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The A6 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 ES Series 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 A6 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The ES Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The A6 offers an optional Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ES Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
Both the A6 and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi A6 weighs 584 to 695 pounds more than the Lexus ES Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The A6’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ES Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).
There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A6’s warranty.
The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 135 more horsepower (335 vs. 200) and 170 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 199) than the ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 67 more horsepower (335 vs. 268) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 248) than the ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.
The A6 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series (19.3 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The A6 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 ES Series doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:
The A6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the ES Series are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the ES Series (245/45R19 vs. 215/55R17). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES Series (255/40R20 vs. 225/45R18).
The A6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the ES Series’ optional 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ES Series. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the ES Series.
The A6 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The A6 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the ES Series (115.1 inches vs. 111 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the ES Series.
For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the ES Series’ (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The A6 has .5 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.
The A6’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the A6’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The ES Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The engine in the A6 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ES Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
The A6’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the ES Series.
The A6 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ES Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ES Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the ES Series. The A6 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ES Series.
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