2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 Lexus LC Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 LC Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A5 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The LC Series 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 LC Series 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 LC Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 LC Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A5’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Transmission and Drivetrain

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

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 Lexus LC Series is not available with all wheel drive.

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 LC Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LC Series (255/35R19 vs. 245/45R20).

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 LC Series’ standard 45 series front tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LC Series’ optional 40 series front tires.

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 LC Series; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The A5 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The LC Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

Chassis

The Audi A5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 700 pounds less than the Lexus LC Series.

The A5 is 3.4 inches shorter than the LC Series, making the A5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A5 Coupe has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more rear headroom, .2 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the LC Series.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the LC Series (11.6 vs. 5.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A5 easier. The A5’s trunk lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the LC Series’ liftover is 33.6 inches.

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

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 LC Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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 LC Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 Coupe has standard extendable sun visors. The LC Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 LC Series’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the A5 and the LC Series 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 LC Series.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the A5 has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The LC Series 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 LC Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A5 will cost $2895 to $5935 less than the LC Series over a five-year period.

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 LC Series only retains 39.92% to 41.34%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A5 will be $35449 to $45822 less than for the Lexus LC Series.

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 LC Series isn’t in the top three.

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Lexus LC Series by over 13 to one during 2018.

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

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