2020 Mercedes CLS vs. 2020 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

The 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 A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLS and the A6 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, 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 CLS’ warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS first among midsize premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A6 isn’t in the top three.

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

The CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the A6 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The CLS’ 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (362 vs. 335) than the A6 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes CLS is faster than the A6 55 TFSI 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid:

CLS

A6

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103.5 MPH

102.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the CLS 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the A6 55 TFSI SMG (23 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

The CLS has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A6 (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 CLS higher (6 out of 10) than the Audi A6 (5). This means the CLS produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A6 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A6.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the CLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:

CLS

A6

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the A6 (275/35R19 vs. 245/45R19). The CLS’ rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the A6 (275/35R19 vs. 255/40R20).

The CLS’ standard 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A6’s standard 45 series tires. The CLS’ optional 275/30R20 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the A6 Prestige’s optional 35 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The CLS has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 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 A6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The 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 A6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

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 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 A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The 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 A6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The A6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

The CLS is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CLS second among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A6 was rated third.

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