2019 Audi A5 Sportback vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

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 MKZ 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 MKZ doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A5 Sportback is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

236

254

Neck Injury Risk

25%

52%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

50 lbs.

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

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

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

16 inches

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 MKZ’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the MKZ’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid and 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. 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.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi A5 Sportback is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.5 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ AWD 2.0 Turbo 4 cyl. (23 city/34 hwy vs. 20 city/29 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The A5 Sportback has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (15.3 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 MKZ.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

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 MKZ are solid, not vented.

The A5 Sportback stops much shorter than the MKZ:

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ

 

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MKZ (255/35R19 vs. 245/45R18).

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 MKZ’s standard 45 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the MKZ’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the A5 Sportback’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The A5 Sportback is 7.6 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

 

A5 Sportback

MKZ

At idle

38 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The A5 Sportback has 1.5 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more rear headroom than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the MKZ (21.8 vs. 15.4 cubic feet). The A5 Sportback has a much larger trunk than the MKZ Hybrid (21.8 vs. 11.1 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A5 Sportback’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MKZ doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MKZ. 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 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MKZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 MKZ 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 MKZ 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 MKZ’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Model Availability

The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Lincoln MKZ 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 MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 34% during the 2018 model year.

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

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