Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Audi A6 VS 2018 BMW 5 Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Audi A6

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2018 Audi A6

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2018 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

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.

The A6 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A6’s reliability 15 points higher than the 5 Series Sedan.

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.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the A6 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the 530i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:



5 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A6 2.0T FWD 7-speed Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 530i RWD (25 city/34 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

The A6 has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series Sedan (19.8 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The A6 stops much shorter than the 5 Series Sedan:



5 Series Sedan


70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series Sedan (255/40R19 vs. 245/35R20).

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 Premium Plus Quattro handles at .93 G’s, while the 540i pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A6 3.0T Premium Plus Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 530i (25.1 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (39 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The A6’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (39 feet vs. 40.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the A6 3.0T Competition Quattro is quieter than the 540i (36 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The A6 has .3 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 5 Series Sedan.

Ergonomics Comparison

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A6 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the A6’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the 5 Series Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

Economic Advantages Comparison

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 $231 less for a water pump, $223 less for an alternator, $155 less for front struts, $118 less for a timing belt/chain and $221 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 $3853 to $9442 less than for the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its May 2017 issue and they ranked the Audi A6 3.0T Competition Quattro higher than the BMW 540i.

The A6 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 5 of the last 18 years. The 5 Series Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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