2020 Audi A5 vs. 2020 BMW 8 Series

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 2020/02/29

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 8 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5. But it costs extra on the 8 Series.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A5 Automatic’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 8 Series doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the A5 and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 184 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 8 Series has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 8 Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/02/29

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the 8 Series Coupe:

MPG

A5 Coupe

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

8 Series Coupe

RWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

AWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

4.4 turbo V8

18 city/25 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Cabriolet gets better fuel mileage than the 8 Series Convertible:

MPG

A5 Cabriolet

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

8 Series Convertible

RWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 8 Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The A5 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 8 Series doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 8 Series (255/35R19 vs. 245/35R20).

The A5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 8 Series’ standard 45 series front tires.

The A5 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the A5’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (37.7 feet vs. 38.2 feet). The A5’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the 8 Series xDrive’s (37.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The Audi A5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 750 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

The A5 is 6.3 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the A5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi A5 amounts to more than styling. The A5 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .28 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 8 Series (.31 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the A5 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the A5 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The A5 Coupe has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (84 vs. 81).

The A5 Coupe has 2.5 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Coupe.

The A5 Cabriolet has 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Convertible.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The A5’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the 8 Series’ standard power windows.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 8 Series 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 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 8 Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 Coupe has standard extendable sun visors. The 8 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the A5 and the 8 Series have standard heated front seats. The A5 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 8 Series.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/02/29

Insurance will cost less for the A5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A5 will cost $3650 to $6285 less than the 8 Series over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A5 will be $51536 to $62987 less than for the BMW 8 Series.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/02/29

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the BMW 8 Series by over five to one during 2019.

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

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