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- Highs Powerful supercharged V-6, excellent handling, luxury interior.
- Lows Tight back seat, small trunk, convertible model only available with an automatic transmission.
- Verdict The Audi S5 offers handsome looks, an upscale interior, and a satisfying driving experience.
Audi launched the S5 in the 2008 model year as a sporty, two-door coupe and convertible version of its very popular S4 sedan, but with unique sheetmetal and a slightly longer, 108.3-inch wheelbase and longer overall length. The S5 also comes with a new front suspension design for sportier handling, as well as repackaging of the engine, transmission, and steering rack for better performance, handling, and steering feel. The S5 is built on Audi’s modular longitudinal chassis with rear-wheel-drive proportions on an all-wheel drive car.
What's New for 2017?
With an all-new S5 due next year, there are no significant changes for 2017.
- Coupe: $54,050
- Cabriolet: $62,050
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The S5 coupe and cabriolet come with a 333-hp supercharged direct-injected V-6 and standard all-wheel drive. The coupe is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with paddle shifters, whereas the cabrio is available with the automatic only. The automatic is smooth and nicely matched to the supercharged V-6, though using the paddles to shift manually is less satisfying due to slow, deliberate downshifts. Handling is exemplary, though, with sharp, accurate turn-in and decent cornering balance. The S5 feels refined and effortless, with a tight structure that keeps body motions under control.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Audi has long been the benchmark for premium interiors in terms of material quality, fit, and finish, and the luxurious S5 is easily a match for its chief rivals, the BMW 4 series and Mercedes-Benz C-class coupe. Standard features include heated power seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and classy brushed aluminum trim. Seating is classic 2+2-style, with a tight back seat. Trunk space in the coupe is a relatively skimpy 12.2 cubic feet, and the cabriolet drops it further to 10.2 cubic feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A Bang & Olufsen 505-watt audio system with 14 speakers (12 speakers in the cabriolet) is standard in the S5, as is Bluetooth connectivity. An optional MMI Navigation+ system features a 7.0-inch TFT color screen and console-mounted control knob with joystick and button control. One strange omission is the lack of a USB port.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.