2019 Audi S5 vs. 2020 Nissan GT-R

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S5 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 Nissan GT-R doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The S5’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 GT-R doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 GT-R 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 GT-R 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 Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The GT-R 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 GT-R 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.

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 GT-R 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 GT-R doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The S5 has a standard Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The GT-R doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S5 and the GT-R have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GT-R 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 GT-R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the GT-R’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S5 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the GT-R (21 city/30 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

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

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi S5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the GT-R.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GT-R (265/30R20 vs. 255/40R20).

The S5’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GT-R’s 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

Passenger Space

The S5 Coupe has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GT-R (84 vs. 79).

The S5 Coupe has .9 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear headroom, 6.3 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the GT-R.

Cargo Capacity

The S5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the GT-R (11.6 vs. 8.8 cubic feet).

The S5’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GT-R doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

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

Servicing Ease

The S5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The GT-R uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the S5, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The GT-R doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GT-R has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 GT-R 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 GT-R’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 GT-R 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 GT-R doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

The S5’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GT-R’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

When the S5 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The GT-R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S5 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The GT-R has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S5 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The GT-R doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the S5 and the GT-R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the S5 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The GT-R doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi S5 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GT-R doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

The Audi A5/S5/RS 5 outsold the Nissan GT-R by over 48 to one during 2018.

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

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