2019 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2019 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 IS Series 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 IS 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 IS 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 IS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the S5 Sportback and the IS 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.

Warranty

The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the IS 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 IS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the IS 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 IS 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 89 more horsepower (349 vs. 260) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 236) than the IS 300 AWD’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. 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 IS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the IS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

S5 Sportback

IS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

89.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S5 Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the IS 350 AWD 6-speed Auto 3.5 V6 (311 HP) (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 IS 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 IS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S5 Sportback

IS Series

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the IS Series:

 

S5 Sportback

IS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the IS Series (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R17). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the IS Series (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 IS Series’ standard 45 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the IS Series’ optional 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 IS Series. The S5 Sportback’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the IS Series.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 Sportback is 2.1 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than on the IS Series.

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .95 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the IS Series (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the S5 Sportback Prestige is quieter than the IS 350 F Sport (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The S5 Sportback has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

The S5 Sportback 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 IS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the S5 Sportback and the IS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S5 Sportback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The IS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S5 Sportback has standard extendable sun visors. The IS Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The S5 Sportback has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the IS Series. 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 IS Series.

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 IS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Lexus IS 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 IS Series only retains 47.56% to 50.51%.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Lexus IS Series by 16% during the 2018 model year.

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

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