The A5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The A5 has standard Pre Sense City, 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 124 Spider doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The A5 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The A5 Prestige’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The A5 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 124 Spider only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The A5 offers an optional Audi Connect CARE, 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 124 Spider 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 A5 and the 124 Spider have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi A5 weighs 1033 to 1554 pounds more than the Fiat 124 Spider. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
The A5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 124 Spider’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The camshafts in the A5’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The 124 Spider’s camshaft is driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the 124 Spider’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 26th in initial quality. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 32nd.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 26th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Fiat is ranked 28th.
The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 92 more horsepower (252 vs. 160) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the 124 Spider’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 88 more horsepower (252 vs. 164) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the 124 Spider Abarth’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A5’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 124 Spider doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The A5 has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 124 Spider (15.3 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the A5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 124 Spider:
The A5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the 124 Spider are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the 124 Spider (245/40R18 vs. 195/50R16). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 124 Spider (255/35R19 vs. 205/45R17).
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 124 Spider Classica’s standard 50 series tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 124 Spider Classica. The A5’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.
The Audi A5’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 124 Spider only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
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 124 Spider’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The A5 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A5 Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 18 inches longer than on the 124 Spider (108.9 inches vs. 90.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than on the 124 Spider.
For excellent aerodynamics, the A5 has standard flush composite headlights. The 124 Spider has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The A5 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 124 Spider can only carry 2.
The A5 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 124 Spider (7.2 vs. 4.9 cubic feet).
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A5’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
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 124 Spider 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, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The 124 Spider 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 124 Spider doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The A5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The 124 Spider’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.
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 124 Spider Classica’s standard 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 124 Spider doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
The A5 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 124 Spider has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Lusso/Abarth.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 has standard extendable sun visors. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The A5’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 124 Spider’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.
The A5’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Fiat offers heated mirrors for extra charge, but only on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.
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 124 Spider’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
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 124 Spider 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 124 Spider 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 124 Spider doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the A5’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a filtration system.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A5 Prestige offers an optional 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 124 Spider doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Audi A5/S5 outsold the Fiat 124 Spider by over three to one during the 2017 model year.