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For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the 370Z (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R18). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 370Z (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).
The A5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 370Z’s standard 50 series front and 45 series rear tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 40 series front tires.
The A5 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 370Z’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Coupe’s wheelbase is 8.4 inches longer than on the 370Z (108.8 inches vs. 100.4 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 2 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 370Z.
The A5 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 370Z can only carry 2.
The A5 Coupe has 32.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 370Z (84 vs. 51.6).
The A5 Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more front shoulder room than the 370Z.
The A5 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 370Z (11.6 vs. 6.9 cubic feet).
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A5 easier. The A5’s trunk lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the 370Z’s liftover is 35.6 inches.
With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A5 offers cargo security. The 370Z’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the A5’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The 370Z doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The A5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 370Z uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 17th.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the A5 has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 370Z doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
When two different drivers share the A5, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, suspension setting and outside mirror angle. The 370Z doesn’t offer a memory system.
The A5 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 370Z doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The A5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 370Z has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The power windows standard on both the A5 and the 370Z have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 370Z prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The A5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 370Z’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 370Z doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A5 Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 370Z doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The A5’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO.
When the A5 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 370Z’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The A5 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 370Z has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 370Z doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 370Z doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The A5’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 370Z doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A5 Prestige has a standard Adaptive 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 370Z doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A5 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 370Z doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The A5 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 370Z doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Audi A5 comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan 370Z isn’t available as a convertible or four-door.
The A5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the A5 will retain 45.52% to 48.51% of its original price after five years, while the 370Z only retains 19.47% to 45.22%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A5 is less expensive to operate than the 370Z because typical repairs cost much less on the A5 than the 370Z, including $97 less for front struts, $29 less for a timing belt/chain and $436 less for a power steering pump.
The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Nissan 370Z by over seven to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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