2019 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2018 Cadillac ATS Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S5 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 ATS Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S5 Sportback are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Cadillac ATS Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The S5 Sportback’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 ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S5 Sportback 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 ATS Sedan 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S5 Sportback. But it costs extra on the ATS Sedan.

The S5 Sportback Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ATS Sedan 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 S5 Sportback and the ATS Sedan 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, 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 S5 Sportback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ATS Sedan has not been fully tested, yet.


The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ATS Sedan’s (12 vs. 6 years).


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.


The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 77 more horsepower (349 vs. 272) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the ATS Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 14 more horsepower (349 vs. 335) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 285) than the ATS Sedan’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the Cadillac ATS Sedan turbo 4 cyl.:


S5 Sportback

ATS Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.9 sec

16.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.8 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the ATS Sedan AWD V6 (21 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the S5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS Sedan:


S5 Sportback

ATS Sedan

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the ATS Sedan:


S5 Sportback

ATS Sedan


70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the ATS Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R17). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ATS Sedan (265/30R20 vs. 225/40R18).

The S5 Sportback’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 ATS Sedan’s standard 45 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the ATS Sedan’s optional 35 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ATS Sedan. The S5 Sportback’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the ATS Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the ATS Sedan (111.2 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 Sportback is 3 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the ATS Sedan.

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .95 G’s, while the ATS Sedan pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the ATS Sedan (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s).


As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the S5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the ATS Sedan (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The S5 Sportback has .8 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S5 Sportback’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.


The S5 Sportback’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The ATS Sedan’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the S5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the ATS Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S5 Sportback’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 ATS Sedan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The S5 Sportback has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the ATS Sedan. The S5 Sportback also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the ATS Sedan.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S5 Sportback keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The S5 Sportback Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ATS Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Cadillac ATS isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

The S5 Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S5 Sportback will retain 51.38% to 51.57% of its original price after five years, while the ATS Sedan only retains 38.82% to 39.32%.


The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Cadillac ATS by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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