2019 Audi A7 vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 CLS 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 CLS.

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 CLS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the A7 and the CLS 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, 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 7 years longer than the CLS’ (12 vs. 5 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLS (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The A7 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 CLS’ 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A7 Prestige offers optional 21-inch wheels. The CLS’ largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A7 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than on the CLS.

For better maneuverability, the A7’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the CLS’ (36.4 feet vs. 39.1 feet).

Passenger Space

The A7 has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

The A7 has a much larger trunk than the CLS (24.9 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

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 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Recommendations

The Audi A7/S7/RS 7 outsold the Mercedes CLS by over three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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