The Audi S5 is a stylish entry-level performance car made by Audi’s Sport division. The S5 differs from the regular A5 thanks to a larger, more powerful engine, a subtle styling upgrade, and a more focused driving experience. The S5 is intended to bridge the gap between the rapid Audi RS5 and the more ordinary regular Audi A5. So, is Audi S5 a good car?
The Audi S5 is indeed a really good car because it offers the best of both worlds. It is comfortable, unassuming, and elegant while also being fast, dynamic, and able to crunch hot hatchbacks off the line. The S5 comes with either a diesel V6 engine or a gasoline V6 engine while older S5 models even came with a naturally aspirated V8.
Design-wise, the S5 gets a sporty body kit, a set of larger wheels, larger brakes, a slightly lowered ride height, quad exhaust pipes, sport seats, and a few additional styling upgrades inside and out. When it comes to suspension and handling, the S5 manages to stay flat around the corners, but it can’t match the more focused RS5 in that department.
Reliability is also strong if you maintain the car well enough. That being said, newer S5 models are far less likely to cause issues as opposed to older models. Practicality is also decent, but only if you go for the 4-door Sportback versions as the 2-door coupe and convertible are much less practical.
Audi S5 – The powertrain
As mentioned in the intro, the S5 gets either a 3.0L diesel V6 or a gasoline 3.0L V6 and both of these make around 330hp-360hp depending on the model year. Older S5 models come with a 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 which is a lot more exciting but is a lot thirstier and agricultural-feeling. All S5’s come with Audi’s Quattro AWD system.
All post 1st-gen S5s come with an automatic gearbox and the newest S5 models with the S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. Early S5s can also be had with a manual and the combination of a 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 with a manual is something you can’t find in any other car from this or even that era.
Efficiency is not all that particularly good with any of these, except the 3.0L diesel S5 which seems to be getting around 30-35MPG tops if you are light on the accelerator pedal. All in all, the S5 offers an exciting powertrain able to entertain you without shouting to everyone that you have a large engine.
Audi S5 – Design and chassis
The S5 gets a few styling tweaks and touches that separate it from the regular A5 and make it seem more focused. The easiest way how you can spot an S5 is to look at its exhaust system and larger brake rotors and calipers. The S5 is available in all three body styles, and most people prefer either the Sportback 4-door or the stylish 2-door coupe.
The suspension and chassis of the S5 stay relatively unchanged, but a bit stiffened as opposed to the regular A5. This means that the car does not lean as much in the corners, but it also cant match the RS5 when it comes to handling.
Audi S5 – Reliability and common issues
The Audi S5 is a decently reliable car which means that it should be able to last a long time if you take proper care of it. It comes as no surprise that premium German cars are in need of thorough maintenance because they can’t really function without it. There are some issues worth talking about with both newer and older S5s.
The most common issues are related to the engine. Older S5 models suffer from carbon buildup on the intake manifold while newer models are known to sometimes suffer from ignition coil-related issues. The transmission can be jittery and lazy on both newer and older S5s, the infotainment can glitch in all S5s while the equipment such as the sunroof or the convertible top are a known gripe with older S5s.
Audi S5 – Value and practicality
Older 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 Audi S5 models are now a bargain considering what you get for the money. Newer S5s are a lot more expensive and the 2nd gen pre-facelift S5 seems to be the one that makes the most sense as a used car.
The 4-door Sportback version is a lot more practical than the other two, especially when it comes to family use. The S5 lacks a bit of headspace when compared to the A4, yet it makes up for it thanks to a larger hatchback trunk.
Is the Audi S5 a fast car?
The Audi S5 is indeed a fast car because all S5 generations come with Audi’s Quattro AWD and an engine with at least 330hp. First-gen S5s can reach 60mph from a standstill in about 5 seconds while the newest and fastest S5 can reach 60mph in about 4.5 seconds which is a really big number for a family sedan. The top speed is limited to 155mph in all S5 models.
The S5 can do the quarter-mile in about 13 seconds which is a reasonable time and it fits in with the car’s overall sporty demeanor. Older 4.2L V8 manual S5 models are the slowest of the bunch, but the combination of a manual with a raspy V8 is worth a lot more than quarter-mile times.
Is the Audi S5 a daily driver?
The Audi S5 is designed with daily driving in mind which is rather apparent the moment you step inside it. Audi’s S cars are designed for daily drivers which means that you will not sacrifice any comfort if you skip the regular A5 and go for the S5.
The S5 offers a perfect balance of comfort and dynamics and that is why it is the sweet spot of the entire Audi A5 range.
Should I buy an Audi S5?
If you are after a sleek, luxurious, and fun-to-drive sedan/coupe, the S5 is a perfect choice. The S5 does everything well which means that it is likely going to satisfy your priorities. It can be comfortable, relaxed, and chilled while also being fast, dynamic and thrilling.
You can choose between owning a 4-door Sportback model, a 2-door coupe, or a 2-door convertible depending on what you prefer.