2019 Porsche Panamera vs. 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Panamera helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Panamera and the RS 5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability

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 Panamera GTS’ standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 9 more horsepower (453 vs. 444) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (457 vs. 443) than the RS 5 Sportback’s 2.9 turbo V6. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid’s standard 2.9 turbo V6 hybrid produces 18 more horsepower (462 vs. 444) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 443) than the RS 5 Sportback’s 2.9 turbo V6. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid ’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 236 more horsepower (680 vs. 444) and 183 lbs.-ft. more torque (626 vs. 443) than the RS 5 Sportback’s 2.9 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the RS 5 Sportback (48 city/51 hwy vs. 17 city/26 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera 4S 4 Auto 2.9 twin turbo V6 gets better fuel mileage than the RS 5 Sportback (21 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/26 hwy).

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 31 miles. The RS 5 Sportback must run its internal combustion engine to move.

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Panamera Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Panamera’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Panamera E Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 5 Sportback (21.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 8.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RS 5 Sportback (23.7 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

The Panamera offers a standard 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 RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Panamera’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 RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Panamera’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RS 5 Sportback:

 

Panamera

RS 5 Sportback

RS 5 Sportback

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

14.8 inches

15.7 inches

Rear Rotors

16.1 inches

13 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the RS 5 Sportback (295/40R19 vs. 265/35R19). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the RS 5 Sportback (315/35R20 vs. 275/30R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RS 5 Sportback’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Panamera 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 RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The Panamera offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RS 5 Sportback.

The Panamera offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The RS 5 Sportback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Panamera has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Panamera’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the RS 5 Sportback (116.1 inches vs. 111.2 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 10.8 inches longer than on the RS 5 Sportback (122 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the RS 5 Sportback.

Chassis

The front grille of the Panamera uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Panamera offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The RS 5 Sportback’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Panamera has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the RS 5 Sportback with its rear seat folded (47.3 vs. 35 cubic feet).

The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the RS 5 Sportback with its rear seat folded (49 vs. 35 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Panamera’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RS 5 Sportback, the Panamera offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Panamera’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Panamera’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 RS 5 Sportback does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Panamera’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the RS 5 Sportback’s power windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Panamera has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Panamera also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the Panamera to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the Panamera and the RS 5 Sportback have standard heated front seats. The Panamera also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RS 5 Sportback.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Panamera’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Panamera offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Porsche Panamera comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi RS 5 Sportback isn’t available as a station wagon.

The Panamera is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The RS 5 Sportback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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