The ELR’s optional front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The A5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the Cadillac ELR’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Audi A5 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.
The ELR offers optional Active Emergency Braking System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The A5 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The ELR’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The A5 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The ELR has standard Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The A5 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
To help make backing safer, the ELR’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The ELR has standard OnStar ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A5 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the ELR and the A5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the ELR 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Cadillac pays for scheduled maintenance on the ELR for 4 years and 50,000 miles. Cadillac will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A5.
There are almost 6 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ELR’s warranty.
The A5’s redline is at 6300 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The ELR has a 4800 RPM redline.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 14th in reliability. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 23rd.
The ELR’s 1.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 142 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 258) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the ELR gets better fuel mileage on its electric motor alone than the A5 Coupe Auto (85 city/80 hwy MPGe vs. 20 city/29 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the ELR gets better fuel mileage running its gasoline engine than the A5 Coupe Auto (31 city/35 hwy vs. 20 city/29 hwy).
The ELR can drive on battery power alone for up to 37 miles. The A5 must run its internal combustion engine to move.
Regenerative brakes improve the ELR’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the ELR’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The ELR stops shorter than the A5:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ELR has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the A5. The A5’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The ELR has a standard 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 A5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The design of the Cadillac ELR amounts to more than styling. The ELR has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .305 Cd. That is lower than the A5 (.32 to .34). A more efficient exterior helps the ELR go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the ELR get better fuel mileage.
The front grille of the ELR uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The ELR uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The ELR has .9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the A5 Coupe.
The ELR 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 A5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The ELR’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
On a hot day the ELR’s driver can lower all the windows using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
Keyless Access standard on the ELR allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A5’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the ELR detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The A5 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
When the ELR is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A5’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Standard Cue for the ELR allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The A5 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.