2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 Nissan 370Z

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 370Z doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A5 has standard Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 370Z doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A5 Automatic’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 370Z doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The A5 Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 370Z 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 370Z only offers a rear monitor.

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 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Compared to metal, the A5’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Nissan 370Z has a metal gas tank.

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 370Z 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 370Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 370Z 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 370Z’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 370Z’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 370Z’s engines use 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 Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 gets better fuel mileage than the 370Z Coupe Auto (23 city/34 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the A5 gets better fuel mileage than the 370Z Roadster (23 city/34 hwy vs. 16 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 370Z requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Nissan 370Z (3). This means the A5 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 370Z 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 370Z.

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 370Z 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 Nissan 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A5’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 370Z:

 

A5

370Z

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 370Z (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R18). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 370Z (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).

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 370Z’s standard 50 series front and 45 series rear tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 40 series front tires.

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 370Z’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5’s wheelbase is longer than on the 370Z:

 

A5

370Z

Coupe

108.8 inches

100.4 inches

Convertible

108.9 inches

100.4 inches

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 1.6 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 370Z.

Passenger Space

The A5 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 370Z can only carry 2.

The A5 Coupe has 32.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 370Z (84 vs. 51.6).

The A5 Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more front shoulder room than the 370Z Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The A5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 370Z Coupe (11.6 vs. 6.9 cubic feet).

The A5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 370Z Roadster (7.2 vs. 4.2 cubic feet). The A5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 370Z Roadster (9.3vs. 4.2 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 370Z’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 370Z 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 370Z 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 Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 47% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the A5 has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 370Z doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

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 370Z doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 370Z doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 370Z’s 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 370Z doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A5 Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 370Z doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A5’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO.

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 370Z’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 370Z has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 370Z doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The A5’s 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. The 370Z doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A5 Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 370Z doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard smartphone integration for the A5 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The 370Z doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

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 370Z doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan 370Z isn’t available as a four door.

Economic Advantages

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 370Z only retains 19.47% to 45.22%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A5 is less expensive to operate than the 370Z because typical repairs cost much less on the A5 than the 370Z, including $11 less for fuel injection, $11 less for a fuel pump, $97 less for front struts, $43 less for a timing belt/chain and $443 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Nissan 370Z by almost 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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