Pecheles Automotive Compares 2017 Audi S7 VS 2016 BMW M5 Near Washington, NC

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2017 Audi S7

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2017 Audi S7

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2016 BMW M5

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 M5 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 M5 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 M5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S7 and M5 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 M5’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 M5 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.

The S7 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 S7 and the M5 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems and lane departure warning systems.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 14th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the S7 gets better fuel mileage than the M5 Auto (17 city/27 hwy vs. 14 city/20 hwy). The S7 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 S7’s fuel efficiency. The M5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The S7 stops shorter than the M5:



60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

110 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M5 (275/30R21 vs. 265/40R19).

The S7’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M5’s optional 35 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The M5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The S7 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

The front and rear suspension of the S7 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 S7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S7’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 handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S7 is .5 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the M5.

The S7 handles at .97 G’s, while the M5 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S7 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the M5 (24.8 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 25.2 seconds @ .78 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S7’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the M5’s (39 feet vs. 40.7 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 M5 (.33) 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 M5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S7 is quieter than the M5:



At idle

38 dB

51 dB


77 dB

85 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the S7 is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the M5 is rated a Mid-size.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The S7 has a much larger trunk than the M5 (24.5 vs. 14 cubic feet).

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 M5 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 M5 only retains 41.98%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S7 will be $10344 less than for the BMW M5.

Recommendations Comparison

The A7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The M5 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 4 years. The M5 hasn’t been picked since 2006.

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