2019 Audi S5 vs. 2019 BMW M4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 M4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The M4 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The S5’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 M4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 M4 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 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M4 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

To help make backing safer, the S5’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 M4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S5 and the M4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, 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 around view monitors.

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 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The M4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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

Regenerative brakes improve the S5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The M4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S5 higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW M4 (3). This means the S5 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the M4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi S5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the M4.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi S5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M4.

All-wheel drive, available in the S5, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The BMW M4 is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

The S5 stops shorter than the M4:

 

S5

M4

 

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

151 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the S5’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M4’s (37.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S5 Prestige Coupe is quieter than the M4 Coupe:

 

S5

M4

At idle

39 dB

48 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

87 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

68 dB

Cargo Capacity

The S5’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The M4 Convertible’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

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.

Ergonomics

The S5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The M4’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S5 has standard extendable sun visors. The M4 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S5 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The M4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S5 Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The M4 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the BMW M4 isn’t available as a four-door.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the S5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S5 will cost $580 to $2845 less than the M4 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S5 will be $4828 to $7022 less than for the BMW M4.

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

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