2019 Lexus RC vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RC’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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the RC and the S5 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S5 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the RC has a standard 580-amp battery. The S5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

The RC has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RC F Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

 

RC F Sport

S5

Front Rotors

14 inches

13.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the S5’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the S5’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Passenger Space

The RC has 4.1 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

Ergonomics

The RC 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 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The RC’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 S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC’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.

The RC’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the S5’s standard power 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 RC offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the RC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RC will cost $1200 to $5170 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 Lexus RC will be $16379 to $18573 less than for the Audi S5.

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

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