Audi A7 3 0T takes on the MercedesBenz CLS550 Autoblog

15 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 AT Base

Audi A7 3.0T takes on the CLS550

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Which Is Depends On Where You’re

This car has an identity crisis. The exterior, brash exhaust and firm ride say ‘sport,’ but the screams ‘grandma!’

These two have met head-to-head before, but not on pages. To make things a bit interesting, the decision was made to these four-door coupes not from the driver’s perspective, but all four seating positions. The comparison would require of the vehicles to carry 700-plus of passengers comfortably from the of the hot LA Basin up to the cool mile-high of Big Bear Lake and back. The would be determined by a simple

As this task called for six bodies willing to be chauffeured 160 over a long afternoon, Facebook page was enlisted to Within 24 hours, we had our six smiling fingered.

Our randomly chosen ranged in age from 22 to 35, and in occupation a college student to a working environmental scientist. There five men and one woman, each a strong automotive passion and a to hang with us for nearly six in exchange for some ice-cold water and a free hot lunch. Our

· Alex, a 22-year-old

· Erick, a 26-year-old designer

· Ian, a information technology expert

Lisa, a 35-year-old product for an automotive manufacturer

· a 32-year-old environmental scientist

Stephen, a 31-year-old real broker

Fellow Autoblog Jeff Glucker and I would be with driving. The plan was to into two groups of four would each stick for the duration of the review. We’d over every 30 minutes or so and would swap vehicles think of it as a modified Chinese drill, but with two cars.

To the driving environment as much as everyone met at an In-N-Out Burger in (elevation 774 feet) at the foothills of the National Forest. Our route take us across the LA Basin on to the foothills of the San Bernardino National At that point, we would up the mountain to Big Bear Lake 6,750 feet), take in the and eat lunch. Our return trip trace our steps in reverse. Nature had her own agenda, but more on in a moment.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is the in this comparison. Credited starting this whole coupe segment back in when it was a knocked-off the W211 platform, the second-generation four-door (it has a trunk) shares underpinnings and choices with the latest E-Class. Sleekly styled an aggressive facade, the four-passenger is fitted with bright LED at all four corners. It looks as as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner wh en it flies by. its hood is a new direct-injected twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of Power is sent to the rear through a wet seven-speed automatic steering wheel-mounted paddle for manual control. The suspension is at all four corners, with air springs. Completing its performance are four-piston brakes in the nose and units out back, all clamping on cross-drilled rotors to slow a set of staggered 19-inch wheels and P Zero tires (255/35-19 up and 285/30-19 in the rear).

The Audi A7 3.0T is the fresh new in this pair up. Internally Type 4G, the first-generation five-door (it has a rear hatchback) was introduced than a year ago to worldwide Sharing underpinnings with the (Modularer Längsbaukasten) A6. the four-passenger A7 is more beautiful in person it looks in any picture. Under the hood is a direct-injected supercharged V6 rated at 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of (ignore the odd 3.0T nomenclature this engine is not turbocharged). is sent to the automaker’s Quattro system through a wet eight-speed with steering wheel-mounted shifters. An independent multi-link with fixed sport controls body movement and roll. The brakes are four calipers actuating on ventilated inside optional 20-inch The square tire setup the same size Yokohama Sport (265/35-20) at each

The price advantage goes to the Its base MSRP of $59,250 was up with a Premium Plus and package adding the navigation and wheels, among other The A7’s bottom line was including destination. The Mercedes with a base MSRP of It was fitted with options the P01 package, 19-inch alloys, driver seat, rear airbags, split-folding rear parking assist, lane assist, blind spot and a wood/leather steering wheel. The equipment bumped the sticker to $80,995 including destination.

We early in the game that the difference, while large, significant enough to detract a from either model if got the means to spend $66,000 on a bumping up to $80,000 probably too much of a stretch. (On a more note, consider the percentage to the same dollar gap between a Kia Soul Plus and a well-equipped Exclaim.)

These German have each taken different approaches to the rear in their four-passenger coupes.

The two front seats are identical to other. Easy to slide they are slightly bolstered shallow bottom cushions are surprisingly soft. The Mercedes-Benz, on the hand, has an upgraded driver’s with active bolstering and features (the front make due with a standard power seat). While complained about comfort in the seats of the A7, switching quickly to the seats of the CLS550 was a wake-up I thought the Audi was comfortable. The isn’t overly bolstered, the is soft and I can adjust it to my exact Moving into the CLS550, is like trading a water bed for a Sure, the active bolsters get after time, but turn off and hit the massage switch and all is forgotten. I got out of the CLS, I felt guilty for not said Autoblog Editor Glucker. CLS seats were added Ian.

Our volunteers had a lot to say the rear seats, mainly they spent a lot of time there. They particularly out how the sharply sloped roofs and seat bolsters made difficult. The CLS550, the most styled of the two, was singled-out I had trouble getting in and out of the Mercedes. I hit my twice. I had no such problems the Audi, noted Manjul. took the words out of most mouth when he stated, It something of a conscious effort not to my head every time I got in or out of the His comments seemed not only at both of the test vehicles but all coupes on the market today.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is noted for its steering wheel and a full storage console

The Audi A7 exposed grain wood and an open compartment between the seats

The center rear in the Audi has been replaced by a and rather useless storage — but someone theoretically sit on it (without a seatbelt) in an ill-advised On the other hand, the rear of the Mercedes is fitted with a extravagant full center Not everyone was impressed. I didn’t that the center console in the took away any possibility of a passenger, even if it would be a child. It went all the way to the floor the entire back seat in noted Lisa.

Center aside, our rear-seat passengers preferred the Audi over the Like the front seats, the rear seats were bolstered and the cushions softer. at five-foot eight-inches tall, was the exception. The headroom was adequate for me I’m not that tall, but if even two inches taller sitting back there almost certainly be hating And, despite the fact of our six volunteers were over eleven-inches tall, they did The A7’s back seat small and very uncomfortable, Ian, one of the tallest in the group at eleven-inches. Alex added, taller than five-foot shouldn’t even try. at five-foot seven-inches tall, found problems with the head restraints in the CLS. I adjusting myself in the seat but the is nowhere near my head. It was the height but not in the position that the back of the head, he said

With everyone safely into their seats, and I fired both engines and the cars east towards Big — we noted the mountains masked by towering monsoon-fed clouds.

Motor Trend tested these identical and clocked the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 to 60 mph in a 4.3 seconds. The Audi A7 3.0T performed unexpectedly strongly, through the same acceleration in just 4.7 seconds (while most other A7’s do it in 5.3 However, that was with one driver on board. Our test were not only topped-off fuel but we were flying a full cabin, as they say in the

Seated in the CLS, I set the transmission to mode for a first-gear start and the accelerator. The twin-turbo V8 under the of the Mercedes seemed only annoyed with the added as it pulled strongly off the line and all four of our heads against the restraints. The Audi was a bit more and burdened with the heavy load, but its smooth-shifting eight-speed kept it in the race several car back as Jeff floored it up the in pursuit.

Both vehicles very competent highway but far from flawless. The CLS has both and Comfort suspension settings. I Comfort for nearly all conditions, Sport simply too harsh. My watching the radar detector violently on its mount while in agreed. The A7 has Dynamic and Comfort for its suspension, but the differences are very since nobody had brought a seismograph we were left by the difference.

The CLS550’s twin-turbo V8 produces 402 and 443 lb-ft torque

The A7’s V6 produces 310 horsepower and 325 lb-ft

Road noise is an issue in vehicles. Huge tires be as the summer compound slaps on the grooved pavement reverberating the passenger compartments of both I was really surprised by how much noise was transmitted into the of a car costing this much. I a 2003 Subaru with a exhaust, so my standard for peace and is pitifully low. Our car was equipped 20-inch wheels and summer so I’m sure that some of it. but still, Stephen while riding in the Mercedes.

Yet are plenty of distractions to keep noise at the back of your All occupants, including your editors, agreed that the took all the honors when the was on-board navigation and infotainment. It was for the CLS550’s seven-inch fixed to compete with the A7’s smaller, but Internet-enabled, pop-up in terms of graphics and content With its own T-Mobile data Audi has not only integrated Google Maps and search into its system, but it has the capability to WiFi to eight devices the vehicle simultaneously. Everyone the Audi’s MMI interface more and appealing when compare to the system on the Mercedes. Audi is more stylish, and the infotainment is more user-friendly, said rather succinctly.

I was blown by the A7’s navigation unit. The pop-out screen was cool, if a gimmicky. Its integration with Maps was very well especially the topography. It also the posted speed limit, if you are that sort of thing, Alex. The first thing I did getting in the back seat was up my iPhone to the A7’s WiFi In my opinion, the navigation system in has always lagged behind. As who is into the latest-and-greatest in the tech this is a deal-breaker, mustered The A7 is akin to driving around a portable Genius Bar plucked an Apple store, said Glucker, who didn’t hold his Staring at the radio of the Benz me of a dusty HAM radio. The map displayed by the would have been if navigation came standard on a 560 SE. Meanwhile, we’re not looking at a map in the we are looking at the actual earth, of Google.

The Mercedes COMAND system falls short on technology, but it is easier to use

Audi’s MMI is and broadcasts WiFi thanks to the own 3G connection

After 30 minutes of freeway driving at speeds of 75 mph, it was time to head the mountains. The weather went sunny and hot, to wet and cool.

rain, and a long chain of traffic heading up the hill, our speeds low as we followed the mountain’s climbing towards the lake. hydrated passengers are happy I had brought along a cooler of ice and 16.9-ounce water bottles. the insulated chest was strapped into the trunk of the Mercedes tie-downs, the passengers were to find places to store bottles. The cup holders worked up front, but passengers in the rear did a lot of The average-sized cup holders held in the Audi, but gave most headaches in the Mercedes. As for the cup holders on the the test bottles did not fit. on the highway at speed, a slight in direction basically made fall out. I ended up the test bottles in at an angle to them. Audi’s bottles up going up the canyon roads and did move. It’s a better cup holder. The Audi had a spring clip that would to the minimum position and would out to fit larger cups, kinda fingers holding a cup, Manjul.

Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 AT Base

Jeff and I noticed that the standard Quattro all-wheel made a difference in the rain. Not as on the high speed sweepers as it did town — most when launching from a The muscular Mercedes would start to spin a rear off the line before its traction would immediately kill the making for some oh-crap when pulling into The Audi, on the other hand, was to manage its grip and put the power even on wet pine needles. just-launched CLS550 4Matic, permanent all-wheel drive, have been an equalizer these conditions, though expensive still.)

After the clouds cracked open and of sun dried the road. It was the opportunity for and me to push the cars a bit harder. The was the muscle car, delivering thrust accompanied by an exhaust that put smiles on everyone’s The A7, on the other hand, was challenged to up and its exhaust note muted. The A7 pretty good when you rev it, but like the Benz. The relative of exhaust tone in the Audi a strike against the car itself it wouldn’t dissuade me from one — but it doesn’t stack up to the that was coming from the CLS said Alex. The CLS exhaust the back seat is perfect, Ian

At altitude, and with all seats by adults, the A7 was working hard. behind a slow car, but a clear passing zone, the 3.0-liter didn’t give me confidence to try the pass — the would have taken it ease. The engine in the Mercedes was but I did find frustration with its automatic transmission as it seemed likely to unnecessarily hunt for This was most apparent compared back-to-back against the eight-speed automatic in the Audi.

Glucker was just as impressed the performance of the Benz. It’s to argue with the 4.7-liter mounted under the hood of the In fact, you don’t want to try and over it, because it’s enjoyable just to listen to it. and low, the Mercedes rumbles a tough guy in a tux. It pulls through the majority of the rev range. powerplant is a totally different yet it is one that fights above its class. There is no supercharger or grumbling exhaust note to of, but there is a wonderful application of Down 92 horses to the mighty the Audi somehow manages to nearly as quick. The quattro system certainly plays a role, but I’m still a bit that a car this heavy to get along so well with 310 horsepower.

The passengers relegated to the back and getting tossed around rag dolls in the process, preferred to out the twisty sections in the Audi. On top of the the [CLS’s] air suspension in the rear was correcting for the car into the turns. I hear it and while it wasn’t bad the is that it felt like the Titanic. Go into a fast turn, the car would sink on the and then bounce up a bit to stabilize the That’s what made me The Audi did not have that said a woozy Manjul. He alone in his queasiness, as Erick with him, I noticed sitting in the back of the Mercedes me feel a little nauseous to sitting in the front. sitting in the was very bouncy for me.

Reaching the of the hill meant another trek on flat 70 mph freeways. Not did it give Manjul’s stomach a to settle, but it allowed everyone to think and compose their about each vehicle we arrived back at our familiar parking lot.

A quick of the trip computers revealed 152 miles on the odometer. The Mercedes-Benz returned 20.5 mpg calculated by its computer (against an EPA fuel rating of 17/25). The Audi A7 delivered 21.6 mpg over the route (against an EPA rating of Everyone considered both very impressive when the driving route and power of each engine was factored in. The economy numbers were further proof that the wasn’t working nearly as as the Audi.

Our chauffeured volunteers, who five long hours ever touching an accelerator were split four-to-two on favorite. Lisa, Manjul, and Erick preferring the A7, while Ian and — two of our younger guests chose the CLS550.


Bold gauges and a prominent start are features of the Mercedes-Benz CLS550

Impeccible detail, rich and a traditional shifter highlight the A7’s interior

Stephen, who was in the camp, couldn’t look the CLS550’s styling, both and out. The interior of a car sets the in which it’s driven. In case, we’ve got a whole lot of The exterior styling advertises as a car for the moneyed life of the party and the note will put your neighbors on notice. Sadly, the makes it nearly impossible to either of those prophecies. I imagine sitting in the driver’s and pushing that car hard. a lack of cohesion and display of isn’t just surprising in a car, it’s practically

Ian, who was on team Mercedes, had a view. I enjoyed the Benz in every way over the Audi. I the seats were more and had more options, the ride needed felt sportier, and not needed felt more and subdued. The engine, while the Audi was down on horsepower, felt stronger and more in the Benz. The Audi’s only factor in my mind was its GPS.

The two drivers, tasked with life and limb of the valuable were also split. liked the A7, while I was mesmerized by the

On paper, the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 is a winner, said Jeff. power, rear-wheel-drive dynamics and the luxury that comes a big Benz. But this fight is verses Apollo Creed. the power difference, the Audi to keep up on our canyon jaunts. The A7 is an stunner in the exterior styling and the interior gadgetry should a Benz owner throw up for so much more. I also Mercedes should give up the LED daytime running lights Audi has clearly perfected If I were in the market for a four-passenger sports sedan in this range (let’s quit them coupes), I would consider both of these Then I would take my sip of coffee, buy the Audi, a new set of golf some aftermarket wheels, and put the of my cash into a high-yield fund.

The Audi is undeniably and its technology cutting-edge, but your finds it impossible to overlook the 4.7-liter under the hood of the Mountains of torque rocket the off the line with a squeal and it seem to ever run out of steam. I am a tech-geek, the callous rumble of a V8 combined with hip-hugging and a thick steering wheel me forget all about the Audi’s navigation system and eye-candy Sure, the Audi was quick in the but the Mercedes is so much more fun to If offered the choice, I’d the key fob to the CLS550 faster than you can say collective investment, point the star towards Vegas and go with the high rollers.

In the five votes went to the A7 3.0T while the remaining votes fell on the Mercedes the A7 owned the win.

The Audi’s is surprising, but not completely unexpected. of us in the driver’s seat automatically horsepower and a well-sorted chassis dominate a comparison. This with all seating positions a ballot, it was innovative technology and comfort that hoisted the to the podium.

Battle of the Four-Dour

The Audi A7 is simply gorgeous, inside and out. Toss in a competent supercharged V6 and the all-weather of Quattro all-wheel drive and the four-door just may be one of the world’s all-around vehicles. While on horsepower, the A7 captured the win thanks to its cabin and innovative technology qualities that matter to all not just the driver.

The Mercedes-Benz established the four-door coupe so it finds itself in a defensive against the newcomers who take aimed shots at the veteran. The is a driver’s car, from the V8 and rear-wheel drive powertrain to the multi-piston brakes. Those attributes, however, don’t the outlook to those left out the window from the rear

Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 AT Base

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