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The Mustang’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Mustang and the S5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Mustang 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 11 times as many Ford dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.
The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The S5 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S5 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.
The Mustang GT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 106 more horsepower (460 vs. 354) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The Mustang BULLITT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 126 more horsepower (480 vs. 354) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The S5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Mustang 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 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
The Mustang offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.
A 10-speed automatic is available on the Ford Mustang, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the S5.
The Mustang Manual’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 doesn’t offer launch control.
For better stopping power the Mustang GT’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:
Mustang GT opt.
For better traction, the Mustang Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S5 (265/35R20 vs. 255/35R19).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang Premium offers optional 20-inch wheels. The S5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the S5.
The Mustang GT Premium Fastback handles at .96 G’s, while the S5 Prestige Coupe pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the Mustang’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the S5’s (36.5 feet vs. 37.7 feet).
The Ford Mustang may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Audi S5.
The front grille of the Mustang (except Performance Pack) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Mustang uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Mustang Fastback has 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.
The Mustang Convertible has 3.8 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more front shoulder room than the S5 Cabriolet.
The Mustang Fastback has a much larger trunk than the S5 Coupe (13.5 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).
The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (11.4 vs. 7.2 cubic feet). The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top up (11.4 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).
The Mustang has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The S5 has no towing capacity.
The Mustang Auto offers a 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 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The S5 does not have an oil pressure gauge.
On a hot day the Mustang’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the S5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
The Ford Mustang outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by almost four to one during 2017.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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