2019 Audi A6 vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 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 Cadillac CTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 CTS 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 A6. But it costs extra on the CTS.

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 CTS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the A6 and the CTS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A6’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CTS’ (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 21 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 67 more horsepower (335 vs. 268) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the CTS’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 285) than the CTS’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A6 is faster than the Cadillac CTS turbo 4 cyl.:

 

A6

CTS

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.1 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

16.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.5 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.7 MPH

93.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A6 gets better fuel mileage than the CTS 2.0 Turbo AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy). The A6 gets better fuel mileage than the CTS V6 AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CTS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A6 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CTS V-Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A6 higher (5 out of 10) than the Cadillac CTS (3 to 5). This means the A6 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CTS every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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 CTS doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A6’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the CTS:

 

A6

CTS

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

The A6 stops shorter than the CTS:

 

A6

CTS

 

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CTS. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the CTS.

The A6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CTS; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the CTS.

The A6 Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the CTS Luxury AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the CTS Luxury AWD (24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the CTS V-Sport’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The A6’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the CTS AWD’s (36.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

The A6 has .9 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A6 Prestige has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CTS doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

The A6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CTS’ (3500 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the CTS, the A6 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

If the windows are left open on the A6 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CTS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Recommendations

The Audi A6/S6 outsold the Cadillac CTS by 58% during 2017.

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

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