2020 Porsche 718 Boxster vs. 2020 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the 718 Boxster 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 seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 718 Boxster has a standard 175-amp alternator. The S5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 718 Boxster has a standard 450-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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

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

Engine

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The 718 Spyder’s standard 4.0 GT3 6-cylinder produces 65 more horsepower (414 vs. 349) than the S5’s 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche 718 Boxster is faster than the Audi S5 (automatics tested):

718 Boxster 2.0

718 Boxster S

S5

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

n/a

1.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

3.7 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.5 sec

n/a

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.9 sec

n/a

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5 sec

n/a

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.5 sec

11.9 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

112 MPH

n/a

107 MPH

Top Speed

170 MPH

n/a

155 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The S5 doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 718 Boxster gets better fuel mileage than the S5 Cabriolet:

MPG

718 Boxster

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S5 Cabriolet

Auto

3.0 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 718 Boxster Spyder’s fuel efficiency. The S5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The 718 Boxster’s optional fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S5 (16.9 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Transmission

© 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 2020/10/21

The 718 Boxster offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The S5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Boxster offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (PDK). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, a sequential manual gearbox is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The S5 doesn’t offer a sequential manual gearbox.

The 718 Boxster PDK’s optional 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 S5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 718 Boxster’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S5:

Boxster opt.

Spyder

Spyder opt.

S5

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

15 inches

15.4 inches

13 inches

The 718 Boxster offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S5 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Boxster stops shorter than the S5:

718 Boxster

S5

70 to 0 MPH

143 feet

150 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the 718 Boxster has larger standard rear tires than the S5 (265/45R18 vs. 245/40R18). The 718 Boxster’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S5 (305/30R20 vs. 265/30R20).

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the 718 Boxster’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the S5’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The 718 Spyder’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the S5’s (37.5 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2020/10/21

The Porsche 718 Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 950 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The 718 Boxster is 1 foot shorter than the S5, making the 718 Boxster easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The 718 Boxster has a much larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top down (9.7 vs. 7.3 cubic feet). The 718 Boxster has a larger trunk than the S5 Cabriolet with its top up (9.7 vs. 9.3 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 36% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The 718 Boxster’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 718 Boxster’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.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the 718 Boxster has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The S5 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 718 Boxster offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/21

Insurance will cost less for the 718 Boxster owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 718 Boxster will cost $4840 to $8095 less than the S5 over a five-year period.

The 718 Boxster will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Boxster will retain 57.09% to 60.51% 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 Porsche 718 Boxster will be $6856 to $9103 less than for the Audi S5.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 718 Boxster, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Boxster was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 16 years. The S5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Boxster was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 10 of the last 20 years. The S5 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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