Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 BMW M3 VS 2011 Audi S5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 BMW M3

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VS

2011 Audi S5

Safety Comparison

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The M3 offers optional BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, 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 S5 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the M3 and the S5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 3 years and 45000 miles longer than Audi pays for maintenance for the S5 (4/50,000 vs. 1/5000).

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

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 17th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 26th.

Engine Comparison

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The M3’s 4.0 DOHC V8 produces 81 more horsepower (414 vs. 333) than the S5 Cabriolet’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6. The M3’s 4.0 DOHC V8 produces 60 more horsepower (414 vs. 354) than the S5 Coupe’s standard 4.2 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M3 is faster than the Audi S5 (manual transmissions tested):

M3

S5 Cabriolet

S5 Coupe

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5.1 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

13.6 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114 MPH

103 MPH

105 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the M3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

M3

S5

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

The M3’s brakes have 12% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the S5 (694 vs. 618 square inches), so the M3 has more braking power available.

The M3 stops much shorter than the S5:

M3

S5

80 to 0 MPH

195 feet

204 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

113 feet

AutoWeek

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction and acceleration, the M3 has larger standard rear tires than the S5 (265/35R19 vs. 255/35R19).

Chassis Comparison

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The M3's standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The S5 doesn't offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The M3 Sedan has standard seating for 5 passengers; the S5 can only carry 4.

The M3 Coupe has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Coupe (88.5 vs. 84). The M3 Convertible has 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Cabriolet (84.2 vs. 81).

The M3 Coupe has .5 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

The M3 Convertible has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The M3’s optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S5 Cabriolet doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The M3’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The M3’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the S5’s power windows.

The M3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The S5’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the M3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the S5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

While driving with high-beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low-beams. The S5 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high-beams.

When the M3 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The S5’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The M3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the M3 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the S5.

M3

S5

Four Year

42% to 44%

38% to 39%

Two Year

60% to 62%

55% to 56%

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