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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 SLC 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.
The S5 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The SLC doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The S5 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The SLC only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
To help make backing safer, the S5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The SLC doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the S5 and the SLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and blind spot warning systems.
The Audi S5 weighs 474 to 794 pounds more than the Mercedes SLC. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
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 SLC has not been tested, yet.
The S5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the SLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).
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.
The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 108 more horsepower (349 vs. 241) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
Regenerative brakes improve the S5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The SLC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S5 higher (5 out of 10) than the Mercedes SLC (3). This means the S5 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the SLC every 15,000 miles.
All-wheel drive, available in the S5, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Mercedes SLC is not available with all-wheel drive.
For better stopping power the S5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SLC:
The S5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the SLC are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the S5 has larger standard tires than the SLC (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R17). The S5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SLC (265/30R20 vs. 225/45R17).
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 SLC 300’s standard 45 series front tires. The S5’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the SLC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the SLC 300. The S5’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the SLC.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5’s wheelbase is 13.1 inches longer than on the SLC (108.8 inches vs. 95.7 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than on the SLC.
The S5 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the SLC can only carry 2.
The S5 has 32.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SLC (81 vs. 48.8).
The S5 Cabriolet has a larger trunk with its top down than the SLC with its top down (7.3 vs. 6.5 cubic feet).
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S5’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The SLC doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The S5 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 SLC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The S5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The SLC’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
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 SLC 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 SLC doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the S5 Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The SLC doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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 SLC.
The S5 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the SLC.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi S5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The SLC doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The S5 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The SLC doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Mercedes SLC isn’t available as a coupe or four door.
The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Mercedes SLC by almost 13 to one during 2019.
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