2019 Audi A7 vs. 2019 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 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 BMW 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the A7 and 5 Series Sedan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A7 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 5 Series Sedan’s 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A7. But it costs extra on the 5 Series Sedan.

Both the A7 and the 5 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 1 place higher in reliability than BMW.

Engine

The A7’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 87 more horsepower (335 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 530i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A7’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 330) than the 540i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A7 is faster than the 530i:

 

A7

5 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.7 MPH

94.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A7 gets better fuel mileage than the 540i xDrive Sedan (22 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A7 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 5 Series Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The A7 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 5 Series Sedan (19.3 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The A7 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The A7 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 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The A7 stops shorter than the 5 Series Sedan:

 

A7

5 Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 5 Series Sedan (255/40R20 vs. 245/35R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 5 Series Sedan. The A7 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the 5 Series Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A7 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than on the 5 Series Sedan.

The A7 Prestige handles at .90 G’s, while the 540i pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A7’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan’s (36.4 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The A7’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the 5 Series Sedan xDrive’s (36.4 feet vs. 40.1 feet).

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A7’s rear seats recline. The 5 Series Sedan’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The A7 has a much larger trunk than the 5 Series Sedan (24.9 vs. 18.7 cubic feet).

Towing

The A7 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The 5 Series Sedan has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A7 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 5 Series Sedan 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 A7 has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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

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