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  • The Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line is $50,175
  • The closest Audi A5 is the 45 Premium Plus at $51,800
  • The Arteon offers better performance, luxury features, and space than the A5

It’s no secret that Audi and Volkswagen are two branches of the same tree. And as Volkswagen’s luxury arm, it’s expected that Audi models punch above their more pedestrian cousins. But comparing the Volkswagen Arteon to the Audi A5 proves that the more humble nameplate hides a legitimate luxury contender.

Feature comparison: Audi A5 Prestige Plus vs. Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line

Volkswagen ArteonAudi A5
Heated front seatsYesYes
Heated Rear SeatsYesNo
Ventilated Front SeatsIncluded$800
3-Zone Climate ControlIncludedIncluded
Premium AudioHarman KardonBang & Olufsen

Audi A5 is the Audi version of the Arteon

Audi A5
2024 Audi A5 | Audi

While the top-spec Volkswagen Arteon costs over $50,000, the base Audi A5 is cheaper at $45,500. For that scratch, the A5 comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Adaptive cruise with traffic jam assist. But you’ll be lacking a lot of the premium features that come with the fully-loaded Arteon.

For the same $50,000 (or $51,800, to be precise), you can have the Audi A5 Premium Plus or the Arteon SEL Premium R-Line. In the Audi, that nets you a Bang & Olufsen sound system to compete with the VW’s Harman Kardon unit. Plus, you’ll get a wireless charging pad and teh top-view camera system. Importantly, the Arteon also includes these features for the same money, but the comparison tips toward the Volkswagen once you go deeper.

A fully-loaded Volkswagen Arteon is $50,000

A rear view of the 2023 Volkswagen Arteon
2023 Volkswagen Arteon | Volkswagen

For just a shade over $50,000, you can bring home the 2024 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line. This fully-loaded version of the Arteon pulls no punches, delivering high-class tech and luxury all wrapped in one stunning package.

A quick look over the order sheet shows us a Harman Kardon premium audio system with a subwoofer. The top-spec Arteon also comes with 20-inch wheels, though that may not be an upgrade depending on who you ask. Either way, the adaptive suspension should help sort out any harshness from those gargantuan rollers. And with VW 4Motion, you’ll have all-wheel drive with torque-vectoring differentials to blend control and maneuverability.

The VW Arteon is faster than the Audi A5

The 2024 Audi A5 Sportback, the Audi version of the VW Arteon
2023 Audi A5 | Audi

Even on performance, the humble Volkswagen Arteon outclasses the Audi A5. Even the most powerful A5 only offers 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque from a four-cylinder turbo. The Arteon outsrips the A5 with a 2.0-liter turbo turned up to 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That sends the Volkswagen from zero to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. versus 4.8 ticks in the Audi, despite the A5 weighing 200 pounds less.

Volkswagen ArteonAudi A5
Engine2.0-liter 4-cyl turbo2.0-liter 4-cyl turbo
Torque295 lb. ft.273 lb. ft.
All-wheel driveYesYes
Fuel Economy22 city/31 hwy24 city/32 hwy

The Volkswagen Arteon is a better overall value

In addition to the overhead view camera, the Volkswagen Arteon and Audi A5 both come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. But only the Arteon includes heated and ventilated seats as standard. Even after spending $51,000 on the A5, you’ll need another $800 to get those cooled front chairs. And in the Arteon, heated outboard rear seats will keep passengers enveloped in luxury as well.

Even if you take the top-spec Audi A5 Prestige, ventilated seats are an optional extra. However, both the Audi and Volkswagen get three-zone climate control, so there’s that.

VW Arteon vs Audi A5: Interior space

No matter which trim level you choose, the 2024 Audi A5 has less interior space than the Volkswagen Arteon. The VW offers 27.2 cubic feet of cargo room and 40.2 inches of rear leg room. The A5 has just 21.8 cubes of cargo room and 35.1 inches of rear seat legroom. Meanwhile, the front legroom is nearly identical, and the Audi does have a one-inch advantage in shoulder room up front.

Get over the badge and choose the Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen Arteon
2023 Volkswagen Arteon | Volkswagen

It may be in its last year of production, but that doesn’t matter. The Volkswagen Arteon has long been an underappreciated luxury sedan, even with the wrong badge on the grille. For the same cash, it offers more luxury, space, and performance than the comparable Audi A5. And with nearly identical tech and style, choosing an A5 over an Arteon is more about image than substance.

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