2019 Cadillac CTS vs. 2019 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Audi A6 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The CTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A6 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the CTS and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CTS 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A6. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A6 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CTS’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The CTS V-Sport’s standard 3.6 turbo V6 produces 85 more horsepower (420 vs. 335) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (430 vs. 369) than the A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the CTS V-Sport is faster than the Audi A6:

 

CTS

A6

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

1.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.9 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

12.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.1 sec

2.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.9 MPH

102.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CTS non-turbo V6’s fuel efficiency. The A6 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CTS has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A6 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac CTS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A6.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CTS V-Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:

 

CTS V-Sport

A6

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.3 inches

The CTS stops shorter than the A6:

 

CTS

A6

 

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CTS 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

The CTS’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.3% to 49.7%) than the A6’s (55% to 45%). This gives the CTS more stable handling and braking.

The CTS V-Sport handles at .96 G’s, while the A6 Prestige pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CTS V-Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A6 Prestige (24.5 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s).

Chassis

The Cadillac CTS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Audi A6.

The front grille of the CTS (except V-Sport or Driver Assist Package) 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.

The CTS uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A6 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The CTS has 2.4 inches more front headroom and 4.4 inches more front legroom than the A6.

Ergonomics

The CTS has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CTS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The A6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The CTS Premium/V-Sport’s Automatic Park Assist 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 CTS is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The CTS V-Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The A6 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CTS as their 2014 Car of the Year. The A6 has never been chosen.

The CTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The A6 has never been an “All Star.”

The Cadillac CTS outsold the Audi A6/S6 by 6% during 2018.

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

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