2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Audi A7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CLS’ 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 A7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLS and the A7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the CLS’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The CLS 450’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (362 vs. 335) than the A7’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid. The AMG CLS 53’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (429 vs. 335) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 369) than the A7’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CLS gets better fuel mileage than the A7:

 

 

CLS

A7

 

RWD

450/Auto

24 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

450/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

3.0T/Auto

 

AMG 53/Auto

21 city/27 hwy

n/a

 

The CLS has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A7 (21.1 vs. 19.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A7.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the A7:

 

CLS

A7

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the A7 (275/35R19 vs. 245/45R19). The CLS 450’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the A7 (275/35R19 vs. 255/40R20).

The CLS’ 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A7’s standard 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A7 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CLS’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The A7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Passenger Space

The CLS has .6 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A7.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the CLS offers cargo security. The A7’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The CLS 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 A7 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the A7, the CLS has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The CLS is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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