2020 Mercedes E-Class Sedan vs. 2020 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The rear seatbelts optional on the E-Class Sedan inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The A6 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The E-Class Sedan’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The A6 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The E-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 A6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Sedan and the A6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, 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 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 Sedan’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 350 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) than the A6 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 27 more horsepower (362 vs. 335) than the A6 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The E-Class Sedan 450/AMG 53’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A6 (21.1 vs. 19.3 gallons).

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Sedan, 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 E-Class Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A6:

E-Class Sedan

E 450 4MATIC Sedan

A6

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

14.2 inches

13 inches

The E-Class Sedan stops shorter than the A6:

E-Class Sedan

A6

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

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 E-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 A6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The E-Class Sedan 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 Sedan’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 A6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-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 A6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis

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The Mercedes E-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Audi A6.

Passenger Space

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The E-Class Sedan has .4 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A6.

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 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 A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Sedan to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The A6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan’s 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

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The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi A6 isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or station wagon.

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the E-Class Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the E-Class Sedan will cost $390 to $2645 less than the A6 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the A6 because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Sedan than the A6, including $64 less for front brake pads, $57 less for a starter, $1157 less for fuel injection, $88 less for a fuel pump and $115 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes E-Class Sedan will be $6309 to $11282 less than for the Audi A6.

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 2019/11/12

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The A6 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Audi A6/S6 by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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