2020 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The C-Class Cabriolet’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 C-Class Cabriolet and the S5 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 C-Class Cabriolet’s 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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The C-Class Cabriolet has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (17.4 vs. 15.3 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 C-Class Cabriolet higher (6 out of 10) than the Audi S5 (5). This means the C-Class Cabriolet produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the S5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the S5.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the C-Class Cabriolet can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The C-Class Cabriolet’s 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 S5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the S5 Cabriolet (111.8 inches vs. 108.9 inches).

The C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.1% to 48.9%) than the S5’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the C 300 Cabriolet’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the S5’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the C-Class Cabriolet uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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 C-Class Cabriolet 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 S5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the S5, the C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the S5’s standard power windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the C-Class Cabriolet has a standard 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 C-Class Cabriolet’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 C-Class Cabriolet offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The S5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The C-Class Cabriolet is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/02/26

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S5 isn’t in the top three.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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