2019 BMW M4 vs. 2019 Audi RS 5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the M4 and the RS 5 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, 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 M4 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 RS 5.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the M4’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M4 has a standard 209-amp alternator. The RS 5’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 M4 has a standard 900-amp battery. The RS 5’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RS 5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The M4 offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The RS 5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The M4 offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The RS 5 doesn’t offer an SMG.

The M4 Automatic’s optional 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 RS 5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 5:

 

M4

RS 5

Front Rotors

15 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the M4 has larger standard rear tires than the RS 5 (275/40R18 vs. 265/35R19). The M4’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the RS 5 (285/30R20 vs. 275/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M4’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the RS 5 (110.7 inches vs. 108.9 inches).

The M4 Coupe handles at .98 G’s, while the RS 5 pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

Chassis

The BMW M4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Audi RS 5.

The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The RS 5 doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the M4 Coupe a Compact car, while the RS 5 is rated a Subcompact.

The M4 Coupe has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RS 5 (90.2 vs. 84).

The M4 Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear legroom than the RS 5.

Cargo Capacity

The M4 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the RS 5 (15.7 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the M4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the RS 5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RS 5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M4 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the M4 Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RS 5 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Model Availability

The BMW M4 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Audi RS 5 isn’t available as a convertible.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The RS 5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The M3/M4 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The RS 5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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