2019 BMW 5 Series Sedan vs. 2019 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The 5 Series Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 5 Series Sedan and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, night vision systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 5 Series Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A6 has not been tested, yet.


BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 5 Series Sedan 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 A6.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 5 Series Sedan’s warranty.


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.


The M550i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 120 more horsepower (455 vs. 335) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 369) than the A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW 5 Series Sedan is faster than the Audi A6:





Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

3.8 sec

5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.2 MPH

114.7 MPH

102.7 MPH


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 5 Series Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A6.

The 5 Series Sedan’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The A6 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 5 Series Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:





Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.6 inches

13 inches

The 5 Series Sedan stops shorter than the A6:


5 Series Sedan



60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 5 Series Sedan’s optional 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A6 Prestige’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 5 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 5 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the A6 (117.1 inches vs. 115.1 inches).


The BMW 5 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 500 pounds less than the Audi A6.

The design of the BMW 5 Series Sedan amounts to more than styling. The 5 Series Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the A6 (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 5 Series Sedan get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the 5 Series Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 5 Series Sedan has .8 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom and .9 inches more front shoulder room than the A6.

Cargo Capacity

The 5 Series Sedan has a much larger trunk than the A6 (18.7 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).


The 5 Series Sedan’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The 5 Series Sedan is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.


Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 5 Series Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The BMW 5 Series outsold the Audi A6/S6 by over four to one during 2018.

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

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