Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Audi A6 VS 2014 BMW 5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Audi A6

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2014 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.

The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige 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 that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the A6 and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 standard 180-amp alternator. The 5 Series Sedan’s standard 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 413) than the 5 Series Sedan’s 3.0 turbo diesel.

As tested in Motor Trend the A6 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the 535i Sedan 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. (automatics tested):


5 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105.5 MPH

99.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A6 2.0T FWD CVT gets better city fuel mileage than the 528i Sedan RWD (25 city vs. 23 city).

The A6 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.8 vs. 17.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A6 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 5 Series Sedan:

A6 2.0T

A6 3.0T



Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14 inches

13.3 inches

13.7 inches

The A6 stops much shorter than the 5 Series Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113.5 feet

127.3 feet


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 Prestige’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/535d/540i’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 Prestige 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 .95 G’s, while the 550i Sedan pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 3.0T Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the 550i Sedan (25.1 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (39 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The A6’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (39 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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 2.1 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 5 Series Sedan.

Ergonomics Comparison

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A6 has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A6 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A6 will cost $110 less than the 5 Series Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A6 is less expensive to operate than the 5 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost much less on the A6 than the 5 Series Sedan, including $482 less for a water pump, $343 less for an alternator, $11 less for front brake pads, $51 less for front struts and $347 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A6 will be $5746 to $5818 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Audi A6 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The A6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 4 of the last 14 years. The 5 Series Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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