Who Is More Upscale: Mercedes, BMW and Audi

When people are thinking about buying a German luxury car which costs less than $100,000, undoubtedly the three major brands are “MBA”: Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.


Some folks consider these three brands to be equally reputable with similar brand image; while at the same time, fans of each brand may want to debate their beloved brand is more upscale than the others.

Here in this article I will provide some insights. One assumption that most people are agree on: the product line’s price range distribution determines the brand’s market position. For example, Rolls-Royce does not make any car model which MSRP is less than $200k; and Hyundai is not selling any model which costs more than $100k.

Since M/B/A offer the most complete model ranges in their domestic market, let’s list all models whose MSRP are greater than EUR €100k (in price ascending order), for all three brands in the German market.


E63 AMG           103,708
S500          106,743
E63 AMG 4MATIC          107,635
S500e          109,777
S500 (LWB)          109,777
E63 4MATIC wagon          110,253
S500 4MATIC          110,551
GLE63          111,384
S500 4MATIC (LWB)          113,585
GLE63 Coupe          115,251
AMG GT          115,430
CLS63          116,620
G63          117,450
E63 AMG S 4MATIC          119,059
CLS63 AMG 4MATIC          120,547
SL500          120,963
GLE63 AMG S          121,261
E63 AMG S 4MATIC wagon          121,677
S500 Coupe          122,153
CLS63 AMG 4MATIC Shooting Brake          122,451
GLE63 AMG S Coupe          125,485
S500 4MATIC Coupe          125,961
CLS63 AMG S 4MATIC          131,495
GL63 AMG          132,476
CLS63 AMG S 4MATIC Shooting Brake          133,399
Maybach S500          134,053
AMG GT S          134,351
Maybach S500 4MATIC          137,861
S63 AMG          152,022
S63 AMG 4MATIC (LWB)          155,295
SL63 AMG          161,542
S600          165,112
S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe          170,586
S63 AMG Coupe          171,360
Maybach S600          187,841
G65 AMG          225,500
S65 AMG          235,739
SL65 AMG          239,785
S65 AMG Coupe          244,009
G63 6×6         450,000+
G500 4x4² unknown (but definitely > 100k)


750Li        100,200
650i xDrive Cabrio        102,700
750Li xDrive        103,600
750Ld xDrive        103,700
M5        104,000
X5 M        114,300
X6 M        117,700
M6        126,600
i8        130,000
M5 30th-year anniversary edition         ~130,000
M6 Gran Coupe        131,400
M6 Cabrio        134,000
760i        137,600
760Li        147,400


RS6        109,200
RS7        113,300
S8        116,900
A8L W12        143,800
R8 V10        165,000
R8 V10 plus        187,400
R8 e-tron        unknown but definitely > 100k

You can see, Mercedes-Benz has much more such models than BMW, and Audi has the smallest product line that satisfies the requirement.

While the above does not necessarily translates to “Mercedes is more upscale” directly; however it indicates Mercedes-Benz has much stronger confidence in selling products that are really expensive.

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