2011 Audi
A5 Premium
vs. 2011 BMW
550i

2011 BMW 550i

9.6

Winner

BMW 550i

starting from

$61,075
"The 5′s interior was about as you’d expect from a BMW – meaning not one material was short of top notch and each seat was a pleasant place in which to spend some time."
leftlanenews.com | talking about the 5 Series's interior quality
"Undeniably modern, it nonetheless took us back to the E39-era 5-Series (think 1996 through 2003), a crisp but sleek interpretation of a four-door BMW."
leftlanenews.com | talking about the 5 Series's external styling

Reasons to buy the BMW 550i

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Fast 0-60 time
4.8 seconds
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Zippy 1/4 mile time
13.3 s s @ 106.9 mph mph
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Sporty performance
10.9 lb/hp
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Quite powerful
400 HP @ 5,500 RPM
2011 Audi A5 Premium

9.4

Runner-up

Audi A5 Premium

starting from

$39,075

Reasons to buy the Audi A5 Premium

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Good highway fuel efficiency
29 mpg
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Good city fuel efficiency
21 mpg
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Better drivetrain traction
all-wheel drive
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More gears
8
Road Tests 10.0 vs 8.2
2011 BMW 550i Winner: 550i
[details]
  • The 550i hits 60mph 40% faster, 4.8 seconds vs 8.0 seconds
  • Around 20% faster in the 1/4 mile, 13.3 s s @ 106.9 mph mph vs 16.2 s s @ 89.0 mph mph
  • The 550i needs more than 10% less space to stop from 60mph, 116 ft vs 134 ft
Entertainment System 8.6 vs 10.0
2011 Audi A5 Premium Winner: A5 Premium
[details]
  • The A5 Premium's subwoofer accurately reproduces deep bass notes in music
  • The A5 Premium's stereo compensates for road noise as you speed up
Safety Features 10.0 vs 8.8
2011 BMW 550i Winner: 550i
[details]
  • Almost the same
Cost 9.2 vs 10.0
2011 Audi A5 Premium Winner: A5 Premium
[details]
  • Gets 40% more miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg vs 15 mpg
  • The best price we've seen is $22,000 cheaper (around 40% less), $39,075 vs $61,075
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Both come standard with sun roofs
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Performance - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have an air compressor to maximize power output
  • Neither offers paddle shifters
Practicality - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
  • A standard folding rear seat on the {better} is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the {worse}
  • Both have power outlets
Overall 9.6 vs 9.4

Road Tests

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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0-60 mph 4.8 seconds vs 8.0 seconds The 550i can accelerate to 60mph quickly, but the A5 Premium is pretty bad
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Braking distance at 60mph 116 ft vs 134 ft The 550i has above average braking ability, but the A5 Premium is quite bad
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1/4 mile 13.3 s s @ 106.9 mph mph vs 16.2 s s @ 89.0 mph mph The 550i's 1/4 mile time is good, but the A5 Premium's is below average for this class of vehicle
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Lateral acceleration 0.86 g vs 0.92 g The A5 Premium has good cornering abilities compared to the merely average 550i
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Top speed 155 mph vs 130 mph The 550i's top speed is average for this class of vehicle, but the A5 Premium is just OK

Entertainment System

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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Number of speakers 12 vs 10 The 550i has more speakers and the A5 Premium is OK, too
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Yes The A5 Premium's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the 550i does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Optional Both can be upgraded to include satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs Yes The A5 Premium has a subwoofer to accurately produce deep bass frequencies in music
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entertainment system Optional vs Optional Both can be upgraded to include an entertainment system

Safety Features

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
Help
antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Not Available Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the 550i; optional upgrade on the A5 Premium
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Roadside assistance system BMW Assist vs None

Cost

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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MSRP $61,075 vs $39,075 The A5 Premium has a great price and the 550i is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 15 mpg vs 21 mpg The A5 Premium has great city mileage, but the 550i is very inefficient
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 50,000 mile Average basic warranty
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 4 year Average lasting basic warranty

Luxury Features

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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moon roof Standard vs Standard Both come standard with sun roofs
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power seats Standard vs Standard Both have power seats
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Standard Both come standard with leather interiors

Crash Test Ratings

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test 4 stars vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test 5 stars vs Unknown

Performance

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
Help
Horsepower 400 HP @ 5,500 RPM vs 211 HP @ 4,300 RPM The 550i is fairly powerful, but the A5 Premium is underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 8 The A5 Premium has more gears and the 550i is OK, too
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission Both the A5 Premium's semi-automatic transmission and the 550i's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor Twin turbocharger vs Turbocharger Both have an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 10.9 lb/hp vs 17.4 lb/hp The 550i is a sporty car, but the A5 Premium is sluggish
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Drivetrain type rear-wheel drive vs all-wheel drive The A5 Premium will handle off-road driving and poor weather much better than the 550i
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Curb-to-curb turning radius Unknown vs 37.4 ft

Practicality

BMW
550i
2011 BMW 550i
2011 Audi A5 Premium Audi
A5 Premium
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Passengers 5 vs 4 The 550i has lots of passenger seats and the A5 Premium is OK, too
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Highway driving range 407 miles vs 490 miles The A5 Premium has great highway range, but the 550i is very limited
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Cargo space Unknown vs 12.2 ft3
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front seats Unknown vs 50.7 ft3
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folding rear seats Optional vs Standard A standard folding rear seat on the {better} is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the {worse}
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Standard vs Optional The 550i's standard navigation system will ensure you never get lost again; optional upgrade required on the A5 Premium
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Cupholders 4 vs 4 OK number of cupholders
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Audi A5 Premium 2011 Audi A4 Premium A5 Premium vs A4 Premium
2011 Audi A5 Premium 2011 BMW 328i A5 Premium vs 328i
2011 Audi A5 Premium 2011 Audi A6 Premium A5 Premium vs A6 Premium
2011 Audi A5 Premium 2012 Audi A7 Premium A5 Premium vs A7 Premium
2011 Audi A5 Premium 2012 Audi A3 Premium A5 Premium vs A3 Premium
2011 BMW 550i 2012 BMW 750i 550i vs 750i
2011 BMW 550i 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 550i vs E550
2011 BMW 550i 2012 Audi A7 Premium 550i vs A7 Premium
2011 BMW 550i 2012 BMW 650i 550i vs 650i
2011 BMW 550i 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG 550i vs C63 AMG

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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