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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S5 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The S5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The S5 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 4 Series Convertible 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. But it costs extra on the 4 Series Convertible.
Both the S5 and the 4 Series Convertible 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, 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 S5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 185 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Convertible has not been tested, yet.
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.
The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 101 more horsepower (349 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 430i Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 29 more horsepower (349 vs. 320) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 330) than the 440i Convertible’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 4 Series Convertible requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
For better stopping power the S5’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Convertible:
4 Series Convertible
For better traction, the S5 has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Convertible (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R18). The S5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Convertible (265/30R20 vs. 225/40R19).
The S5’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 4 Series Convertible’s standard 45 series tires. The S5’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the 4 Series Convertible’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The 4 Series Convertible’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The S5 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 4 Series Convertible; 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 better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 is 1.7 inches wider in the front than on the 4 Series Convertible.
The S5’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The 4 Series Convertible’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S5 offers cargo security. The 4 Series Convertible’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.
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.
The S5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Convertible has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S5 has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the S5 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The S5 has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 4 Series Convertible.
The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the BMW 4 Series by 24% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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