Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW 6 SERIES VS 2013 Audi S5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 Audi S5

Safety Comparison

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The S5 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 6 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The S5 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 6 Series offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The S5 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The 6 Series 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 S5 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 6 Series and the S5 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 and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series 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 should you ever need service under the 6 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 6 Series has a standard 210 amp alternator. The S5’s 150 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 6 Series second among premium sporty cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The S5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 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 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The 640i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 325) than the S5’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The 650i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 112 more horsepower (445 vs. 333) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 325) than the S5’s 3.0 supercharged V6. The M6’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 227 more horsepower (560 vs. 333) and 175 lbs.-ft. more torque (500 vs. 325) than the S5’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the M6 is faster than the Audi S5 (automatics tested):

6 Series


Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

117 MPH

103 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 640i gets better fuel mileage than the S5:

6 Series


Turbo 6 cyl./Manual


17 city/26 hwy


Turbo 6 cyl. Coupe/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

18 city/28 hwy


Turbo 6 cyl. Convertible/Auto

20 city/30 hwy

18 city/26 hwy


Regenerative brakes improve the 6 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The S5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 6 Series 640i/M6’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 S5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 6 Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (18.5 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 6 Series M6’s standard fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (21.1 vs. 16.1 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the M6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

6 Series



Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.7 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

15.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the M6’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S5 (F:265/40R19 & R:295/35R19 vs. 255/35R19).

The 6 Series’ optional 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S5’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 6 Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The S5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 6 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 6 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the S5.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 6 Series Coupe’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the S5 (112.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches). The 6 Series Convertible’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the S5 (112.4 feet vs. 108.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 6 Series is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S5.

The 6 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.8% to 49.2%) than the S5’s (57.7% to 42.3%). This gives the 6 Series more stable handling and braking.

The 650i Coupe handles at .94 G’s, while the S5 Coupe pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The M6 Convertible handles at .92 G’s, while the S5 Cabriolet pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 6 Series Coupe is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the S5 Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The 6 Series Coupe has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Coupe (87 vs. 84). The 6 Series Convertible has 8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Cabriolet (89 vs. 81).

The 6 Series Coupe has .9 inches more front headroom and 2.6 inches more front shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

The 6 Series Convertible has .3 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 6 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the S5 Coupe (16.2 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

The 6 Series Convertible has a larger trunk with its top down than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (10.6 vs. 10.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the S5, the 6 Series offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The 6 Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 6 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The S5 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 6 Series’ 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 standard power windows.

If the windows are left down on the 6 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the S5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the 6 Series has a standard remote convertible top which can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 6 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The S5 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the 6 Series 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.

The 6 Series’ 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 S5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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