2019 Audi S5 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The S5 has standard Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Corvette doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

The S5 Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S5 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Corvette only offers a rear monitor.

The S5’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corvette doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the S5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Corvette doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S5 and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Corvette has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

The S5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Corvette’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the S5 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Corvette.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S5’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 Corvette 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 higher (5 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Corvette (1). This means the S5 produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Corvette every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi S5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Corvette.

All-wheel drive, available in the S5, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Chevrolet Corvette is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S5’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Corvette:

 

S5

Corvette

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the S5 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5’s wheelbase is longer than on the Corvette:

 

S5

Corvette

Coupe

108.8 inches

106.7 inches

Convertible

108.9 inches

106.7 inches

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S5 Prestige Coupe is quieter than the Corvette ZR1 Coupe:

 

S5

Corvette

At idle

39 dB

57 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

99 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space

The S5 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Corvette can only carry 2.

The S5 Coupe has 32 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corvette (84 vs. 52).

The S5 Coupe has 1.1 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the Corvette Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the S5 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 Corvette can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S5’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 Corvette’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S5 Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The S5’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold winter days, the S5’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Corvette doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S5 Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Corvette doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The S5 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 Corvette doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Chevrolet Corvette isn’t available as a four-door.

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Chevrolet Corvette by 36% during the 2018 model year.

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

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