2019 Porsche 718 Boxster vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 718 Boxster 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 seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 718 Boxster has a standard 175-amp alternator. The S5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 718 Boxster has a standard 450-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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 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 Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The 718 Boxster GTS’ standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (365 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The 718 Boxster GTS’ optional 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (365 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 718 Boxster is faster than the Audi S5 (automatics tested):

 

Boxster

Boxster S

S5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

n/a

1.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

3.7 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.5 sec

n/a

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.9 sec

n/a

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

n/a

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

11.9 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

112 MPH

n/a

107 MPH

Top Speed

170 MPH

n/a

155 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The S5 doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 718 Boxster Auto with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the S5 Cabriolet (22 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

The 718 Boxster’s optional fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (16.9 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

The 718 Boxster offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Boxster offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The S5 doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Boxster PDK’s optional 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

The 718 Boxster offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S5 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Boxster stops shorter than the S5:

 

718 Boxster

S5

 

70 to 0 MPH

143 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the 718 Boxster has larger standard rear tires than the S5 (265/45R18 vs. 245/40R18). The 718 Boxster’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S5 (305/30R20 vs. 265/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the 718 Boxster’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the S5’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche 718 Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1100 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The 718 Boxster is 1 foot shorter than the S5, making the 718 Boxster easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The 718 Boxster has a much larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (9.7 vs. 7.2 cubic feet). The 718 Boxster has a larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top up (9.7 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Audi is ranked third.

Ergonomics

The 718 Boxster’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 718 Boxster’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.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the 718 Boxster has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 718 Boxster offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 718 Boxster offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 718 Boxster owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 718 Boxster will cost $5250 to $6985 less than the S5 over a five-year period.

The 718 Boxster will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Boxster will retain 56.74% of its original price after five years, while the S5 only retains 48.53% to 51.66%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Porsche 718 Boxster will be $7971 to $17685 less than for the Audi S5.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 718 Boxster, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Boxster was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 14 years. The S5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Boxster was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 10 of the last 19 years. The S5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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