Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A6 VS 2015 BMW 5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Audi A6

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2015 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.

Both the A6 and 5 Series Sedan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A6 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 5 Series Sedan’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

To help make backing safer, the A6’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A6 is safer than the BMW 5 Series Sedan:


5 Series Sedan


5 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

410/454 lbs.

427/544 lbs.



5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

134 lbs.

161 lbs.

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

40 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

373/478 lbs.

511/511 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A6 is safer than the BMW 5 Series Sedan:


5 Series Sedan

Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.2 inches

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

51 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

700 lbs.

759 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Audi A6 2.0T’s reliability will be 23% better than the 5 Series Sedan with the best reliability rating.

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/TDI

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

172 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 has larger standard tires than the 5 Series Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series Sedan (255/40R19 vs. 245/40R19).

The A6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 528i Sedan’s standard 55 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 5 Series Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 528i Sedan. The A6 Prestige’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the 5 Series Sedan.

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 Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A6 with a number “8” insurance rate while the 5 Series Sedan is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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 $406 less for a water pump, $159 less for an alternator, $116 less for front brake pads, $98 less for a starter, $8 less for front struts and $985 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 $4554 to $7345 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

The Audi A6 has won recognition from these important consumer publications:


5 Series Sedan

Consumer Reports® Recommends



Kiplinger’s Award



Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its December 2013 issue and they ranked the Audi A6 3.0T Quattro first. They ranked the BMW 535i Sedan xDrive fourth.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A6 third among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 5 Series Sedan isn’t in the top three.

The A6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 5 of the last 15 years. The 5 Series Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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