Performance-inspired luxury car brands like Audi and BMW offer premium amenities, superior handling, and plenty of convenient, high-tech features. So, which brand has what you want in your next luxury car? To help drivers in Ithaca, Corning, and Binghamton, NY, decide, our team at Audi Ithaca put together this Audi vs. BMW comparison.

As you explore how these luxury car brands match up head to head, feel free to contact a team member with any questions you may have along the way!

Audi vs BMW: History

So, you may be wondering, what exactly is the difference between Audi and BMW? To begin, each brand has decades of experience putting lots of power under the hood. From Grand Prix racing to cruising on the Autobahn, both are German luxury car brands.

Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group along with Porsche, Bugatti, and Lamborghini as well as Bentley. BMW, on the other hand, owns Rolls-Royce and Mini. Both luxury car brands also share a long history of motorsport racing.

In each brand's lineup, you'll find a variety of body styles ranging from coupes and convertibles to sportbacks and sedans. At first glance, these two manufacturers may seem quite similar. When you consider the finer details, however, the differences become more apparent. Let's dive in!

Audi vs BMW: Power & Performance

When it comes to power and performance, both lineups offer an exhilarating driving experience. If you're interested in accelerating or speeding around bends at higher speeds, though, Audi is your best bet for a couple reasons.

Traction & Acceleration

Its quattro® all-wheel drive system allows you to grip the road and hug every curve with confidence. Athletic Audi brand luxury cars like the Audi R8 can reach up to an impressive 562 horsepower. While BMW also offers plenty of cars that are fun to drive, its roadster, the BMW i8, falls short of its Audi competitor by reaching only 369 horsepower.

Audi vs BMW: Safety & Reliability

Another important factor to consider when investing in a luxury car is safety that, in turn, often translates to reliability. Both Audi and BMW models are outfitted with some of the most advanced safety and driver-assist systems available on the market.

Sight at Night

One such feature is known as night vision assistant in Audi models and Night Vision in BMW models. This remarkable safety feature helps drivers see at night. If a person or animal suddenly crosses your path at night, you'll know, giving you more time to react.

By using a thermal imaging camera attached to the front of the vehicle, the night vision assistant detects heat radiation. Then, the system transforms this information into images that are projected onto the center touchscreen display.


Vehicle Exit Warning

Many Audi models also offer the clever vehicle exit warning. If anyone attempts to exit the vehicle when another motorist or cyclist is approaching from the rear, lights will flash as a warning to wait until the coast is clear. BMW does not offer a comparable safety feature. It's cutting-edge technologies like this one that sets Audi apart from BMW.

Audi vs BMW: Style Inside & Out

In both the Audi and BMW lineups live an abundance of luxury cars and SUVs. Inside each vehicle, you'll find fashionable leather seats and classic interior accent options. Luxury car shoppers can select timeless, refined looks with wood trim along the doors and center console. Alternatively, more sleek, modern style cabins are also available, featuring carbon fiber or aluminum inlays.

Cabin Comfort

Where Audi excels is in merging modern with classic and luxury with performance-inspired designs. Every vehicle in their lineup, from sedans like the Audi A4 to SUVs like the Audi Q5, features a streamlined exterior and a cabin that feels like a cockpit.

Another point where Audi truly shines, literally, is its available ambient lighting that offers drivers up to 30 different color changes to elevate their journeys. By comparison, BMW offers a more limited ambient lighting system. Fun upgrades like this are one of the major perks of owning a luxury car, and Audi clearly steals the show.

Exterior Designs

On the outside, each Audi shares the same basic rounded look with an aerodynamic grille. When a luxury car catches your eye, you'll know whether it's an Audi. Even when you're comparing different styles, like the Audi S7 Sportback and the Audi TT roadster, it's clear they share the same performance-inspired DNA.

However, the same can't be said for BMW. While there is no denying that all BMW models feature luxurious appointments, many BMW vehicles have designs that don't stand up to similar Audi models. For example, BMW SUVs feature the same foundation as their smaller vehicles without making an adaptation for larger vehicles, as seen in Audi models.

Audi vs BMW: Infotainment Systems & Technology

When you're behind the wheel of a luxury brand car, you'll want a reliable entertainment system along for the ride, too. In both Audi and BMW models, you'll find a 12.3-inch digital display for your instrument cluster. Here, you'll be able to see things like step-by-step directions, detailed trip information, and more through easy-to-read enlarged icons.

Convenient Displays

That's where the similarities between their infotainment systems end, however. Audi offers a dual-screen experience on your dashboard through its available MMI® Navigation plus system. On the lower screen you can adjust the temperature, while up top you can access your favorite smartphone apps with ease thanks to Apple CarPlay® compatibility and Android Auto™ integration.

The BMW infotainment system, on the other hand, features just one large screen on top of the dashboard. Additionally, while BMW offers Apple CarPlay™ compatibility, Android Auto™ integration is not available. For Android smartphone users, this could be the ultimate deal-breaker.

Audi vs BMW: Our Verdict

As shown in our Audi vs. BMW comparison, when it comes to the automotive elements that drivers care about most, Audi delivers on all fronts. If you feel ready to take the wheel, the team at Audi Ithaca is here to help. Whether you want to finance or lease a luxury car, we'll work with you to develop a plan you'll feel confident about moving forward.

Whichever Audi model you ultimately choose, it will take you on reliably thrilling drives around Ithaca, Corning, and Binghamton, NY, well into the future. To learn more about how Audi vs. BMW compare, contact a team member or visit our Audi dealership today!


Audi Ithaca

370 Elmira Road
Directions Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Sales: (607) 257-1515
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