2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2018 Audi S5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Audi S5 Sportback has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The G80’s 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 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the G80 and the S5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G80 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S5 Sportback was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

The G80 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The S5 Sportback’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Genesis’ powertrain warranty covers the G80 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5 Sportback. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 Sportback ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G80 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Genesis will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the S5 Sportback.

There are over 16 percent more Genesis dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the G80’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the G80 has a standard 740-amp battery. The S5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S5 Sportback 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 Genesis vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The G80 3.3T Sport’s standard 3.3 turbo V6 produces 11 more horsepower (365 vs. 354) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (376 vs. 369) than the S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6. The G80 5.0’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 66 more horsepower (420 vs. 354) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 369) than the S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G80 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on G80 3.3T Sport for maximum performance). The S5 Sportback requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G80 has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 Sportback (20.3 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the G80 3.3T Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S5 Sportback:

 

G80 3.3T

S5

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the S5 Sportback (118.5 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S5 Sportback.

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the S5 Sportback’s (36.2 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The G80’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the S5 Sportback’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Genesis G80 amounts to more than styling. The G80 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the S5 Sportback (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G80 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the G80 5.0 is quieter than the S5 Sportback Prestige (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

The G80 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 4.4 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the G80 offers cargo security. The S5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The G80 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The G80 3.8 AWD offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the G80 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the G80 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Model Availability

The G80 is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Genesis G80, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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