2019 Lexus GS Series vs. 2019 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lexus GS Series are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Audi A5 Sportback has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GS Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GS Series and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GS Series 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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GS Series third among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A5 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 Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

The GS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 63 more horsepower (311 vs. 248) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The GS Series has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 Sportback (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus GS Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A5 Sportback.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

GS Series F Sport

A5 Sportback

Front Rotors

14 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

The GS Series has a standard 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 Sportback; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the GS Series’ turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The GS Series AWD’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (35.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Lexus GS Series amounts to more than styling. The GS Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the A5 Sportback (.29) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GS Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The GS Series has 1 inch more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 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 GS Series offers cargo security. The A5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The GS Series 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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the A5 Sportback, the GS Series offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The GS Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The GS Series’ 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 Sportback does not have an oil pressure gauge.

If the windows are left open on the GS Series 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. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GS Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the GS Series 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.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the GS Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus GS Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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