2020 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet vs. 2019 Audi A5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The E-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 A5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Cabriolet and the A5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 E-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.

Engine

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The E-Class Cabriolet’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The E-Class Cabriolet has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the E-Class Cabriolet’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A5:

E-Class Cabriolet

A5

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

The E-Class Cabriolet’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A5 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The E-Class Cabriolet’s optional 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A5’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the E-Class Cabriolet offers optional 20-inch wheels. The A5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the E-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 A5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The E-Class Cabriolet has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Cabriolet’s 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 A5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-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 A5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the A5 Cabriolet (113.1 inches vs. 108.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the E-Class Cabriolet is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the A5.

Passenger Space

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The E-Class Cabriolet has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A5 Cabriolet (87 vs. 81).

Cargo Capacity

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The E-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the A5 Cabriolet with its top down (9.5 vs. 7.2 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the E-Class Cabriolet has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The A5 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

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 E-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 A5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

If the windows are left open on the E-Class Cabriolet 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 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the E-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 A5 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.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Cabriolet to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The A5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the E-Class Cabriolet has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A5 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The E-Class Cabriolet also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes E-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the A5.

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

Model Availability

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The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi A5 isn’t available as a station wagon.

The E-Class Cabriolet is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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The E-Class Cabriolet will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the E-Class Cabriolet will retain 40.04% to 40.28% of its original price after five years, while the A5 only retains 38.86% to 39.63%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Cabriolet is less expensive to operate than the A5 because typical repairs cost less on the E-Class Cabriolet than the A5, including $37 less for front brake pads, $27 less for a fuel pump and $160 less for front struts.

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 2019/11/13

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The A5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Audi A5/S5 by almost two to one during the 2019 model year.

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