2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2019 Lincoln Continental

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 Lincoln Continental doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Continental doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Continental 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 Continental.

Both the A5 Sportback and the Continental have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Lincoln Continental:

 

A5 Sportback

Continental

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

322

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

15 inches

HIC

333

369

Spine Acceleration

47 G’s

47 G’s

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

Warranty

The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Continental’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Continental’s 3.7 DOHC V6 engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 13 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the Continental AWD with its standard engine (23 city/34 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Continental requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A5 Sportback higher (5 out of 10) than the Lincoln Continental (3 to 5). This means the A5 Sportback produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Continental every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi A5 Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Continental.

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 Continental doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

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 Continental doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The A5 Sportback’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Continental are solid, not vented.

The A5 Sportback stops much shorter than the Continental:

 

A5 Sportback

Continental

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Continental (245/40R18 vs. 235/50R18).

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 Continental Standard’s standard 50 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Continental Select/Reserve’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 Sportback’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.8% to 45.2%) than the Continental’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the A5 Sportback more stable handling and braking.

The A5 Sportback Prestige handles at .94 G’s, while the Continental Reserve AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A5 Sportback’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the Continental’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.8 feet).

Chassis

The Audi A5 Sportback may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 800 pounds less than the Lincoln Continental.

The A5 Sportback is 1 foot, 3.1 inches shorter than the Continental, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the A5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the Continental Reserve AWD (72 vs. 73 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the Continental (21.8 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Continental. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Lincoln. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 11% lower rating, Lincoln is ranked 7th.

Ergonomics

The A5 Sportback has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Continental doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Continental doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the A5 Sportback with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Continental’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Continental doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A5 Sportback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A5 Sportback will cost $120 less than the Continental over a five-year period.

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 Continental only retains 38.61% to 40.36%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A5 Sportback will be $3404 to $18392 less than for the Lincoln Continental.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Lincoln Continental by over three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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