Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2013 Audi A8 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2013 Audi A8

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 Audi A8 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 Audi A8 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The S-Class (except S400 Hybrid)’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S-Class has standard mbrace, 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 A8 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 S-Class and the A8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 18 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class second among large premium cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The A8 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 9th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the A8:

Horsepower

Torque

S550 4.7 turbo V8

429 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

510 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 5.5 turbo V8

536 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

S63 5.5 turbo V8

563 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

A8 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6

333 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

A8 4.0T 4.0 turbo V8

420 HP

444 lbs.-ft.

A8 L W12 6.3 DOHC 12 cyl.

500 HP

463 lbs.-ft.

The S-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 325) than the A8 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6. The S-Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 444) than the A8 4.0T’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the S350 BlueTEC gets better fuel mileage than the A8 3.0T (21 city/31 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The S-Class’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A8’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The S-Class offers an available adjustable 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 A8.

The S-Class’ optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The A8 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 6.8 inches longer than on the A8 (124.6 inches vs. 117.8 inches). The S-Class’ wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the A8 L (124.6 inches vs. 122.9 inches).

The S65 handles at .90 G’s, while the A8 pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S550 performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 5.5 MPH faster than the A8 L (66.2 vs. 60.7 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the S-Class’ turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the A8’s (40 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The S-Class’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the A8 L’s (40 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the S-Class is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the A8 is rated a Mid-size.

The S-Class has 7.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A8 (109.4 vs. 101.9).

The S-Class has .6 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and 4.6 inches more rear legroom than the A8.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the A8 (16.4 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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If the windows are left down on the S-Class the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the A8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The A8 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. It’s standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

When the S-Class 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 A8’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S-Class’ standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. Air conditioned front seats costs extra on the A8.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the A8 because typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the A8, including $53 less for a water pump, $77 less for front brake pads, $75 less for a starter and $1833 less for a timing belt/chain.

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