Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Audi A7 VS 2012 BMW 5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2012 Audi A7

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2012 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A7’s optional 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 and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 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 A7 and 5 Series Sedan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 5 Series Sedan’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A7 offers optional Pre Sense Plus, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 5 Series Sedan offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the A7. But it costs extra on the 5 Series Sedan.

Both the A7 and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, 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 A7 has a 190 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

The A7’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 70 more horsepower (310 vs. 240) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 260) than the 528i Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A7’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 10 more horsepower (310 vs. 300) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 300) than the 535i Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The A7 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 A7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 5 Series Sedan:


528i Sedan

550i Sedan

Front Rotors

14 inches

13 inches

13.7 inches

The A7 stops much shorter than the 5 Series Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

207 feet

218 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A7 has larger standard tires than the 5 Series Sedan (255/45R18 vs. 225/55R17). The A7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series Sedan (265/35R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The A7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 528i Sedan’s standard 55 series tires. The A7’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 535i/540i’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A7 has standard 18 inch wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the 528i Sedan. The A7’s optional 20 inch wheels are larger than the 19 inch wheels optional on the 535i/540i.

The A7 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 A7 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than on the 5 Series Sedan.

The A7 handles at .96 G’s, while the 550i Sedan pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A7 goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the 550i Sedan (66.7 vs. 66 MPH).

The A7 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 550i Sedan (25.2 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the A7 is quieter than the 550i Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

At idle

41 dB

63 dB


65 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the A7 is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the 5 Series Sedan is rated a Mid-size.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The A7 has a much larger trunk than the 5 Series Sedan (24.5 vs. 14 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A7 has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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