Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Audi S6 VS 2014 BMW M5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Audi S6

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VS

2014 BMW M5

Safety Comparison

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The S6’s front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The M5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S6 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 M5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The S6 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M5 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the S6 and the M5 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.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the S6 as a “Top Pick,” a rating only granted to 170 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The M5 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability Comparison

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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.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the S6 gets better fuel mileage than the M5 Auto (17 city/27 hwy vs. 14 city/20 hwy). The S6 gets better fuel mileage than the M5 Manual (17 city/27 hwy vs. 15 city/22 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S6’s fuel efficiency. The M5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The S6 stops shorter than the M5:

S6

M5

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The S6 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 M5, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The front and rear suspension of the S6 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the M5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S6 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S6’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The M5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better maneuverability, the S6’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M5’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the S6 has an electronically controlled liquid-filled engine mounts. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The M5 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Audi S6 amounts to more than styling. The S6 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the M5 (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S6 get better fuel mileage.

The S6 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The M5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S6 is quieter than the M5:

S6

M5

At idle

44 dB

51 dB

Full-Throttle

78 dB

85 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The S6 has 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the M5.

Ergonomics Comparison

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S6 has standard extendable sun visors. The M5 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the S6 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S6 will cost $455 less than the M5 over a five-year period.

The S6 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the S6 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the M5.

S6

M5

Five Year

37%

30%

Three Year

53%

45%

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S6 will be $21143 less than for the BMW M5.

Recommendations Comparison

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Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its July 2012 issue and they ranked the Audi S6 first. They ranked the BMW M5 third.

The S6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 4 of the last 14 years. The M5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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