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

Both the A5 Sportback and the E-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, 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 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 E-Class Sedan:

 

A5

E-Class

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

666 lbs.

836 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 E-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the E-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.

Engine

The A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (248 vs. 241) than the E 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi A5 Sportback is faster than the E 300 Sedan:

 

A5

E-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.5 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

7.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.8 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC (23 city/34 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The E-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 E-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 E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A5

E-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the E-Class Sedan (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).

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 E-Class Sedan’s standard 45 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the E-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The A5 Sportback is 7.5 inches shorter than the E-Class Sedan, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC:

 

A5

E-Class

At idle

38 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

67 dB

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the CLA 45 (21.8 vs. 13.1 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

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A5 Sportback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A5 Sportback will cost $705 less than the E-Class Sedan over a five-year period.

The A5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A5 Sportback will retain 44.13% to 47.54% of its original price after five years, while the E-Class Sedan only retains 38.57% to 39.14%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A5 Sportback will be $11498 to $28402 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Sedan.

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

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