2019 BMW M4 vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the M4 and the S5 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 S5.

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 S5’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 S5’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.

Engine

The M4’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 76 more horsepower (425 vs. 349) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The M4’s optional 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (444 vs. 349) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M4 (base engine) is faster than the Audi S5 (automatics tested):

 

M4

S5

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.6 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.2 sec

5.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

2.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.9 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

107 MPH

Transmission

The M4 offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S5 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 S5 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 S5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

 

M4

M4

S5

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

13 inches

The M4 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S5 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M4 has larger standard tires than the S5 (F:255/40R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. 245/40R18).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M4’s wheelbase is longer than on the S5:

 

M4

S5

Coupe

110.7 inches

108.8 inches

Convertible

110.7 inches

108.9 inches

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M4 is 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the S5.

The M4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.1% to 51.9%) than the S5’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the M4 more stable handling and braking.

The M4 Coupe handles at .98 G’s, while the S5 Prestige Coupe pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The BMW M4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 300 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The S5 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 S5 Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The M4 Coupe has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Coupe (90.2 vs. 84). The M4 Convertible has 8.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Cabriolet (89.9 vs. 81).

The M4 Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

The M4 Convertible has .4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

The M4 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the S5 Coupe (15.7 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

The M4 Convertible has a larger trunk with its top down than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (7.8 vs. 7.2 cubic feet). The M4 Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the S5 Cabriolet with its top up (13.1 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

In case of a sudden change of weather, the M4 has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The M4 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The S5 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 S5 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Economic Advantages

The M4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the M4 will retain 54.18% to 57.02% of its original price after five years, while the S5 only retains 48.53% to 51.66%.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The S5 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 S5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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