The Audi RS5 was first introduced for the 2010 model year as a 2-door sports coupe designed to rival the likes of the BMW M3 and the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG. The RS5 continued its production throughout the years and we now have 2 different generations of the RS5 with their own respectable mid-cycle refresh models. So, is Audi RS5 a good car?
It depends on who answers that question. If you are someone who can’t be bothered with 0-60mph times, spirited driving, and performance in general, the RS5 will not be a good car for you because it is expensive to run and it does not feel too much different than a regular A5. However, if you are all about performance life, you will absolutely love the Audi RS5.
The first-gen RS5 comes with a V8 naturally aspirated engine while the newest RS5 models rely on a more eco-friendly twin-turbo V6 engine. The RS5 looks stunning both in coupe and Sportback form while convertible RS5 models are somewhat of an acquired taste. Reliability is decent, but only if you maintain the car well enough.
The proposition is tricky, but if you love the Audi RS division, you will likely deem the RS5 as good value. Practicality is where the RS5 Sportback comes in as it easily sits four people with comparably large trunk space.
Audi RS5 – The powertrain
We have already mentioned that the RS5 comes in two different generations. The first-gen RS5 is powered by a 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 engine with 450hp and 317lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro AWD which enable the early RS5s to reach 60mph from a standstill in about 4.5 seconds.
The 2nd generation of the RS5 comes with a downsized 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 450hp and 442lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic and Quattro AWD for a 0-60mph time of about 3.5 seconds in the right conditions. The V8 RS5 is the pick for those who lust for V8 engines, but the V6 RS5 is a better car in every scenario.
The V6 RS5 can come close to 30MPG combined while the V8 RS5 can do 20MPG combined at best. Both of these are performance cars and hardly anyone buys them for efficiency’s sake. All in all, these powertrains are fast, exciting, and fitting for a car such as the Audi RS5.
Audi RS5 – Design and chassis
Compared to the regular A5, the RS5 can easily be identified by a few iconic design touches such as the two huge oval exhausts, honeycomb front grille, and large wheels. Audi RS5 models typically come with all the best exterior and interior features and options which make them look absolutely stunning. Many people deem the A5/RS5 to be one of the most beautiful Audi models.
As far as the suspension and chassis tuning is concerned, the RS5 stays flat in the corners thanks to a lower ride height and wider wheels. It may not be as agile as the BMW M3, but the RS5 makes up for it because it is a more comfortable car on a daily basis.
Audi RS5 – Reliability and common issues
The Audi RS5 is a through and through performance car which means that it comes with significantly higher running costs when compared to a standard 4-cylinder A5. This is also apparent when it comes to reliability because the RS5 needs more thorough and timely maintenance, otherwise it will cause all sorts of issues that are usually expensive to fix.
The most common Audi RS5 issues are related to the engine, the transmission, oils leaks, cooling system issues, and various in-car electronics.
Audi RS5 – Value and practicality
Early Audi RS5 models depreciated quite a bit in the last 10 years or so which makes them performance car daily driver bargains. The 4.2L V8 is likely one of the most exciting Audi engines yet, and that is why so many people are drawn to it. However, they are also careful because the RS5’s maintenance costs, running costs, replacement tire costs, and spare parts costs are still as high as they ever were.
If you want the most practical RS5, you need to go for the 4-door Sportback model. The A5 offers similar interior space to the A4 which means that it can comfortably sit up to four people. The trunk space on the A5 Sportback is huge and should be enough for most people. Visibility is not great, but the A5 is not an overly large car anyway.
Should I buy an Audi RS5?
If you love the Audi RS Sport model range and you want to enjoy the very best Audi sports cars out there that still do family duties, the RS5 is the perfect car for you. However, you do need to keep in mind that cars such as these are a lot needier than regular A5 models are. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to set some money aside for repair and maintenance costs.
The best RS5 to buy right now is the pre-facelift 2nd gen model (2016-2020) because it is almost identical to the post-facelift model, but way cheaper. It is also a lot better than previous RS5 models in almost every way.
Is an Audi RS5 a good family car?
The good thing about the RS5 is that it does not sacrifice comfort as much as the C63 and the BMW M3 do. This means that out of all these three, the RS5 is the one that still retains much of its comfort. As such, the RS5 can be a really good family car, but only if you go for the Sportback 4-door version.
The coupe is not really usable for anyone besides families with a baby as the rear seats can only accommodate babies anyway. The cabriolet is very much the same as the coupe.
Is the Audi RS5 better than BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG?
These three have been trading punches for decades now, but we are more or less aware of why you should pick one over the other. The BMW M3 is the most focused, raciest, and most youthful car o the three while the C63 is the most luxurious one, but it lacks when it comes to performance, especially because the new C63 AMG is getting a 4-cylinder engine.
The RS5 sits somewhere in the middle because it gets a more exciting engine than the new C63, but it can’t match either of them when it comes to power. Therefore, the RS5 is the best daily driver out of the three because it balances comfort and performance the best.