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The A5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Outback doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The A5 Sportback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outback doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor.
Compared to metal, the A5 Sportback’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Outback has a metal gas tank.
Both the A5 Sportback and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The A5 Sportback comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The A5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Outback’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi A5 Sportback’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Outback’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
The battery on the A5 Sportback is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the A5 Sportback’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Outback’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 66 more horsepower (248 vs. 182) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 176) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the A5 Sportback Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Outback XT CVT turbo 4 cyl. (24 city/32 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the A5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Outback doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The A5 Sportback’s 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 Outback doesn’t offer launch control.
For better stopping power the A5 Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:
For better traction, the A5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Outback (245/40R18 vs. 225/65R17). The A5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outback (255/35R19 vs. 225/65R17).
The A5 Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback Base/Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The A5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Outback Onyx Edition XT/Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback Base/Premium. The A5 Sportback’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Onyx Edition XT/Limited/Touring.
The A5 Sportback 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 Outback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The A5 Sportback has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outback doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Outback (111.2 inches vs. 108.1 inches).
The A5 Sportback is 4 inches shorter than the Outback, making the A5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The A5 Sportback is 11.5 inches shorter in height than the Outback, making the A5 Sportback much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
The A5 Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outback uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 28% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.
The A5 Sportback Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outback doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the A5 Sportback and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A5 Sportback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.
The A5 Sportback’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the A5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Outback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The A5 Sportback’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Outback doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A5 Sportback Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Outback doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A5 Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.
The A5 Sportback has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.
Both the A5 Sportback and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A5 Sportback has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The A5 Sportback Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Outback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Subaru Outback isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or four door.
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