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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Maxima’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 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Maxima and the S5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The S5 Sportback has not been fully tested, yet.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S5 Sportback. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S5 Sportback ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Maxima has a 150-amp alternator. The S5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The S5 Sportback isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Audi.
On the EPA test cycle the Maxima CVT gets better fuel mileage than the S5 Sportback (20 city/30 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).
The Maxima has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 Sportback (18 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Maxima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a CVT.
The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Audi S5 Sportback.
The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Maxima has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 3.7 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the S5 Sportback.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The S5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.
The Maxima 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 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Maxima Platinum’s standard 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 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Maxima’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 Sportback does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The Maxima’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The S5 Sportback’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
A power rear sunshade is standard in the Maxima Platinum to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $11596 to $13813 less than for the Audi S5 Sportback.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S5 Sportback isn’t in the top three.
The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by 52% during 2019.
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