2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 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.


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 111 more horsepower (460 vs. 349) 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 131 more horsepower (480 vs. 349) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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 ten-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.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mustang GT’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:


Mustang GT


Front Rotors

15 inches

13.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mustang GT’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S5 (305/30R19 vs. 265/30R20).

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 S5.

The Mustang’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.7% to 45.3%) than the S5’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the Mustang more stable handling and braking.

The Mustang BULLITT handles at .97 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.

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 S5 Coupe.

The Mustang Convertible has 3.8 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more front shoulder room than the S5 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

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 with its top down 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Mustang owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Mustang will cost $5370 less than the S5 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Mustang will be $15083 to $27759 less than for the Audi S5.


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 S5 isn’t in the top three.

The Mustang GT/Bullitt was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2019. The S5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Ford Mustang outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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