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S5 vs A4 - my first impressions

 
Old 05-12-2019, 07:39 PM
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Default S5 vs A4 - my first impressions

Hello Audiworld! This is my first post.

I recently traded in my 2017 A4 Progressiv with Sport package and took delivery of a 2019 S5 SB in florett silver. Here are my impressions of the differences between the two for those debating which one to get.


1) Appearance: the S5 SB is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. The swooping lines, wide stance, low profile and quad tailpipes mean I canít stop looking at the thing every time I walk away. I got bored of the design and colour (monsoon grey) of my A4 - while I may be in the honeymoon phase, I donít think I will get tired of it. I definitely get more looks from pedestrians as I pass by.


2) Turbo lag: the amount of turbo lag in the S5, especially in comfort mode, is much more pronounced than the A4. In fact, the A4 is much better in city traffic than the S5 and smoother off the line at lower speeds. Switching to dynamic mode cures the problem, but say goodbye to decent gas mileage when you do.

3) Exhaust note: the A4ís big drawback was the anemic exhaust note, especially at start up. Nothing beats the rumble of a cold start that the S5 produces, and once you get to 4,000 RPM and above, the sound is intoxicating. The A4 had almost an electric whirr under full throttle. While plenty fast, it came with no emotion.

4) New car smell: the S5 had a much worse smell than the A4 did when new. Iím not sure if it is the Napa leather, but the car has a wet dog/peppery smell...I doubt itís the air filter as it is brand new, but just an observation. Anyone else feel the same?

5) Handling: the S5 feels much heavier than the A4, especially around corners and darting in and out of traffic. The S5 does feel more stable and planted at higher speeds, but I definitely get the sense of more body roll than I did with the A4 (granted, it had sport suspension).

6) Seats - the S5 seats are the most comfortable seats I have ever had, plus they look fantastic. They cradle you extremely well, and the massage function is a daily use.

7) Interior: the interior is exactly the same, although my A4 didnít have the virtual cockpit nor the carbon inlays. What the A4 did have was perforated sections of the steering wheel and the gear shifter, which I wish the S5 had. The alcantara leather in the doors gets lots of oohs and aaahs from friends and family, and everyone is amazed at the amount of cargo room when I pop the trunk.

I am very satisfied with my S5 - it makes me ďfeelĒ better and yeah, perhaps a bit more prestigious. Itís a great car - but for those debating an S5 or A4/A5, is it really worth the extra $25k? Probably not.

Just my $0.02. Iím excited to be a part of this forum!

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Old 05-12-2019, 08:00 PM
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Turbo lag: the amount of turbo lag in the S5, especially in comfort mode, is much more pronounced than the A4. In fact, the A4 is much better in city traffic than the S5 and smoother off the line at lower speeds. Switching to dynamic mode cures the problem, but say goodbye to decent gas mileage when you do.

Handling: the S5 feels much heavier than the A4, especially around corners and darting in and out of traffic.



+1.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:31 AM
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The price difference between the S5 and A5 must be much larger in Canada because it was only $11k in the US when I configured the two as identically as possible. I would also have difficulty justifying $25k.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by deecha1981 View Post

2) Turbo lag: the amount of turbo lag in the S5, especially in comfort mode, is much more pronounced than the A4. In fact, the A4 is much better in city traffic than the S5 and smoother off the line at lower speeds. Switching to dynamic mode cures the problem, but say goodbye to decent gas mileage when you do.
With the S5's hot V turbo design, the S5's engine can torque out at a very low rpm. So it is not turbo lag you are feeling, it is the transmission lagging, there are many thread on this issue, usually, the lag get better after a few thousand miles.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JD15 View Post
The price difference between the S5 and A5 must be much larger in Canada because it was only $11k in the US when I configured the two as identically as possible. I would also have difficulty justifying $25k.
I didn't compared all the details but the price difference is $10k for the Technik (the highest trim).
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:59 AM
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It looks great in silver, I hope you post more pics because we don't see too many of those.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by deecha1981 View Post
Hello Audiworld! This is my first post.
2) Turbo lag: the amount of turbo lag in the S5, especially in comfort mode, is much more pronounced than the A4. In fact, the A4 is much better in city traffic than the S5 and smoother off the line at lower speeds. Switching to dynamic mode cures the problem, but say goodbye to decent gas mileage when you do.
As others have said - it's not turbo lag that you are feeling. It's the way the transmission is tuned to respond in Comfort mode, up-shifting very early and keeping the revs low. As you already noticed, this goes away when you switch to sport mode which holds gears longer and revs higher into the power band.

2 points - first, some of that transmission lag will go away as the car breaks in. It will always be there but it will become less pronounced. Second, don't over estimate the drop in gas mileage when driving in sport mode. In my experience it's almost negligible, especially when you convert "miles per gallon" into "gallons per mile" which is how fuel efficiency should really be measured. Convert that to actual dollars spent at the pump and you are talking about the price of a cup of coffee per week.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by njspeedfreak View Post
As others have said - it's not turbo lag that you are feeling. It's the way the transmission is tuned to respond in Comfort mode, up-shifting very early and keeping the revs low. As you already noticed, this goes away when you switch to sport mode which holds gears longer and revs higher into the power band.
Except that's exactly how you get rid of turbo lag, by keeping the revs higher, closer to where the turbo kicks in. If the A4 2.0T is more responsive at the same low revs, then the issue is turbo lag.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by belzebutt View Post
Except that's exactly how you get rid of turbo lag, by keeping the revs higher, closer to where the turbo kicks in. If the A4 2.0T is more responsive at the same low revs, then the issue is turbo lag.
That's true - but it's still not the turbo that is causing the lag. It spins up fast and produces plenty of boost and lots of torque at very low RPM. What you are noticing in 'D' mode is just the transmission mapped for fuel savings rather than acceleration. You would feel the exact same impact on a normally aspirated car. The reason the A4 is more responsive is that it uses a dual clutch transmission that is mapped very differently than the ZF 8 speed in the S5. If you really want to measure turbo lag, you need to monitor air pressures on the intake manifold and look for an actual delay between throttle position and boost pressure.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:02 AM
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There is nearly no turbo lag in the S5. Anyone calling delay in acceleration due to throttle mapping turbo lag does not understand how turbo lag works...

You cant remove turbo lag, it is always there in a given rev range - but you can remove the soft throttle of the S5 by switching to S-dynamic.
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