2019 Audi S5 vs. 2020 BMW 2 Series

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 2 Series 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 2 Series 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense City in the S5 as “Superior.” The 2 Series scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 2 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S5. But it costs extra on the 2 Series.

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 2 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.

The S5’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 2 Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S5 and the 2 Series 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 and available lane departure warning systems.

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.

Engine

The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 101 more horsepower (349 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 230i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 14 more horsepower (349 vs. 335) than the M240i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The S5 has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 2 Series (15.3 vs. 13.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 2 Series:

S5

230i

M240i

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The S5 stops shorter than the 2 Series:

S5

2 Series

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 has larger standard tires than the 2 Series (245/40R18 vs. 205/50R17). The S5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 2 Series (265/30R20 vs. 225/40R18).

The S5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 230i’s standard 50 series tires. The S5’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the 2 Series’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 230i. The S5’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 2 Series.

Suspension and Handling

The S5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the S5 flat and controlled during cornering. The 2 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5’s wheelbase is longer than on the 2 Series:

S5

2 Series

Coupe

108.8 inches

105.9 inches

Convertible

108.9 inches

105.9 inches

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 is 2.6 inches wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than on the 2 Series.

Passenger Space

The S5 Convertible has .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 4.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the 2 Series Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

The S5’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The 2 Series Convertible’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the S5’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

The S5 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 2 Series has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 2 Series 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 2 Series doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the BMW 2 Series isn’t available as a four-door.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the BMW 2 Series by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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