2019 Infiniti Q50 vs. 2018 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q50 (except 2.0t) offers optional Back-up Collision Intervention which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Q50 and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Q50 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The A5 Sportback’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 10,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the Q50 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A5 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 A5 Sportback ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q50 has larger alternators than the A5 Sportback:

 

Q50

A5 Sportback

Standard Alternator

150 amps

110 amps

Optional Alternator

170 amps

150 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Q50 3.0t’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 48 more horsepower (300 vs. 252) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q50 Red Sport 400’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 148 more horsepower (400 vs. 252) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Q50 Red Sport 400 is faster than the Audi A5 Sportback:

 

Q50

A5

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.5 sec

14 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

112 MPH

100 MPH

Top Speed

153 MPH

129 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Q50 has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 Sportback (20 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Q50 Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A5 Sportback:

 

Q50 Sport

A5 Sportback

Front Rotors

14 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q50 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q50 Sport’s optional drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Q50’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The Q50 AWD’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (37.4 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Passenger Space

The Q50 has .8 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Q50 offers cargo security. The A5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 5% lower rating, Audi is ranked third.

Ergonomics

The Q50 (except 2.0t) 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 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Q50 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the Q50 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Q50’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the A5 Sportback’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Q50 Sport offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Model Availability

The Q50 is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

The Q50 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q50 will retain 49.41% to 51.13% of its original price after five years, while the A5 Sportback only retains 44.13% to 47.54%.

Recommendations

The Infiniti Q50 outsold the Audi A5/S5 by almost two to one during 2017.

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

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