2019 Porsche 911 vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 911 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 911 has a standard 204-amp alternator (245-amp - 911 S and 175 Turbo). The S5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’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 911’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (370 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The 911 S’ standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 71 more horsepower (420 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The 911 GTS’ standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 101 more horsepower (450 vs. 349) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (405 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The 911 GT3’s standard 4.0 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 151 more horsepower (500 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6. The 911 GT2 RS’ standard 3.8 turbo 6 cyl. produces 351 more horsepower (700 vs. 349) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 369) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the 911 S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the Audi S5 (automatics tested):

 

911

S5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.2 sec

1.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.2 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.2 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.8 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

2.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.6 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

121 MPH

107 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the 911 GT3 4.0 DOHC 6 cyl. is faster than the Audi S5 3.0 (automatics tested):

 

911

S5

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.9 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.9 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

11.1 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

127 MPH

107 MPH

Top Speed

197 MPH

197 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The S5 doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 911 RWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (16.9 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 911 GT2 RS’ optional fuel tank has 8.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (23.7 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

The 911 offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 911 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 911 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

For better stopping power the 911’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

 

911

S5

Front Rotors

16.1 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

15.4 inches

13 inches

The 911 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 911 stops much shorter than the S5:

 

911

S5

 

70 to 0 MPH

139 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the 911 has larger standard rear tires than the S5 (295/35R19 vs. 245/40R18). The 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS’ rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S5 (325/30R21 vs. 265/30R20).

The 911’s standard 295/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S5’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 911 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S5. The 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS’ 21-inch rear wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the S5.

Suspension and Handling

The 911 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The S5 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 911 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The 911 GT2 RS handles at 1.12 G’s, while the S5 Prestige Coupe pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 911 GT2 RS’ turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the S5’s (33.6 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The 911’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the S5’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 750 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The 911 is 7.6 inches shorter than the S5, making the 911 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the 911 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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 911’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 911’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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 911 offers an optional rear wiper. The S5 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 911 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 911 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Model Availability

The 911 is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

The 911 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 911 will retain 52.12% to 58.08% of its original price after five years, while the S5 only retains 48.53% to 51.66%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 911, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 911 first among midsize premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S5 isn’t in the top three.

The 911 Carrera GTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The S5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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