2020 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2020 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/07

The A5 Sportback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CLS doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5 Sportback. But it costs extra on the CLS.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A5 Sportback’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The CLS doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the A5 Sportback and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A5 Sportback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 185 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLS has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/07

The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLS’ (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/07

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the CLS’ engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The A5 Sportback offers a standard 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 CLS doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A5 Sportback’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 CLS doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/07

The A5 Sportback stops shorter than the CLS:

A5 Sportback

CLS

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLS (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).

Suspension and Handling

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The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the CLS 450 4MATIC pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Audi A5 Sportback may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 550 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS.

The A5 Sportback is 9.1 inches shorter than the CLS, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the A5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the CLS 450 4MATIC (72 vs. 74 dB).

Passenger Space

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The A5 Sportback has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CLS doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A5 Sportback Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the A5 Sportback and the CLS have standard heated front seats. The A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CLS.

Model Availability

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The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Mercedes CLS isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the A5 Sportback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A5 Sportback will cost $1280 to $4280 less than the CLS over a five-year period.

The A5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A5 Sportback will retain 38.21% to 38.31% of its original price after five years, while the CLS only retains 34.84% to 35.09%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A5 Sportback will be $21829 to $26758 less than for the Mercedes CLS.

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