Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Lexus RC VS 2016 Audi A5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 Lexus RC

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VS

2016 Audi A5

Safety Comparison

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The RC’s optional pre-crash 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.

The RC offers optional Pre-Collision 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 RC’s optional 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.

To help make backing safer, the RC’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 RC has standard Safety Connect ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 RC 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 and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2016, a rating granted to only 77 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A5 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 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.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 9th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

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The RC 200t’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (241 vs. 220) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RC 300 AWD’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (255 vs. 220) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RC 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 86 more horsepower (306 vs. 220) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (277 vs. 258) than the A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the RC 200t gets better fuel mileage than the A5 Coupe Auto (22 city/32 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

The RC has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 (17.4 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the RC’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A5:

RC

RC F Sport

A5

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

14.1 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

The RC’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A5 are solid, not vented.

The RC stops shorter than the A5:

RC

A5

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The RC offers an available 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.

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the A5’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the A5’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Lexus RC amounts to more than styling. The RC offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .292 to .304 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the A5 (.32 to .34). 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 Comparison

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The RC has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 4.1 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the A5 Coupe.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The RC’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the A5’s standard power windows.

If the windows are left down on the RC the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle 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.

Smart Access standard on the RC 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.

When the RC with available tilt-down mirrors 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.

On extremely cold Winter days, the RC AWD’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A5 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RC offers an optional Dynamic Radar 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 A5 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Optional Enform App Suites for the RC allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet 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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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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 $540 to $6070 less than the A5 over a five-year period.

The RC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the RC will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the A5.

RC

A5

Five Year

44% to 45%

36% to 38%

Three Year

62% to 63%

51% to 54%

Recommendations Comparison

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The Lexus RC won three awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Audi A5 didn't win any award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RC third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A5 isn’t in the top three.

The Lexus RC Series outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by 14% during 2015.

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