2019 Audi A6 vs. 2019 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the A6 and IS Series 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 IS Series’ 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 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 IS 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A6. But it costs extra on the IS Series.

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The IS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A6 and the IS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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 and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi A6 weighs 529 to 683 pounds more than the Lexus IS Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The A6’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the IS 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.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the A6’s engine. The IS 300 RWD’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the IS Series’ cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine

The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (335 vs. 241) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the IS 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 75 more horsepower (335 vs. 260) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 236) than the IS 300 AWD’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 24 more horsepower (335 vs. 311) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the IS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A6 is faster than the IS 300:

 

A6

IS Series

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.1 sec

12.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

19.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.5 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.7 MPH

89.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A6 gets better fuel mileage than the IS 300/350 AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The IS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

The A6 has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the IS Series (19.3 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A6

IS Series

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The A6 stops much shorter than the IS Series:

 

A6

IS Series

 

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the IS Series (245/45R19 vs. 225/45R17). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the IS Series (255/40R20 vs. 225/40R18).

The A6 Prestige’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the IS Series’ optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the IS Series. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the IS Series.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the IS Series (115.1 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the IS Series.

The A6 Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the IS 350 F Sport pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the IS Series (24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The A6 has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity

The A6 has a much larger trunk than the IS Series (13.7 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

The A6 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The IS Series has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The A6’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the IS Series.

The A6 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The IS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the A6 and the IS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A6 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The IS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 IS Series’ 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 IS Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A6 has standard extendable sun visors. The IS Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the IS 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 IS Series.

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

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