The Maxima Platinum’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Maxima and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A5 Sportback was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A5 Sportback. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A5 Sportback ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Maxima has a 150-amp alternator. The A5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima third among large cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The A5 Sportback isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 26th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.
The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 48 more horsepower (300 vs. 252) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Maxima has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A5 Sportback (18 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Nissan Maxima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Audi A5 Sportback.
The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Maxima has 3.7 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the A5 Sportback.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The A5 Sportback’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.
The Maxima 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 Sportback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Maxima Platinum’s standard 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 A5 Sportback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Maxima’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 A5 Sportback does not have an oil pressure gauge.
If the front windows are left open on the Maxima the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Maxima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the A5 Sportback’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”
A power rear sunshade is standard in the Maxima Platinum to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The Nissan Maxima outsold the Audi A5/S5 by over three to one during 2017.