2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo vs. 2019 Audi S5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 3 Series Gran Turismo and the S5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Gran Turismo for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the S5 Sportback.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has a standard 170-amp alternator. The S5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has a standard 900-amp battery. The S5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Gran Turismo can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the S5 Sportback (115 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

The 3 Series Gran Turismo’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the S5 Sportback’s (56% to 44%). This gives the 3 Series Gran Turismo more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has 1.9 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 4.1 inches more rear legroom than the S5 Sportback.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s rear seats recline. The S5 Sportback’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the S5 Sportback with its rear seat up (24.6 vs. 21.8 cubic feet). The 3 Series Gran Turismo has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the S5 Sportback with its rear seat folded (56.8 vs. 35 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Gran Turismo offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Gran Turismo offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 3 Series Gran Turismo owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 3 Series Gran Turismo will cost $2620 to $4880 less than the S5 Sportback over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will be $8722 to $10444 less than for the Audi S5 Sportback.

Recommendations

The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

S5

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

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The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 25 years. The S5 Sportback has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The S5 Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by 72% during 2018.

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

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