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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 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 Infiniti Q50 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
Both the A6 and Q50 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A6 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Q50’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The A6 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 Q50 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 A6. But it costs extra on the Q50.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Prestige 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the A6 and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A6 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.
The A6’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Q50’s (12 vs. 7 years).
There are over 42 percent more Audi dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A6’s warranty.
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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 11th.
The A6 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 350) than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.
On the EPA test cycle the A6 55 TFSI gets better fuel mileage than the Q50 3.0t AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the A6 45 TFSI Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Q50 3.0t AWD (24 city/32 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the A6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q50 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
Regardless of its engine, the A6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A6 higher (5 out of 10) than the Infiniti Q50 (3). This means the A6 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q50 every 15,000 miles.
The A6 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 Q50 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the A6’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Q50:
For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the Q50 (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R17). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Q50 (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R19).
The A6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q50’s standard 55 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s 40 series front tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Q50. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400 AWD.
The A6 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 Q50; 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Q50 (115.1 inches vs. 112.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.
For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Q50’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The A6’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q50 AWD’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The A6 has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q50.
The A6’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A6 (except Premium) offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Q50 doesn’t offer a power trunk.
The A6 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The Q50 has no towing capacity.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Q50 Sport/Red Sport 400, the A6 offers an optional 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 A6’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Q50 does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The A6 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Q50 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The A6’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Q50’s parking brake has to released manually.
The power windows standard on both the A6 and the Q50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A6 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Q50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The A6’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Q50’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Q50 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
A power rear sunshade and manual rear side window sunshades are optional in the A6 Prestige to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q50 doesn’t offer a rear or rear side window sunshades.
The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Q50, and aren’t available on the Q50 Pure. The A6 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the A6 (except Premium) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Q50 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A6 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Q50 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A6 is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because typical repairs cost much less on the A6 than the Q50, including $121 less for front struts, $95 less for a timing belt/chain and $837 less for a power steering pump.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the A6 third among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Q50 isn’t in the top three.
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