2020 Audi S5 Sportback vs. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S5 Sportback have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Jetta GLI doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The S5 Sportback has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S5 Sportback Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Jetta GLI only offers a rear monitor.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Jetta GLI have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi S5 Sportback weighs 651 to 708 pounds more than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S5 Sportback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 185 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Jetta GLI has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S5 Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Jetta GLI’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

Reliability

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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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 13 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The S5 Sportback’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 121 more horsepower (349 vs. 228) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the Jetta GLI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi S5 Sportback is faster than the Volkswagen Jetta GLI (automatics tested):

S5 Sportback

Jetta GLI

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.9 sec

13.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.8 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

101 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The S5 Sportback has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Jetta GLI (15.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Audi S5 Sportback comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Jetta GLI.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi S5 Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Jetta GLI.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S5 Sportback

Jetta GLI

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The S5 Sportback stops shorter than the Jetta GLI:

S5 Sportback

Jetta GLI

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S5 Sportback has larger standard tires than the Jetta GLI (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R18). The S5 Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Jetta GLI (265/30R20 vs. 225/45R18).

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 Jetta GLI’s standard 45 series tires. The S5 Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Jetta GLI’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S5 Sportback offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Jetta GLI’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S5 Sportback’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the Jetta GLI (111.2 inches vs. 105.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S5 Sportback is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Jetta GLI.

Passenger Space

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The S5 Sportback has .2 inches more front legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Jetta GLI.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the S5 Sportback. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI 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.

The engine in the S5 Sportback is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Jetta GLI. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Jetta GLI can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S5 Sportback detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the S5 Sportback is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Jetta GLI’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S5 Sportback’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Jetta GLI has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Jetta GLI have standard heated front seats. The S5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Jetta GLI.

On extremely cold winter days, the S5 Sportback Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Jetta GLI.

Both the S5 Sportback and the Jetta GLI 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 Jetta GLI doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S5 Sportback (except Premium) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Jetta GLI doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The S5 Sportback (except Premium)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Jetta GLI’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Jetta GLI 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 Volkswagen Jetta GLI isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

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

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