2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Convertible

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 MINI Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A5 Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Cooper Convertible 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.

The A5’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the A5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The A5 offers an optional Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the A5 and the Cooper Convertible 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 and rearview cameras.

The Audi A5 weighs 540 to 1135 pounds more than the MINI Cooper Convertible. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

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 Cooper Convertible has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Audi dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much 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 Cooper Convertible’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 2 places higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 114 more horsepower (248 vs. 134) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 162) than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 59 more horsepower (248 vs. 189) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 207) than the Cooper Convertible S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (248 vs. 228) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 236) than the John Cooper Works Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The A5 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (15.3 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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

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

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 Cooper Convertible 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 MINI Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A5

Cooper

Cooper S

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (245/40R18 vs. 175/65R15). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (255/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).

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 Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The A5’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 10.7 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (108.9 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the A5 Cabriolet a Subcompact car, while the Cooper Convertible is rated a Minicompact.

The A5 Cabriolet has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Convertible (81 vs. 76).

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (7.2 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The A5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (9.3 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A5 offers cargo security. The Cooper Convertible’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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the A5, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.

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

Both the A5 and the Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible.

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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Cooper Convertible.

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

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the MINI Cooper by 502 units during the 2018 model year.

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

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