2019 Cadillac CTS-V vs. 2019 Audi S5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS-V are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Audi S5 Sportback has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the CTS-V and S5 Sportback have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The CTS-V has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The S5 Sportback’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Both the CTS-V and the S5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, collision warning systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CTS-V 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5 Sportback. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 Sportback ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CTS-V’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The CTS-V’s 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 291 more horsepower (640 vs. 349) and 261 lbs.-ft. more torque (630 vs. 369) than the S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Cadillac CTS-V is faster than the Audi S5 Sportback:

 

CTS-V

S5 Sportback

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

1.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.6 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.3 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.5 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.8 sec

5.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2 sec

3.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.1 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.8 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

124 MPH

108 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CTS-V’s fuel efficiency. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CTS-V has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 Sportback (19 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The CTS-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The CTS-V’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CTS-V’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5 Sportback:

 

CTS-V

S5 Sportback

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.4 inches

13 inches

The CTS-V stops much shorter than the S5 Sportback:

 

CTS-V

S5 Sportback

 

70 to 0 MPH

148 feet

158 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

105 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CTS-V has larger tires than the S5 Sportback (F:265/35R19 & R:295/30R19 vs. 245/40R18).

The CTS-V’s 265/35R19 front and 295/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S5 Sportback’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CTS-V has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S5 Sportback.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CTS-V’s wheelbase is 3.4 inches longer than on the S5 Sportback (114.6 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

The CTS-V’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.7% to 47.3%) than the S5 Sportback’s (56% to 44%). This gives the CTS-V more stable handling and braking.

The CTS-V handles at 1.01 G’s, while the S5 Sportback Prestige pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CTS-V executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S5 Sportback Prestige (24.2 seconds @ .88 average G’s vs. 25 seconds @ .76 average G’s).

Chassis

The CTS-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the CTS-V is quieter than the S5 Sportback Prestige (67 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

The CTS-V has 1 inch more front headroom, 4.4 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Sportback.

Ergonomics

The CTS-V has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CTS-V’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the CTS-V to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The CTS-V has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the S5 Sportback.

The CTS-V offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The CTS V-Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The S5 Sportback has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CTS as their 2014 Car of the Year. The S5 Sportback has never been chosen.

The CTS-V was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The S5 Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

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

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