2019 Volkswagen GTI vs. 2019 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the GTI and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen GTI is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

GTI

A5 Sportback

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

108/102 lbs.

431/395 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

220

236

Chest Compression

.4 inches

1 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

305/150 lbs.

324/341 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Volkswagen GTI is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

GTI

A5 Sportback

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

247

333

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

47 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The GTI comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The A5 Sportback’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GTI’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen GTI higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi A5 Sportback (5). This means the GTI produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A5 Sportback every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The GTI stops shorter than the A5 Sportback:

GTI

A5 Sportback

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The GTI 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

The GTI SE handles at .95 G’s, while the A5 Sportback Prestige pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the GTI’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the A5 Sportback’s (35.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen GTI may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the Audi A5 Sportback.

The GTI is 1 foot, 6.3 inches shorter than the A5 Sportback, making the GTI easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The GTI has .2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the A5 Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

The GTI has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A5 Sportback with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 21.8 cubic feet). The GTI has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the A5 Sportback with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 35 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the GTI has a standard rear wiper. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the GTI Rabbit/SE/Autobahn has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Recommendations

The GTI was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The A5 Sportback has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the GTI as their 2015 Car of the Year. The A5 Sportback has never been chosen.

The GTI was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 5 of the last 12 years. The A5 Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The GTI was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2010 Car of the Year. The A5 Sportback has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Golf/GTI outsold the Audi A5/S5 by 63% during 2018.

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

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