2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2019 Audi A5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 A5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Mustang and the A5 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.

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Mustang 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 10 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.

Reliability

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 A5 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 A5 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.

Engine

The Mustang’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 62 more horsepower (310 vs. 248) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 273) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang GT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 212 more horsepower (460 vs. 248) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 273) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang BULLITT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 232 more horsepower (480 vs. 248) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 273) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8 is faster than the Audi A5 (automatics tested):

 

Mustang

A5

Zero to 60 MPH

4.2 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114.5 MPH

100.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 A5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A ten-speed automatic is available on the Ford Mustang, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mustang GT’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A5:

 

Mustang GT

A5

Front Rotors

15 inches

13.3 inches

The Mustang stops much shorter than the A5:

 

Mustang

A5

 

60 to 0 MPH

94 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mustang GT’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A5 (305/30R19 vs. 255/35R19).

The Mustang GT’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 A5’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang Premium offers optional 20-inch wheels. The A5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Mustang offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the A5; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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 A5.

The Mustang GT Fastback handles at 1.06 G’s, while the A5 Prestige Coupe pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Mustang GT Fastback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.7 seconds quicker than the A5 Prestige Coupe (23.6 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Mustang’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the A5’s (36.5 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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 A5 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 A5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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 A5 Coupe.

The Mustang Convertible has 3.8 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more front shoulder room than the A5 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

The Mustang Fastback has a much larger trunk than the A5 Coupe (13.5 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the A5 Cabriolet with its top down (11.4 vs. 7.2 cubic feet). The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk than the A5 Cabriolet with its top up (11.4 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 A5 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 A5 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 A5 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 A5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the A5 because it costs $369 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the A5, including $454 less for a water pump, $13 less for front brake pads, $485 less for a starter, $144 less for fuel injection, $283 less for a fuel pump and $305 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Mustang will be $5312 to $16055 less than for the Audi A5.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang third among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A5 isn’t in the top three.

The Mustang GT/Bullitt was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2019. The A5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Ford Mustang outsold the Audi A5/S5 by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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