate Driving Machine Reigns Supreme
Relentless attention to detail from BMW results in an overall package that is unmatched. Incredible turbo inline-six power with fuel economy comparable to a four-cylinder, a well-equipped, driver focused cockpit, and cutting edge safety technology come together to form the thing BMW strives for every time a 5 Series rolls off the assembly line: The world’s best sport sedan.
[[make = "BMW"]] [[model = "535i"]] [[year = "2012"]]