2020 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2020 Subaru Legacy

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The S5 Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Legacy doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The S5 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 Legacy 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the S5 Sportback’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Legacy doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The S5 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 Legacy only offers a rear monitor.

Compared to metal, the S5 Sportback’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Legacy has a metal gas tank.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Legacy 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.

Warranty

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The S5 Sportback comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Legacy’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Legacy’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

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.

Engine

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The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 167 more horsepower (349 vs. 182) and 193 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 89 more horsepower (349 vs. 260) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 277) than the Legacy XT’s standard 2.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the Subaru Legacy:

S5 Sportback

Legacy 2.5i

Legacy XT

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

8.1 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

16.2 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

87.5 MPH

94.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

Regenerative brakes improve the S5 Sportback’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Legacy doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S5 Sportback

Legacy

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The S5 Sportback stops much shorter than the Legacy:

S5 Sportback

Legacy

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Legacy (245/40R18 vs. 225/55R17). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (265/30R20 vs. 225/55R17).

The S5 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 Legacy Base/Premium’s standard 55 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Legacy Base/Premium. The S5 Sportback’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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The S5 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 Legacy’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The S5 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 Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Legacy (111.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The S5 Sportback’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Legacy’s (58.7% to 41.3%). This gives the S5 Sportback more stable handling and braking.

The S5 Sportback Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the Legacy Touring XT pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S5 Sportback Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.3 seconds quicker than the Legacy Sport (25 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The S5 Sportback is 3.3 inches shorter than the Legacy, making the S5 Sportback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S5 Sportback’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Legacy doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The S5 Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Legacy 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.

Ergonomics

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The S5 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 Legacy doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the S5 Sportback and the Legacy have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S5 Sportback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Legacy prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The S5 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 Legacy’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 S5 Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Legacy can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S5 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 Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S5 Sportback to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Legacy 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 S5 Sportback Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Legacy doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The S5 Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.

The S5 Sportback has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Legacy.

The S5 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 Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Legacy offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the S5 Sportback has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Legacy doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The S5 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 Legacy doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The Audi S5 comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Subaru Legacy isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

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