BMW 6 Series, Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS: Which is the best sports sedan?
By Nathaniel Stillman
Luxury automakers, in their desire to expand their range of products and meet the demands of a growing number of customers, are creating new models, which, in many cases, involve a fusion of classic, traditional concepts. One of the clearest examples of this is the very fashionable trend of combining a sports car with a family sedan. As a result, we have seen the emergence of luxury family sports sedans such as the BMW 6-series Gran Coupe, the Audi A7 and the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
The competition among these models from the three premium German brands is one of the most beautiful and fascinating in the business. These three cars want to give the same, but each with a different approach: a practical sports car in which a family can travel comfortably. Do they deliver what they promise? All have an aggressive design, very similar to the coupe and fun to drive. On top of this, all three have a high performance version with some of the most powerful engines in the world. The inevitable question is: which one is the better car? The answer can only be found by driving thousands of miles for a week in each one. We at azureazure.com have done just that, and these are our findings:
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
This is the sportiest model of the three, and this can be observed, for example, in the lower driving position. When you're behind the wheel, it gives you the feeling of driving a much smaller car, mostly due to its remarkable agility.
One of the strengths of this BMW is its versatility. It has an electronic system from which you can completely change the car´s settings with four options to choose: Sport +, Sport, Comfort, Comfort + and Eco. The first option offers a more radical control with very fast reactions from the engine and gearbox, and a very hard suspension that allows the vehicle to manage curves more easily. But if the driver travels with the family and wants a comfortable vehicle with gentler reactions, he/she can choose the Comfort options. The main objective of the latter is to optimize the vehicle´s fuel consumption. Although Audi and Mercedes-Benz also offer similar systems, BMW’s is the best, having a greater difference between the available configuration options.
This model is a halfway point between the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz. It is not as fun to drive as the series 6 and not as elegant as the CLS, but it was quite a feat to achieve this balance. The strong point of this car is its interior. In line with what they have shown in other market segments, Audi has created an unsurpassed cabin not only because of the quality of the materials, but also its comfort, ergonomics and a very attractive, elegant and modern design.
The A7 comes with a very important feature, which makes all the difference: its famous Quattro drive outperforms the 4 x 4 options of its rivals. This is possibly the best total traction in the market. The technological and mechanical elements make driving an A7 akin to child's play. It is easier to speed up with the A7 than with any of its competitors.
One can say this is the first sports sedan from the new design philosophy that has been transforming this German brand in the last few years. The exterior lines are aggressive, elegant and fluid. It is a pity that these characteristics do not apply to its interior, which still looks too traditional.
The environment inside the cabin and the configuration of the engine, gearbox and suspension invite the driver to relax and enjoy the ride. It is the most comfortable of the three, and at the same time it is also fun to drive, though its sportiness is one step behind Audi 7 and maybe two behind BMW 6 series.
All three vehicles offer ample space for four passengers and very comfortable interiors; however Mercedes gives the greatest sense of spaciousness as it is the one closest to the spirit of a big sedan. ■