The 2013 BMW M5 vs Audi RS6 Avant

The idea that specs and stats reign supreme is regularly put to the test in the comparison of cars. Sometimes, with little or no explanation, a vehicle can squash the expectations regarding its ‘on-paper’ performance and provide an engaging and exciting drive against the odds.

Equally, cars that have all the promise and supporting evidence to suggest that they are going to be the next big thing, sometimes don’t quite match up to expectations.

This seems to be the case respectively with the latest competitive offerings from BMW and Audi.

Whilst the BMW unquestionably lives up to and even exceeds the expectations associated with the facts and figures, the inherently more powerful Audi seems to actually slightly underperform.

M5

In this instance, some of the comparable information isn’t even close. In almost every regard the Audi is ahead, from the intimidating sub four second 0-60 speed to the fact that there is nearly 50 litres of extra trunk space in the RS6; the car is undoubtedly statistically superior.

However, in terms of feel and performance, the latest M5 more than matches the Audi.

It feels like you have more engagement when driving the BMW. The RS6 is great to drive but it does feel slightly detached, just enough so that the direct and rewarding experience of driving the M5 is even more heavily emphasised.

Sitting in the m5 is a cosier and more comfortable experience.

Once driving, the first noticeable difference was the handling. Whilst Audi’s vehicle felt sharp and responsive, the BMW gave more. It felt exciting and engaging.

Whilst it was recognised that there should have been a noticeable difference in the speed of acceleration with the two cars, in practice they felt very similar, even in the mid-range where the Audi seemed certain to perform better.

audi-rs6-04

The impression the cars left was that the Audi RS6 Avant is a stark exploration of what they could do with the chassis, with every idea coolly collected and utilised to provide a car with genuine force and clinical technical brilliance behind it.

However, the M5 gives the feeling that BMW have considered everything very carefully and tuned the car around the driver’s needs, which in the end ensures that it is actually an ever so slightly better car to drive despite being cheaper and less impressive on paper.