2019 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2019 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 GS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 GS Series 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 GS Series.

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 GS Series 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 GS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, 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 GS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S5 Sportback’s warranty.

Reliability

The camshafts in the S5 Sportback’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The GS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the GS Series’ cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine

The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 108 more horsepower (349 vs. 241) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the GS 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 38 more horsepower (349 vs. 311) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the GS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the GS 350 3.5 DOHC V6:

 

S5 Sportback

GS Series

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.9 sec

13.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the GS 350 AWD 6-speed Auto V6 (21 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the S5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S5 Sportback

GS Series

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the GS Series:

 

S5 Sportback

GS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

110 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the GS Series (245/40R18 vs. 235/45R18). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GS Series (265/30R20 vs. 235/40R19).

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 GS 300’s standard 50 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the GS Series F Sport’s 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the GS 300. The S5 Sportback’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the GS Series.

Suspension and Handling

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .95 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the GS 350 (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

The S5 Sportback is 5 inches shorter than the GS Series, 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 GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S5 Sportback’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

A Service Interval Display is standard on the S5 Sportback to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the GS Series.

Ergonomics

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 GS Series’ 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 GS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Lexus GS Series 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 GS Series only retains 40.38% to 44.69%.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Lexus GS Series by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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