2019 Audi S5 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 S5 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.

The S5 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 8 Series 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the S5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 8 Series doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The S5 Prestige has a standard 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 S5 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 8 Series has not been tested, yet.


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 S5 gets better fuel mileage than the M850i:




8 Series




21 city/30 hwy

18 city/25 hwy




21 city/29 hwy

17 city/26 hwy


Brakes and Stopping

The S5 stops much shorter than the 8 Series:



8 Series


70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 8 Series (265/30R20 vs. 245/35R20).

The S5’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 S5’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (37.7 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Audi S5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

The S5 is 6.5 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the S5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi S5 amounts to more than styling. The S5 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 8 Series (.32 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the S5 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the S5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The S5 Coupe has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (84 vs. 81).

The S5 Coupe has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Coupe.

The S5 Convertible has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Convertible.

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 S5 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.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the BMW 8 Series isn’t available as a four door.

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

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