2019 Audi A7 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 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 Cadillac CTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A7 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 A7. But it costs extra on the CTS.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A7 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 A7 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 A7’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 A7’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 A7’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 A7 is faster than the Cadillac CTS turbo 4 cyl.:

 

A7

CTS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.2 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.9 sec

16.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.6 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 A7 gets better fuel mileage than the CTS 2.0 Turbo AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy). The A7 gets better fuel mileage than the CTS 3.6 V6 AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A7’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 A7 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 A7 higher (5 out of 10) than the Cadillac CTS (3 to 5). This means the A7 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CTS every 15,000 miles.

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

The A7’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 CTS doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A7’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the CTS:

 

A7

CTS

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CTS. The A7 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the CTS.

The A7 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 A7 is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the CTS.

The A7 Prestige handles at .90 G’s, while the CTS Premium pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A7 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CTS Luxury AWD (26 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A7’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the CTS V-Sport’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The A7’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the CTS AWD’s (36.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Audi A7 amounts to more than styling. The A7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is lower than the CTS (.3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A7 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A7 Prestige is quieter than the CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury:

 

A7

CTS

At idle

38 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space

The A7 has .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS.

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

Cargo Capacity

The A7 has a much larger trunk than the CTS (24.9 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A7’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

The A7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the CTS’ (3500 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the A7 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 A7’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 A7 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CTS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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

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