2019 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2019 Toyota Avalon

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 Toyota Avalon 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 Avalon 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 Avalon 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 Avalon doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Avalon 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Avalon has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The S5 Sportback comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Avalon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Avalon’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Engine

The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 48 more horsepower (349 vs. 301) and 102 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 267) than the Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the Toyota Avalon:

 

S5 Sportback

Avalon

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.9 sec

15.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.8 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

98 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 Avalon 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 Avalon 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 Avalon:

 

S5 Sportback

Avalon

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.06 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 Avalon are solid, not vented.

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the Avalon:

 

S5 Sportback

Avalon

 

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Avalon (245/40R18 vs. 215/55R17). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Avalon (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 Avalon XLE’s standard 55 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Avalon XSE/Touring’s 40 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the Avalon Touring pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Avalon Touring (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

The S5 Sportback is 8.8 inches shorter than the Avalon, making the S5 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 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 Avalon doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the S5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Avalon. 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 Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

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 Avalon doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Avalon 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 Avalon XLE/Touring’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 Avalon 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 Avalon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Toyota Avalon 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 Avalon only retains 47.15% to 48.78%.

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

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