2019 Audi RS 5 vs. 2019 BMW 8 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 5 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 8 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the RS 5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 8 Series doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The RS 5 offers an optional Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 8 Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the RS 5 and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.


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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RS 5 gets better fuel mileage than the 8 Series M850i Coupe (18 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RS 5’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 8 Series:


RS 5

8 Series

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

15.5 inches

The RS 5 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 8 Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RS 5 has larger standard tires than the 8 Series (265/35R19 vs. 245/35R20). The RS 5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 8 Series (275/30R20 vs. 245/35R20).

The RS 5’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 8 Series’ 35 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RS 5’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Audi RS 5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 750 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

The RS 5 is 5.2 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the RS 5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi RS 5 amounts to more than styling. The RS 5 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the 8 Series (.32 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the RS 5 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the RS 5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The RS 5 has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (84 vs. 81).

The RS 5 has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 8.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Coupe.

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.


Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the RS 5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 8 Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

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