2019 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2019 Kia Cadenza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Kia Cadenza doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cadenza doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Cadenza 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 Cadenza 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 S5 Sportback has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cadenza doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Cadenza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Cadenza’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Engine

The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 59 more horsepower (349 vs. 290) and 116 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 253) than the Cadenza’s 3.3 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the Kia Cadenza:

 

S5 Sportback

Cadenza

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

95.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S5 Sportback’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S5 Sportback higher (5 out of 10) than the Kia Cadenza (3). This means the S5 Sportback produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cadenza every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S5 Sportback

Cadenza

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The S5 Sportback’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cadenza are solid, not vented.

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the Cadenza:

 

S5 Sportback

Cadenza

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cadenza (265/30R20 vs. 245/45R18).

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 Cadenza Premium’s standard 45 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Cadenza Technology/Limited’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Cadenza’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The S5 Sportback 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 Cadenza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the Cadenza Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.6 seconds quicker than the Cadenza Limited (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

The S5 Sportback is 8.6 inches shorter than the Cadenza, making the S5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The S5 Sportback’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cadenza doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the S5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cadenza. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The S5 Sportback’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Cadenza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or 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 Cadenza 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 Cadenza’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 Cadenza doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The S5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige has standard 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 Cadenza has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Cadenza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Kia Cadenza by over four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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