For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 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 6 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5. But it costs extra on the 6 Series.
To help make backing safer, the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige’s 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 6 Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the A5 and the 6 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 6 Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
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.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.
On the EPA test cycle the A5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 640i xDrive (24 city/34 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 6 Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The A5’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 640i’s standard 45 series tires.
For better maneuverability, the A5’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the 6 Series’ (37.7 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Audi A5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 700 pounds less than the BMW 6 Series.
The A5 is 8.6 inches shorter than the M6, making the A5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Audi A5 amounts to more than styling. The A5 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 6 Series (.31 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the A5 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the A5 get better fuel mileage.
The A5’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The 6 Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A5’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 6 Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 has standard extendable sun visors. The 6 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the A5 and the 6 Series offer available heated front seats. The A5 Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 6 Series.
Both the A5 and the 6 Series offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A5 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The 6 Series doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The Audi A5/S5 outsold the BMW 6 Series by almost five to one during the 2017 model year.