2020 Lexus RC vs. 2020 Audi S5

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 2020/06/06

The RC’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the RC and the S5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the RC has a standard 580-amp battery. The S5’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 14th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RC has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RC F Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

RC F Sport

S5

Front Rotors

14 inches

13.8 inches

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the S5’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the S5’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Lexus RC amounts to more than styling. The RC offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the S5 (.31 to .32). A more efficient exterior helps the RC go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the RC get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The RC has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 (83.8 vs. 81).

The RC has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 4.1 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 24% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The RC has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The RC’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC’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 S5 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The RC’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the S5’s power windows.

Model Availability

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The RC is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RC will cost $3325 less than the S5 over a five-year period.

The RC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RC will retain 48.24% to 49.88% of its original price after five years, while the S5 only retains 41.89% to 46.48%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RC will be $14584 to $15612 less than for the Audi S5.

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