2020 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2020 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The S5 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 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 S5 Sportback. But it costs extra on the C-Class Sedan.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the S5 Sportback’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the S5 Sportback 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

Warranty

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The S5 Sportback’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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 94 more horsepower (349 vs. 255) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the S5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

S5 Sportback

C-Class Sedan

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The S5 Sportback stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

S5 Sportback

C-Class Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R17). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (265/30R20 vs. 225/40R19).

The S5 Sportback’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 C-Class Sedan’s 50 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the C-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Sedan. The S5 Sportback’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the C-Class Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

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The S5 Sportback 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.

The S5 Sportback 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 S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The S5 Sportback has .6 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Sedan 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 S5 Sportback Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The S5 Sportback has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. The S5 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 C-Class Sedan.

The S5 Sportback has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

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The S5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S5 Sportback will retain 45.5% to 45.65% of its original price after five years, while the C-Class Sedan only retains 36.56% to 37.71%.

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