Originally Posted by Propagator
If I told you that I would happily cross-shop a well equipped 328xi with a similarly equipped A6 2.0T for my wife if the prices were similar, would that make it ok to compare them? I do know that the A6 is meant to be a 5 series competitor, but if Audi is willing to be so aggressive with the pricing, why should I be all dogmatic about it and refuse to compare the two just because they are meant to be in different classes?
The fact is that the F30 has grown both in size and in character, while Audi has been making a steady march towards the sporty end of the spectrum. Given two German AWD sports sedans with electric steering, turbo-4, similar interior volume and even similar price, I think many people would cross-shop the two.
Here's the deal. I watched an interesting story on YouTube by CNBC called BMW: A Driving Obssession. The story was aired back in July of last year. Late, I know. But there was an interesting piece in the story that mentioned Audi's intent to surpass BMW as the #1 luxury sport sedan manufacturer by 2015. That is what you are witnessing. Audi is taking a gamble and probably smaller profit margins by keeping Audis a bit cheaper than BMWs to "catch up" to BMW and pass them as #1. After watching the segment, one can argue that BMW can justify the hefty price. There is a LOT of attention to detail put in these cars from start to finish. I think the story mentioned that half of BMW designers have PhDs. Which is probably why BMW is still #1. MB is #2, and Audi is a close 3rd in the market segment.
I do agree that the 3-series is pushing beyond its sweet spot as the perfect sport sedan. Which is why BMW probably came out with the 1-series, which is smaller and cheaper (perhaps to compete with the A4?) and has the same engines as the 3-series. I think most of the 3-series customers here will start to look at the 1-series to get back to that 3-series feel that we had for the past 20 or so years.
Personally, I think BMW's configurations can be a lot simpler, and it was mentioned in the story that BMW sometimes over-engineers things. But what I did learn is that they do listen to their customers. It's up to us to change what BMW does if we tell them.