2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 5 Sportback 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 CTS-V doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The RS 5 Sportback has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The CTS-V doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The RS 5 Sportback offers an optional Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CTS-V 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 RS 5 Sportback and the CTS-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, collision warning systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.


The RS 5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CTS-V’s (12 vs. 6 years).


For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the RS 5 Sportback has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the CTS-V.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RS 5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the CTS-V (17 city/26 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RS 5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CTS-V doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi RS 5 Sportback higher (5 out of 10) than the Cadillac CTS-V (1). This means the RS 5 Sportback produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CTS-V every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RS 5 Sportback’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CTS-V:


RS 5 Sportback


Front Rotors

15.7 inches

15.4 inches

The RS 5 Sportback offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The CTS-V doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RS 5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CTS-V (275/30R20 vs. 265/35R19).

The RS 5 Sportback’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CTS-V’s optional 35 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RS 5 Sportback offers optional 20-inch wheels. The CTS-V’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RS 5 Sportback is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the CTS-V.

For better maneuverability, the RS 5 Sportback’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the CTS-V’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.3 feet).


The RS 5 Sportback is 9.3 inches shorter than the CTS-V, making the RS 5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the RS 5 Sportback’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS-V doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.


If the windows are left open on the RS 5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the CTS-V can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the RS 5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CTS-V doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RS 5 Sportback has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CTS-V doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RS 5 Sportback offers an optional 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 CTS-V doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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