2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2018 Cadillac ATS Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 Sportback have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac ATS Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 Sportback are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Cadillac ATS Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The A5 Sportback’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A5 Sportback has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5 Sportback. But it costs extra on the ATS Sedan.

The A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ATS Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A5 Sportback and the ATS Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A5 Sportback is safer than the Cadillac ATS Sedan:

 

A5 Sportback

ATS Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

308 lbs.

325 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

64 G’s

Hip Force

777 lbs.

888 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

776 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A5 Sportback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ATS Sedan has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS Sedan’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the ATS Sedan’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 21 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi A5 Sportback is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan 2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.:

 

A5

ATS

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.5 sec

16.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Sedan AWD 2.0 Turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The A5 Sportback offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG.

The A5 Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS Sedan:

 

A5

ATS

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

The A5 Sportback stops shorter than the ATS Sedan:

 

A5

ATS

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the ATS Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R17). The A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ATS Sedan (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R18).

The A5 Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ATS Sedan’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ATS Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the ATS Sedan (111.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 Sportback is 3 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the ATS Sedan.

The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the ATS Sedan pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the ATS Sedan:

 

A5

ATS

At idle

38 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The A5 Sportback has .8 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the ATS Sedan (21.8 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A5 Sportback has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics

The A5 Sportback’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The ATS Sedan’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the A5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the ATS Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A5 Sportback’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ATS Sedan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The A5 Sportback has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the ATS Sedan. The A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ATS Sedan.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The A5 Sportback Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Cadillac ATS isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

The A5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A5 Sportback will retain 44.13% to 47.54% of its original price after five years, while the ATS Sedan only retains 38.82% to 39.32%.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Cadillac ATS by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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