Overview & Reviews
True to brand nomenclature, the Audi S5 is the performance version of the A5 coupe and convertible. That means bigger engines, more horses and a stiffer suspension. The S5's exterior is set apart from its more mild-mannered sibling by a chrome-trimmed grille, quad tailpipes and more muscular bumpers. The resulting package is refined yet athletic, with luxury appointments that ensure comfort matched with a powertrain that won't disappoint.
The S5 is still in its first generation, but there have been significant changes through the years for new and used car shoppers to consider. The most notable of these occurred under the hood, as the coupe originally had a big, snarling V8 that arguably makes the car a future classic. The supercharged V6 that's always been in the cabriolet and in today's coupe is a commendable engine that produces ample power and improved fuel economy, but lacks a certain degree of the V8's character (not to mention 21 horses). Either way, though, it doesn't take away from the S5's status as one of the most appealing luxury coupes.
Current Audi S5
The Audi S5 is available as a coupe and convertible (cabriolet). Both are similarly equipped and feature all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 good for 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The coupe comes with a six-speed manual transmission, while the Cabriolet receives a seven-speed automated manual transmission that's optional on the coupe.
The Audi S5 is largely based on the four-door S4, but with curvaceous lines inspired by Audi's Nuvolari concept vehicle that made the auto show rounds in 2003. In part to maintain that voluptuous figure, the cabriolet features a sleek soft top rather than a heavier retractable-hardtop design.
Both coupe and convertibles are offered in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. Standard feature highlights of the Premium Plus include xenon headlights, the Audi Drive Select system (adjustable settings for the steering and transmission), leather and simulated suede upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker sound system. The Prestige additions include adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, mobile WiFi, a navigation system and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. Options include adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats and a neck-level heating system on the cabriolet.
Inside the cabin, the four-seat Audi S5 is appointed with sophisticated touches, such as finely stitched leather and genuine aluminum trim. The front sport seats offer plenty of space and support, although legroom could be better in the backseat. Audi's MMI (Multi Media Interface) controls the audio, climate and optional navigation systems, and is relatively easy to figure out. Although the S5 has the spirit of a sports car, it's still practical enough for everyday life. Both body styles offer about 12 cubic feet of trunk space, and their rear seats flip down to make even more room. When flipped up, though, the backseat is definitely on the cramped side for adults.
In our tests, we found the Audi S5 to be an excellent grand tourer. The supercharged V6 provides robust and thrilling performance. The steering feels crisp and the suspension, although non-adjustable, is about ideal as it is firm without being gut-busting. Brakes may seem a little touchy at first, but with acclimation they prove responsive and firm. Thanks to Quattro, the S5 provides excellent traction in all conditions, making it an ideal all-year choice for performance-minded buyers living where the weather occasionally turns foul. Power is normally distributed 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear, giving the S5 handling characteristics similar to those of a rear-wheel-drive car.
Used Audi S5 Models
The Audi S5 debuted for the 2008 model year as a coupe only, powered by a 4.2-liter 354-hp V8. It was a superb engine and used car shoppers should consider opting for an older model to get it. The S5 cabriolet arrived for 2010, but rather than the V8, it had the then-new 3.0-liter 333-hp supercharged V6. Transmission choices for the coupe included a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic, whereas the cabriolet came solely with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. That year also saw upgrades to the MMI electronics interface and optional navigation system.
For 2013 the V8 was dropped and the S5 received a slight styling update (with a more angular grille/headlights), a switch to electric-assisted steering, a revised MMI control interface and an available mobile WiFi feature. Apart from lacking Audi Drive Select and keyless entry and ignition as standard (they were optional though), these latter S5s are similar to today's version.
Those interested in a used cabriolet may be interested in the <a href="/audi/s4/review.html">S4 Cabriolet</a> it replaced.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 56.00
Fantastic Daily driver - 2008 Audi S5
By Frank V - July 25 - 5:48 pm
Great car, it is comfortable in every way, super quiet, great reliability, AWD comfort, sexy looks, and feels like you get your money worth. I drove several BMW's before going with this car and even the 2013 BMW's didn't feel like it was worth the money. I got in this car and i immediately felt like it was in a class above the BMW's. You feel sexy getting in it and I have had it for 8 months and it still gives me the same feeling. I have the 6 speed manual and I love it. Only thing I would like to mention is if you are a purist and love to feel connected to the road then this isn't the car for you. This coupe is not a sports car but more of a luxury touring car.
It doesn't get much better! - 2015 Audi S5
By Robert G. Dwyer - July 13 - 10:56 am
I absolutely love the car! There are only two items I wish were different. On the piss ant side, I wish the side view mirrors could be stowed electrically like they are on our Q5. The other is a biggie for me. There is no Front parking assist on the S5. I cannot for the life of me understand why it is not standard or at least offered as an option as even A3 cabriolet has them. The color, Sepang Blue Crystal, is awesome and I constantly get compliments on it. In addition, just as on our Q5, the paint job is FLAWLESS - not a touch or "orange-peel' anywhere. Finally, short of something like a Lamborghini, this has to be one of the sexiest cars on the road!!
A lot to offer but with a couple of compromises - 2013 Audi S5
By chaserz - February 15 - 2:07 pm
I've owned my 2013 for almost one year. What's not to like: 1. AWD 2. All season QUIET convertible rag top 3. Google Maps But there are compromises. The connectivity in the car requires a paid T-Mobile subscription. And even with that you only receive limited, general information. You won't receive personal data from the internet of any kind. And seriously, who needs a hotspot in a car these days since most everyone is carrying their smart phones? In an age where a Chrysler has a full touch screen with data shared through a phone Audi falls way short in the tech department.
Amazing Car - 2013 Audi S5
By u2nelson - August 29 - 12:12 am
I have had this car for 4 weeks now, and it is still impressing me. The power is smooth and strong, it comes on early and just keeps puling hard. Very addictive. Handling, is well not as brilliant as my old BMW 330CI, but it is still exceptionaly good. This car is very fun to drive and did I mention it has gobs of smooth power. The quality of the finish, both inside and outside is superb. Initially I was not sure about the alcantara seat inserts, but now that I have the alcantara, I am 100% sold and glad to have it. It's superior, both in looks and function and very easy to clean, just wipe with a damp cloth. It's hard to believe someone would pay extra to not get the alcantara.
Wow - 2013 Audi S5
By davesd - August 13 - 11:38 am
Just took delivery of 2013 S5 - wow. I have been waiting for the V6 in the S5 coupe and it does not disappoint. The power is smooth and plentiful. Gearbox is amazing, and while the sound may not be a V8, it makes plenty of fun noises. The ride is firm for sure, but well damped - car does not crash over bumps and handles uneven pavement well. The MMI system cleaned up from my 2011 A6, but I am still on the fence with the aerial photos from Google Earth - almost feels a little cluttered. B&O stereo is okay - not that impressed. Overall, an indulgent purchase. No one is going to say this is good value for $, but if you want fun in a gorgeous package - an S5 is it!
Audi S5 turns heads and excites the senses - 2012 Audi S5
By mobility1 - January 12 - 2:24 pm
Own a 2012 S5 after testing the 2.0 A5 in pretty much every configuration available at the dealership. I'm not sure why Edmunds thinks the steering is "contrived" or "artficial" because my experience is of an extremely tactile and responsive control system. My own gas mileage IS actually improving as I learn how to properly drive the car. Now at 1000 miles I am getting closer to 26 to 28 hwy and 15 to 19 city mpg now thanks to my judicious use of the responsive cruise control, and active mileage monitoring system, and I can adjust my driving style to suit. Well-mannered in traffic when it needs to be, and becomes an elegant beast when pushed with very little effort.
Awesome - 2010 Audi S5
By kipn - December 10 - 7:40 am
I just purchased this car and absolutely love it. Everything is what you would expect and more from a premuim performance coupe. The major defining factor in choosing this car was when I heard the engine start knew at this point that I had to have it. It is understated and over performing, but people can't take their eyes off of it. Another very nice feature is that you don't see many on the road. 3600 sold in the entire country last year. If you are considering one, their is no reason to hold back!
It is SOOOOO good - 2011 Audi S5
By dtc4 - October 5 - 4:43 pm
Ok .... I expect if you are like me, you are reading these reviews to sway you one way or another between different brands. Stop reading, man up, drop the coin and do it. Yeah, the gas mileage isn't great but does that matter? You don't get a V8 for free. It's sexy, fun, fast, reliable and did I mention fun. By far the best car I've ever owned.
The latest version of the classic S5 - 2012 Audi S5
By cybers5 - October 4 - 3:59 pm
Audi has improved on the older S5 model by adding the Rear Sports Differential where you can make the engine more aggressive, the steering tighter, and the rear wheels shift torque sidesways when cornering. Because of the dynamic mode, this S5 feels much faster, tighter, and much more fun to drive as it incorporates the technology of the new S4. It feels as fast and fun as the new S4 compared to the 2009 S5 I tested. In terms of gas mileage, I achieved 22 MPG on my initial break-in out-of-town trip (mostly highway), and 19 MPG in city driving. I feel that highway driving could easily get to 25-26MPG after break-in. Beauty, performance, & the V8 sound makes the s5 as class of its own.
Audi S 5 - 2011 Audi S5
By vlj4 - September 25 - 9:03 am
I have owned a BMW, Acura, Infinity and Land Rover, I have to say that this Audi S5 is the best car I have ever owned! The engineering, performance, and technology is superior. As well it is a blast to drive.