2019 Audi A8 vs. 2019 Mercedes S-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A8 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 S-Class 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 A8. But it costs extra on the S-Class.

Both the A8 and the S-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, 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 night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the S-Class’ (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.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A8 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The S-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A8’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the S-Class:

 

A8

S-Class

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

14.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A8 has larger tires than the S-Class (255/45R19 vs. 245/50R18).

The A8’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S-Class’ standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A8 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S-Class.

The A8 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 S-Class; 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. Some models of the S-Class don’t even offer run-flats.

Passenger Space

The A8 has .1 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 10.2 inches more rear legroom than the S-Class.

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 A8 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

The A8 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A8 will retain 39.71% to 40.32% of its original price after five years, while the S-Class only retains 32.06% to 35.71%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A8 will be $6999 to $71163 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

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

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