Audi vs. Mercedes: Battle of the Brands

2019 Audi A5
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Luxury Small Cars

Winner: Audi

Audi is well-represented here, with the compact A5 sedan/hatchback/convertible and its more conservatively cast sibling, the Audi A4 sedan. They’re ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in our luxury small cars class, with scores of 8.8 and 8.7 out of 10, respectively. The subcompact A3 sits at No. 10 on the list, with a still respectable score of 7.7. We especially liked the stylish A5 for its range of engines, dynamic handling, smooth ride, and well-finished interior with user-friendly features. We likewise cited the A4’s dynamic performance, elegant cabin, and lengthy list of features. While we found the A3 to be packed with features and fun to drive, its interior isn’t as refined as its rivals, and it suffers a below-average predicted reliability rating. 

Mercedes offers three models in this class: The compact C-Class, the subcompact A-Class, and the compact CLA. The C-Class is offered in sedan, coupe, and convertible styles, and sits at No. 6 among luxury small cars. It receives an overall score of 8.2 for its elegant interior, refined performance, extensive features list, and impressive safety ratings. We deemed it excessively pricey, however, and took points off for its overly complex infotainment system. As of this writing, we haven’t ranked and assigned scores for either the A-Class or the sleeker CLA because neither has been fully crash tested. Still, we were impressed by their performance, though less so by both models’ stiff ride quality and insufficient back-seat room.

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