2020 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2020 Audi A5 Sportback

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 2020/07/13

The C-Class Sedan’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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the A5 Sportback 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, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

C-Class Sedan

A5 Sportback

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

164

Neck Injury Risk

24%

26%

Neck Stress

203 lbs.

232 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

1 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

311/161 lbs.

324/341 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

C-Class Sedan

A5 Sportback

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

76

172

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

147 G’s

219 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

248

333

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A5 Sportback has not been fully tested, yet.

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 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 800-amp battery. The A5 Sportback’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 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.

Engine

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The C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The C-Class Sedan has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 Sportback (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 Sedan higher (6 out of 10) than the Audi A5 Sportback (3). This means the C-Class Sedan produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A5 Sportback every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A5 Sportback.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The C-Class Sedan’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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Audi A5 Sportback.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The C-Class Sedan has .4 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the A5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The A5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

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 Sedan 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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the A5 Sportback, the C-Class Sedan 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 Sedan’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the C-Class Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the C-Class Sedan offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the C-Class Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The A5 Sportback Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The C-Class Sedan is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A5 Sportback 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 2020/07/13

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Sedan first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A5 Sportback isn’t in the top three.

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The A5 Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Audi A5/S5 by over two to one during 2019.

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

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