Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW M3 VS 2017 Audi RS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW M3

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2017 Audi RS

Safety Comparison

The M3 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The RS 7 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The M3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The RS 7 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the M3 and the RS 7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RS 7.

There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the M3’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M3 has a standard 209-amp alternator. The RS 7’s 190-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the M3 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the RS 7 (17 city/24 hwy vs. 15 city/25 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RS 7 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the M3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 7:


RS 7

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

14 inches

The M3 stops shorter than the RS 7:


RS 7

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

111 feet

Road & Track

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The M3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.6% to 48.4%) than the RS 7’s (56.1% to 43.9%). This gives the M3 more stable handling and braking.

The M3 handles at 1.01 G’s, while the RS 7 pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The BMW M3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 900 pounds less than the Audi RS 7.

The M3 is 1 foot shorter than the RS 7, making the M3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The M3 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the RS 7 can only carry 4.

The M3 has 2.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 7 (96.2 vs. 94).

The M3 has 3.4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the RS 7.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the M3 easier. The M3’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the RS 7’s liftover is 27.1 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M3 offers cargo security. The RS 7’s hatchback body style and non-lockable folding seat defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

A power rear sunshade is optional in the M3 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RS 7 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The M3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RS 7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the M3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the M3 will cost $3485 less than the RS 7 over a five-year period.

The M3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the M3 will retain 58.7% of its original price after five years, while the RS 7 only retains 45.61%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW M3 will be $45484 less than for the Audi RS 7.

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