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Old 8th November 2012, 11:32   #1
rbp
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Default Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Background :- My elder brother is a builder and is on the lookout for an upgrade to his Fortuner. Initially we had shortlisted the Q3, but now it is Q5, but there is a catch the Q5 has already been updated in the international markets, not sure when it will get launched here. So the waiting game continued. I recently told my brother why don't you look at the Mercedes offerings. He is impressed by the ML 350, but the servicing costs mentioned by the showroom guy was a little shocking, around 45 to 55K for each service. The Audi guy I recall said somewhere around 15 to 20K for servicing.

My biggest concern is ownership experience, Audi being a part of the Volkswagen group is always a concern. How about Mercedes? I haven't read much about them? How reliable are their SUV's, I read it has plenty of electronics.

Note :- I know both these vehicles belong to different categories, the 350 is a bigger vehicle when compared to the Q5. We also looked at the Freelander2 and Range Rover Evoque [Very exp and not worth the money].


  1. Cars short listed
    Mercedes ML350 and Audi Q5 V6. We ruled out the BMW X3 as the looks did not excite. Any idea when the 2013 Q5 will arrive?
  2. Price range
    Upto 70 Lakhs.
  3. Maintenance & After Sales Service (A.S.S.) expectations
    Need peace of mind. Keep in mind he has been used to a Toyota's excellent service all these years.
  4. Average distance traveled per month
    1500+ kms
  5. Where car will be mostly used (city / highway / rough roads etc)
    City and highway.
  6. Chauffer driven / self driven
    Both
  7. Whether the vehicle will be shared by other members of family
    No
  8. Any specific requirements from car (ex. Better luggage space, responsive engine, rear seat comfort)
    Ride comfort and a punchy engine. From what I have read the Audi Q5 V6 is a better drivers car.

Need your valuable feedback on this, before we decide to put our money.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:40   #2
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The 2013 q5 is expected next year probably in the first quarter. If you try now, you could get some juicy discounts. Would make sense as the facelift doesn't promise any major change.

Also, think about whether you need more off road capability. The ML is marginally better on that front.
Also the ML is a bit spacious than the Q5
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:47   #3
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Fortuner's maintenance is peanuts compared to either of these manufacturers, so kindly don't be in any doubt that you will get better after-sales-service and peace of mind with either of these Germans even after shelling 70L. If anything, you will be in a more hassled state of mind, if servicing tops your priority.

Quality and comfort levels with either will be in a different class all together from the Fortuner. However, the Merc will be a better bet than the Audi.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:49   #4
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

ML 350 looks & feels bigger than the Q5

Why not check the latest launched ML 250 CDI ? As its a good deal @ 46L (ex-showroom) i.e. aprox 8L cheaper than the ML 350

Last edited by karan561 : 8th November 2012 at 12:05.
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Old 8th November 2012, 12:27   #5
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Did you consider the Landrover Freelander? Doesn't look as hot as the cars you mentioned, but is far more capable on poor roads that he might go on if he is a builder. Would highly recommend a TD.

PS - after owning a fortuner, and going into Audi or MB, please expect further loosening of purse strings and some headaches during servicing. The fortuner is one of the most shockingly stress free vehicles in the market.
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Old 8th November 2012, 13:53   #6
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
The 2013 q5 is expected next year probably in the first quarter. If you try now, you could get some juicy discounts. Would make sense as the facelift doesn't promise any major change.

Also, think about whether you need more off road capability. The ML is marginally better on that front.
Also the ML is a bit spacious than the Q5
Off roading is not a priority. The 2013 Q5 V6 has a bump in power as well as torque figures [6 kgm].

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Fortuner's maintenance is peanuts compared to either of these manufacturers, so kindly don't be in any doubt that you will get better after-sales-service and peace of mind with either of these Germans even after shelling 70L. If anything, you will be in a more hassled state of mind, if servicing tops your priority.

Quality and comfort levels with either will be in a different class all together from the Fortuner. However, the Merc will be a better bet than the Audi.
He doesnt mind paying the extra service cost, but how does Merc servicing compare to Audi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
ML 350 looks & feels bigger than the Q5

Why not check the latest launched ML 250 CDI ? As its a good deal @ 46L (ex-showroom) i.e. aprox 8L cheaper than the ML 350
The 250 has a V4 engine, where as the 350 has a V6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
Did you consider the Landrover Freelander? Doesn't look as hot as the cars you mentioned, but is far more capable on poor roads that he might go on if he is a builder. Would highly recommend a TD.

PS - after owning a fortuner, and going into Audi or MB, please expect further loosening of purse strings and some headaches during servicing. The fortuner is one of the most shockingly stress free vehicles in the market.
As I mentioned the Landrover rears looks put him off. He was bowled over by the Evoque, but for its size and performance it wasnt worth paying 65+ lakhs.
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Old 8th November 2012, 13:59   #7
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
He doesnt mind paying the extra service cost, but how does Merc servicing compare to Audi?

As I mentioned the Landrover rears looks put him off. He was bowled over by the Evoque, but for its size and performance it wasnt worth paying 65+ lakhs.
Merc servicing costs are in general higher than Audi for regular service. However, Audi's major repairs tend to plague more than Benz. This is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence, and not on statistics.

Evoque probably isnt worth it. Freelander would have been, but if he doesnt like the plain looks, then thats the end of the LR family consideration set.
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Old 8th November 2012, 13:59   #8
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
He doesnt mind paying the extra service cost, but how does Merc servicing compare to Audi?
Merc servicing is superior to that of Audi as per the feedback that I have got from my friends owning these vehicles, but then so is the service cost which is much higher as you have already compared. Also Merc vehicles though less on some frills are generally considered more reliable than Audi.
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Old 8th November 2012, 14:12   #9
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post

The 250 has a V4 engine, where as the 350 has a V6.
Oh C'mon i know that. I just suggested because the 250 was VFM & none of your pre-requisites mentioned below had a compulsion of owning 6 cyl.

Peace

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
Background
[*]Price range
Upto 70 Lakhs.
[*]Maintenance & After Sales Service (A.S.S.) expectations
Need peace of mind. Keep in mind he has been used to a Toyota's excellent service all these years.
[*]Average distance traveled per month
1500+ kms
[*]Where car will be mostly used (city / highway / rough roads etc)
City and highway.
[*]Chauffer driven / self driven
Both
[*]Whether the vehicle will be shared by other members of family
No
[*]Any specific requirements from car (ex. Better luggage space, responsive engine, rear seat comfort)
Ride comfort and a punchy engine. From what I have read the Audi Q5 V6 is a better drivers car.
[/list]
Need your valuable feedback on this, before we decide to put our money.
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Old 8th November 2012, 14:22   #10
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Oh C'mon i know that. I just suggested because the 250 was VFM & none of your pre-requisites mentioned below had a compulsion of owning 6 cyl.

Peace
Sorry! I did not intend it to be that way, what I wanted to say was that I preferred the V6 over the 4 cylinder.
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Old 8th November 2012, 14:39   #11
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Default re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
Sorry! I did not intend it to be that way, what I wanted to say was that I preferred the V6 over the 4 cylinder.
No problem !

Do check out the VW Touareg

Name:  0_0_645_http__i.haymarket.net.au_ExtraImages_20120418044226__ND31941 copy.jpg
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3.0 Diesel V6 , 240 hp

Very competent package this & would be unique change over the common Q5's

Not sure about the service cost but surely would be cheaper than the Merc's / Audis

Priced @ 58.5 L ( ex-Showroom )

Last edited by karan561 : 8th November 2012 at 14:40.
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Old 8th November 2012, 15:29   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

If you can spend 70L and service and peace of mind are your concerns, I guess you could look at the Prado also.

I'm talking purely from a budget/service/reliability point of view. I don't know the technical details of these SUVs.
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Old 8th November 2012, 17:18   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

If maintenance is the top concern then you need to consider the X3 again as only BMW has the BSI package wherein he will prepay the cost of ownership in one amount at the start (around 3 lakhs or so) after which it will be more hassle free to maintain than the Fortuner even.Take my word for it as I have a BMW and a Fortuner.

The x3 3L version is very punchy too. Fits your needs perfectly. You can opt for better alloys etc to make it look better.
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Old 8th November 2012, 17:26   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

Unless you buy Japanese (e.g. Prado, Montero etc.), none of the SUVs from this price range are going to be anywhere as reliable & trouble-free to own as your Fortuner. Depressing yes, but that's the truth.

Reliability aside, my pick would be the Porsche Cayenne Diesel. Punchy diesel, great cabin, fun to drive and after-sales handled by VW officially. There's always something special about owning a Porsche, even if it's an SUV.
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Old 8th November 2012, 17:28   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes ML350 or Audi Q5 V6

If you ask me, the logical upgrade would be the PRADO

The AUDI for its presence, its very important when you land at functions or meetings and everyone has stately vehicles

The MERCEDES would have been a no-brainer 15 years back, but BMW and AUDI have taken the game away, the ML has been indegenised and is being manufactured in India currently, that should give more peace of mind

But let me tell you, this one is not an easy one to call, happy searching and may the vehicle service your family well
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