Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Audi A6 VS 2012 BMW 5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 Audi A6

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2012 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

The A6’s front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the A6 and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A6 has a 180 amp alternator. The 5 Series Sedan’s standard 170 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 20th in reliability. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the A6 3.0T is faster than the 535i Sedan (automatics tested):


5 Series Sedan

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.1 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.9 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.2 MPH

100.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A6 2.0T FWD gets better fuel mileage than the 528i Sedan RWD (25 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

The A6 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series Sedan (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A6 3.0T’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 5 Series Sedan:

A6 3.0T

528i Sedan

550i Sedan

Front Rotors

14 inches

13 inches

13.7 inches

The A6 stops shorter than the 5 Series Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series Sedan (255/40R19 vs. 245/40R19).

The A6 3.0T’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 535i/540i’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 3.0T offers optional 20 inch wheels. The 5 Series Sedan’s largest wheels are only 19 inches.

The A6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 5 Series Sedan, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 1.1 inches wider in the front than on the 5 Series Sedan.

The A6 3.0T Quattro handles at .93 G’s, while the 535i Sedan pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A6 3.0T Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 550i Sedan (25.5 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Audi A6 amounts to more than styling. The A6 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the 5 Series Sedan (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A6 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A6 3.0T Quattro is quieter than the 535i Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

At idle

41 dB

41 dB


72 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The A6 has 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 5 Series Sedan.

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