2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 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 Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A5’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 Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A5 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 Coupe 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. But it costs extra on the ATS Coupe.

The A5 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 Coupe 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 and the ATS Coupe 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.

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 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 155 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ATS Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A5’s reliability 44 points higher than the ATS Coupe.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

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 Motor Trend the Audi A5 is faster than the Cadillac ATS Coupe 2.0 Turbo:

A5

ATS

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

98.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Coupe:

MPG

A5

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

ATS Coupe

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

A-Spec 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

18 city/27 hwy

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

Transmission

The A5 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 Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A5 Auto’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 Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

A5

ATS Coupe

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

The A5’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ATS Coupe’s 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The ATS Coupe’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The A5 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ATS Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 2.2 inches wider in the front than on the ATS Coupe.

Passenger Space

The A5 Coupe has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear headroom than the ATS Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the ATS Coupe (11.6 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the A5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The ATS Coupe doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A5 offers cargo security. The ATS Coupe’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

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

Ergonomics

The A5’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Cadillac does not offer a locking feature on the ATS Coupe’s standard power windows.

If the windows are left open on the A5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the ATS Coupe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A5’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 Coupe’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

Both the A5 and the ATS Coupe offer optional heated front seats. The A5 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 Coupe.

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

The A5 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 Coupe 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 convertible or four door.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A5 with a number “3” insurance rate while the ATS Coupe is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The A5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A5 will retain 45.52% to 48.51% of its original price after five years, while the ATS Coupe only retains 38.92% to 41.91%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A5 is less expensive to operate than the ATS Coupe because it costs $207 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the A5 than the ATS Coupe, including $11 less for a water pump, $398 less for a muffler, $46 less for front brake pads, $10 less for a starter, $292 less for fuel injection, $59 less for a fuel pump and $409 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A5 second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ATS Coupe isn’t in the top three.

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

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

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