• Head gaskets aren't a big issues on the BMW M62 V8. Timing chain guides are around this mileage (but more so on the later 2001+ M62TU). They won't grenade the motor, and don't cost much, but do require that you disassemble the whole front of the engine. Fun. Not.

  • Tough call. The BMW is going to be more reliable and cheaper to maintain, also the BMW has better road manners (IMO). Also, who doesn't love a 4.4L V8?

    But the wheels on the BMW are unfortunate, so you'd have to throw down some extra money to buy some decent wheels (I'd buy some used BMW wheels off of CL for around $500). Also custom exhaust which might need replacing depending on how obnoxious it is. The Audi is claimed to be one owner, whereas the BMW is being sold by it current owner after only 6 months, so those are all points for the Audi.

    Questionable mods + short duration of ownership = very likely abused.

    If I was really serious about buying either of these cars it would come down to getting them inspected and seeing the results. All things being equal though, I would take the BMW.

    The 6 speeds in the BMW are uncommon, but not all that rare, however a manual transmission in an A6 is very rare indeed. (I base this on compulsively perusing craigslist postings for both BMW and Audis).

  • As noted, these were direct competitors when new, and not surprisingly, are very similarly spec'd. The key differences are those typical of the brands. If the quattro is a must-have where you live, your decision is made. If your top priority is sports sedan, again, your decision is made.

    Here's why I'd be cautious of either one: at 150K miles, there is a plethora of expensive stuff that has been – and will continue to – go wrong. It's be that much harder to enjoy the driving experience in between trips to you mechanic.

  • I bought a 98 audi A8 in december for $2400… of course it had/has issues, like the timing belt that needs to be changed SOON!!!, but with all that, I'll have spent maybe $5K and it should be good for a couple years at least (fingers crossed)…

  • Audi = fail. I wouldn't touch another used (or new) Audi after having a 1.8t A4 with 70K miles send 12 of it's 20 valves through the cylinder head after the timing belt tensioner failed. Audi treated me like a liar and thief, denying all my claims and calling me an outright liar on the phone (true story!). In my 5 months of ownership I was plagued by lights burning out, interior trim falling off and mystery phantom electrical problems like a sunroof that opened on it's own in the rain on occasion.

    rant over, sorry!

    Go with the Beemer!

  • Why not find a similar 2001 BMW? Price perhaps?

    You're in California, go with the Bimmer.

    Have you ever seen an Audi timing chain needing to be replaced? It's a nightmare!

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