2019 Audi S5 vs. 2019 Lexus RC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 RC 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. But it costs extra on the RC.

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 RC 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 and the RC 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, 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’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RC’s (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’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Engine

The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 108 more horsepower (349 vs. 241) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the RC 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 89 more horsepower (349 vs. 260) and 133 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 236) than the RC 300 AWD’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The S5’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 38 more horsepower (349 vs. 311) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the RC 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

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

 

S5

RC

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.9 sec

14.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.6 sec

6.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.8 sec

3.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.5 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

100 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

146 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S5 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the RC 350 AWD 6-speed Auto 3.5 V6 (311 HP) (21 city/30 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S5

RC

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The S5 stops much shorter than the RC:

 

S5

RC

 

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

The S5’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 RC’s standard 45 series tires. The S5’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the RC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5 Coupe’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the RC (108.8 inches vs. 107.5 inches).

The S5 Prestige Coupe handles at .94 G’s, while the RC 350 pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The S5 Coupe has .6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 5.4 inches more rear legroom than the RC.

Cargo Capacity

The S5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the RC (11.6 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

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 RC doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The S5 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 RC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 RC’s standard 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 RC doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 RC doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Lexus RC by almost six to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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