2020 Audi S4 vs. 2020 BMW M5

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 2020/04/06

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 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 M5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW M5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the S4 and M5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S4 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 M5’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 S4’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The M5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the S4 and the M5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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.

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 2020/04/06

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

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On the EPA test cycle the S4 gets better fuel mileage than the M5 (20 city/27 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The M5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Tires and Wheels

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The S4 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 M5; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the S4’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the M5’s (38.1 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2020/04/06

The Audi S4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the BMW M5.

The S4 is 8 inches shorter than the M5, making the S4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi S4 amounts to more than styling. The S4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the M5 (.31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S4 get better fuel mileage.

Servicing Ease

© 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 2020/04/06

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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Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The M5 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 S4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The M5 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 S4 has standard extendable sun visors. The M5 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 2020/04/06

Insurance will cost less for the S4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S4 will cost $1805 to $5600 less than the M5 over a five-year period.

The S4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S4 will retain 47.19% to 47.48% of its original price after five years, while the M5 only retains 38.19% to 42.59%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S4 will be $47782 to $62788 less than for the BMW M5.

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