2020 Audi A6 vs. 2020 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the A6 and C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan’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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan.

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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the A6 and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

The Audi A6 weighs 496 to 794 pounds more than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The A6’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The A6 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 80 more horsepower (335 vs. 255) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the A6’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The A6 has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Sedan (19.3 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

A6

C-Class Sedan

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The A6 stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

A6

C-Class Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/11

For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (245/45R19 vs. 225/50R17). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (255/40R20 vs. 225/40R19).

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 C-Class Sedan’s 50 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the C-Class Sedan’s optional 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 C-Class Sedan. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the C-Class Sedan.

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 C-Class Sedan; 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. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

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The A6 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The C-Class Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (115.1 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

The A6 Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis

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The design of the Audi A6 amounts to more than styling. The A6 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A6 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the A6 a Mid-size car, while the C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The A6 has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (99 vs. 90).

The A6 has .9 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/11

The A6 has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (13.7 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

Towing

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The A6 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The C-Class Sedan has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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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 C-Class Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 C-Class Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. 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 C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A6 is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $318 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the A6 than the C-Class Sedan, including $5 less for a water pump, $263 less for a muffler, $280 less for a fuel pump and $454 less for a power steering pump.

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