2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A5 Sportback has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Sedan 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 A5 Sportback. But it costs extra on the C-Class Sedan.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A5 Sportback’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the A5 Sportback and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A5 Sportback is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

A5

C-Class

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

236

246

Neck Injury Risk

25%

60%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

147 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

219 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 A5 Sportback is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

A5

C-Class

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

308 lbs.

452 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

277

459

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

777 lbs.

949 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

12 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

769 lbs.

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

Warranty

The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the C-Class Sedan’s 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’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/33 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The A5 Sportback offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A5 Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A5 Sportback’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

 

A5

C-Class

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The A5 Sportback stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

 

A5

C-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R17). The A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The A5 Sportback’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 C-Class Sedan’s standard 50 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the C-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the AMG C 43 Sedan pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The design of the Audi A5 Sportback amounts to more than styling. The A5 Sportback has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A5 Sportback get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The A5 Sportback has 2.3 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (21.8 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The A5 Sportback has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. The A5 Sportback 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 C-Class Sedan.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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