2020 Mercedes AMG CLS vs. 2020 Audi S6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The AMG CLS’ 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 S6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG CLS and the S6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG CLS’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG CLS 53 gets better fuel mileage than the S6 (21 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

The AMG CLS has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the S6 (21.1 vs. 19.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG CLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Audi S6 (5). This means the AMG CLS produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S6 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes AMG CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the S6.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the AMG CLS has larger rear tires than the S6 (275/35R19 vs. 255/40R20).

The AMG CLS’ standard 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S6’s standard 40 series tires. The AMG CLS’ optional 275/30R19 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the S6’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG CLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The AMG CLS’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The S6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The AMG CLS’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The S6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the AMG CLS’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the S6’s (39 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG CLS has a standard 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 S6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the AMG CLS to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The S6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The AMG CLS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The S6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The AMG CLS’ Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The S6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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