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I can give my thoughts until Reggie responds :)
Posted by: TwentyValveB5 (312) on 2015-07-23 16:35:58
In Reply to: How do you like the car compared to the RS4? Give us some details. posted by Day Trader on 2015-07-21 23:03:49

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Suspension: I'm a big fan of the DRC on the RS 4. So compliant for normal use, but so flat and controlled when pushing it toward the limit. Very confidence-inspiring even when there are surface changes or bumps mid-corner. It was a bummer to only have standard suspension on the RS 5, where it's too soft when really pushing it and too stiff over bad roads. Advantage RS 4.

Steering: Stock for stock, I like the steering on the RS 4 more than the RS 5. Adding the 034 X-brace to the RS 5 helps with that a lot. I loved the steering on the RS 4 with the H-Sport sway bars F&R. Really weighted it up nicely. Another win for the RS 4

Power: RS 5 wins here. The extra 30HP is very noticeable. The "lack" of big torque is masked because the gearing in the RS 5 is better for having such a rev-happy motor. Where some shifts would leave the RS 4 a little shy of the meat of the powerband, the RS 5 is always in the right gear when driving it hard. The RS 4 seems to have a little better throttle response, as there's noticeable lag on tip-in on the RS 5. Still, the RS 5 is the clear winner.

Balance/Dynamics: Despite the RS 4 having the better suspension setup, the sport diff on the RS 5 is such a game-changer. Where the RS 4 will push (leaving you with two wheels off before rolling end-over-end five times), the RS 5 happily rotates under power. The extra meat of the 275s vs. 255s on the RS 4 helps too. As such, the RS 5 just feels more neutral and wins this category.

Transmission: This is a tough one. The S-tronic on the RS 5 is very good, with lightning-fast upshifts and beautiful rev-matched downshifts with a tremendous sound accompanying the throttle blip. It can be a little clunky at low speeds in 1-2 gear, but it's not bad. Still, rowing your own gears in the RS 4 is an absolute pleasure with such a great gearbox and nicely weighted clutch. For just cruising around and enjoying a connected experience, the RS 4 comes out ahead. For performance and practicality (traffic, anyone?) the RS 5 gets the nod. So, I'll call this a draw as it's really a subjective decision.

Braking: This is pretty much a wash. I can't say one car is clearly better than the other. Both have big, massive 8-piston calipers up front and huge single-piston rears. Balance on both is pretty decent, but they both get kind of light on the rear end under really hard braking. Tie.

Tech/interior: Easiest out of the bunch - RS 5 by a landslide. The RS 4's tech is SO outdated compared to the RS 5 that it's embarassing. With an updated RNS-E, the difference wouldn't be so stark, but there's a lot of advancament between the B7 and B8/B8.5 here. I also hate the knee-whackers on the center stack in the B7. Steering wheel and seats are better in the RS 5, mostly because we got the crappy steering wheel in the US version of the RS 4. Clear win for the RS 5

Looks: Totally subjective, as both cars are extremely handsome. The RS 4's lines are more aggressive compared to its non-RS couterpart, whereas the RS 5's flared lines are much more subtle, aside from the grille and rear diffuser. I've had far more compliments on the RS 5's looks than I ever had the RS 4, but I still absolutely love how the RS 4 looks. Still, the B8.5 coupe is one of the best looking cars on the road, IMO. RS 5 by a small margin.

tl;dr - get one of each
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