For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 5 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 M4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The RS 5 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M4 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Both the RS 5 and the M4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
The Audi RS 5 weighs 424 to 890 pounds more than the BMW M4. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
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.
The RS 5’s 4.2 DOHC V8 produces 25 more horsepower (450 vs. 425) than the M4’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the RS 5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The M4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
For better traction, the RS 5 has larger standard tires than the M4 (265/35R19 vs. 255/40R18). The RS 5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M4 (275/30R20 vs. 255/40R18).
The RS 5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M4’s standard 40 series tires. The RS 5’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the M4’s optional 35 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RS 5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the M4. The RS 5’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the M4.
For better maneuverability, the RS 5’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the M4’s (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).
The RS 5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk than the M4 Convertible with its top down (10.2 vs. 7.8 cubic feet).
The RS 5’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The M4 Convertible’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The RS 5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The M4’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RS 5 has standard extendable sun visors. The M4 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The RS 5 Cabriolet’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The M4 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RS 5 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The M4 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.