Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Audi S7 VS 2016 BMW 5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Audi S7

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VS

2016 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S7 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 5 Series GT doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 5 Series GT doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S7 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 GT doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S7 and 5 Series GT have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S7 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 GT’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.

The S7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 5 Series GT doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S7. But it costs extra on the 5 Series GT.

Both the S7 and the 5 Series GT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, available crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems and lane departure warning systems.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the S7 has a standard 190-amp alternator. The 5 Series GT’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

The S7’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 150 more horsepower (450 vs. 300) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 300) than the 535i GT’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. The S7’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 7 more horsepower (450 vs. 443) than the 550i GT’s standard 4.4 turbo V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S7’s fuel efficiency. The 5 Series GT doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S7 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series GT (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 5 Series GT:

S7

535i GT

550i GT

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

The S7 stops much shorter than the 5 Series GT:

S7

5 Series GT

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S7 has larger standard tires than the 5 Series GT (255/40R19 vs. 245/50R18). The S7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series GT (275/30R21 vs. 245/45R19).

The S7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 5 Series GT’s standard 50 series tires. The S7’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the 550i GT’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 5 Series GT. The S7’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the 550i GT.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the S7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 5 Series GT, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S7 is 1.3 inches wider in the front than on the 5 Series GT.

The S7 handles at .94 G’s, while the 535i GT pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S7 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the 535i GT (24.8 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S7’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 5 Series GT’s (39 feet vs. 40 feet). The S7’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the 5 Series GT xDrive’s (39 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Audi S7 amounts to more than styling. The S7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the 5 Series GT (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S7 get better fuel mileage.

The S7 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 5 Series GT doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics Comparison

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S7 has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series GT doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The S7 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the S7 will retain 44.57% of its original price after five years, while the 5 Series GT only retains 42.35% to 42.7%.

Recommendations Comparison

The A7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The 5 Series GT has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The S7 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The 5 Series GT has never been an “All Star.”

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