2019 BMW M5 vs. 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the M5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The M5’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 RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M5 and the RS 5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M5 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 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 M5’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M5 has a standard 249-amp alternator. The RS 5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’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 M5’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 156 more horsepower (600 vs. 444) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 443) than the RS 5 Sportback’s 2.9 turbo V6. The M5 Competition’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 173 more horsepower (617 vs. 444) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 443) than the RS 5 Sportback’s 2.9 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M5’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 Sportback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The M5 has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 5 Sportback (20.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The M5’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 RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M5’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 5 Sportback:

 

M5

RS 5 Sportback

Front Rotors

15.6 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M5 has larger tires than the RS 5 Sportback (F:275/40R19 & R:285/40R19 vs. 265/35R19).

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the M5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The M5 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The RS 5 Sportback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M5’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the RS 5 Sportback (117.4 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M5 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than on the RS 5 Sportback.

Passenger Space

The M5 has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the RS 5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M5 offers cargo security. The RS 5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RS 5 Sportback, the M5 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, suspension setting, power steering assist, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The M5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The M5’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the RS 5 Sportback’s standard power windows.

If the windows are left open on the M5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the RS 5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the M5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the M5 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the M5 and the RS 5 Sportback have standard heated front seats. The M5 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RS 5 Sportback.

The M5 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the RS 5 Sportback.

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

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