2020 BMW Z4 vs. 2020 Audi S5

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 2020/07/12

The Z4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Z4 and the S5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the S5.

There are over 14 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Z4 has a standard 800-amp battery (900 M40i). The S5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Engine

© 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 2020/07/12

The Z4 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 33 more horsepower (382 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Z4 M40i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder is faster than the Audi S5:

Z4

S5

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.5 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

107 MPH

Top Speed

165 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/07/12

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 M40i 6 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the S5 Cabriolet (24 city/31 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

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The Z4 stops shorter than the S5:

Z4

S5

70 to 0 MPH

146 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the Z4 has larger standard rear tires than the S5 (255/40R18 vs. 245/40R18). The Z4’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S5 (275/35R19 vs. 265/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S5.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the S5’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the S5’s (36 feet vs. 37.7 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 2020/07/12

The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 700 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 2.2 inches shorter than the S5, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW Z4 amounts to more than styling. The Z4 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .31 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the S5 (.31 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Z4 get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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The Z4 has a much larger trunk with its top down than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (9.9 vs. 7.3 cubic feet). The Z4 has a larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top up (9.9 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The Z4 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the S5, the Z4 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Z4 offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

The Z4’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The S5’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Z4 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/07/12

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW Z4, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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