2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 Ford Mustang

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 Ford Mustang doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

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 Mustang 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 Mustang 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.

The A5 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mustang doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Mustang only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the A5 and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, 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 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Mustang has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The A5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mustang’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

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

Reliability

The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Mustang’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 32 points higher than the Mustang.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 11 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A5 is faster than the Ford Mustang EcoBoost (automatics tested):

 

A5

Mustang

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.5 MPH

97.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mustang doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi A5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Mustang.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer an SMG.

All wheel drive, available in the A5, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Ford Mustang is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A5

Mustang

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the Mustang (245/40R18 vs. 235/55R17).

The A5’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 Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5’s wheelbase is longer than on the Mustang:

 

A5

Mustang

Coupe

108.8 inches

107.1 inches

Convertible

108.9 inches

107.1 inches

Chassis

The A5 is 4.5 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the A5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A5 Coupe has 1.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mustang Fastback (84 vs. 82.8). The A5 Cabriolet has 1.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mustang Convertible (81 vs. 79.3).

The A5 Coupe has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 3.7 inches more rear legroom than the Mustang Fastback.

The A5 Cabriolet has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mustang Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

The A5’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Mustang Convertible doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A5 offers cargo security. The Mustang’s non-lockable remote release 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 Mustang 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 A5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mustang uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 60% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

The A5 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 Mustang doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

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

The A5 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 Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 Mustang’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The A5’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.

When the A5 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 Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The A5 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the A5 and the Mustang offer available 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 Mustang.

The A5 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Mustang.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the A5 has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Mustang doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A5 is less expensive to operate than the Mustang because typical repairs cost much less on the A5 than the Mustang, including $126 less for a muffler, $106 less for a timing belt/chain and $784 less for a power steering pump.

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

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