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The S5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The S5 Sportback’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The S5 Sportback has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG CLA 45 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.
The S5 Sportback Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The AMG CLA 45 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.
To help make backing safer, the S5 Sportback’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the S5 Sportback and the AMG CLA 45 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
The Audi S5 Sportback weighs 485 pounds more than the Mercedes AMG CLA 45. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S5 Sportback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The AMG CLA 45 has not been tested, yet.
The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG CLA 45’s (12 vs. 5 years).
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.
The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 350) than the AMG CLA 45’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the S5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi S5 Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the AMG CLA 45.
The S5 Sportback stops shorter than the AMG CLA 45:
AMG CLA 45
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the AMG CLA 45 (245/40R18 vs. 235/35R19). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the AMG CLA 45 (265/30R20 vs. 235/35R19).
The S5 Sportback’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 AMG CLA 45’s optional 35 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback offers optional 20-inch wheels. The AMG CLA 45’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the AMG CLA 45 (111.2 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 Sportback is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than on the AMG CLA 45.
The S5 Sportback has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 8 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the AMG CLA 45.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the S5 Sportback has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.
The S5 Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The AMG CLA 45 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The engine in the S5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the AMG CLA 45. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
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.
The S5 Sportback Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S5 Sportback Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
Both the S5 Sportback and the AMG CLA 45 have standard heated front seats. The S5 Sportback also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the AMG CLA 45.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the S5 Sportback keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the S5 Sportback’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The AMG CLA 45 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Mercedes AMG CLA 45 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.
Insurance will cost less for the S5 Sportback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S5 Sportback will cost $6025 to $7410 less than the AMG CLA 45 over a five-year period.
The S5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S5 Sportback will retain 51.38% to 51.57% of its original price after five years, while the AMG CLA 45 only retains 47%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S5 Sportback will be $2503 to $6503 less than for the Mercedes AMG CLA 45.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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