New for 2015
The Audi S5 adds an optional 19-inch seven double-spoke wheel design, optional 18-inch all-season tires, and three new exterior color options: Florett Silver metallic, Mythos Black metallic, and Sepang Blue Pearl.
The Audi S5 is a coupe and convertible based on the A4/S4 that is sleekly styled, lavishly appointed, dynamically capable, but more restrained than the extreme RS 5. The Cabriolet is exceptionally quiet, especially for a soft-top convertible, but is an exceptional boulevard cruiser. The RS 5 compares more directly to the M4/C63 AMG Coupe, leaving the S5 to duke it out with the well-optioned top-tier models in either stable.
The 2015 Audi S5 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, which pairs a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with the standard quattro all-wheel-drive system. Coupe models are rated by the EPA for 18/28 mpg city/highway with the automatic, and 17/26 mpg with the manual. Convertible models get the same engine, but are limited to the automatic transmission only, which is rated for 18/26 mpg in EPA testing.
The performance edge of the S5 doesn’t dull the luxury coupe side of things, as such it includes such features as HID headlights, LED taillights, four selectable drive modes, leather/Alcantara seats, a panoramic tilting sunroof, and Google Earth with Street View enhancements for the navigation system (data plan required, but not included).
The 2015 Audi S5 and S5 Cabriolet have not yet been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Audi S5 is the Goldilocks of the compact luxury coupe line with four-ring hood grille ornaments; neither too soft nor too firm, but just right. In an Around the Block review of a 2014 S5 Coupe we said, “Its supercharged V-6 is responsive and satisfying throughout the rev range, but is subdued enough that it won’t make you feel (or sound) like an idiot on your daily commute. The suspension is firm and tight through the twisties, but not punishing over rough freeways and city streets. And with its larger wheels, more aggressive front end, Alcantara seats, and flat-bottom steering wheel, the 2014 Audi S5 also looks special enough inside and out to warrant the roughly $13,000 extra cost over its mainstream A5 sibling (in base price). Credit Audi for taking the alternative route with this just-right S5.”
In a review of a 2011 Audi S5 Cabriolet (the convertible got the 3.0T powerplant before the coupe), we praised the drop-top, saying it “is a soft-top I wouldn’t mind driving through the chilly months. Beyond the obvious advantage of all-wheel drive, the Audi has one of the quietest top-up rides I’ve ever experienced. Climb in, flip on the seat heaters (not so easy to do with Audi’s frustratingly complex HVAC controls) and you’ll soon forget the roof isn’t made of steel.”
One complaint we had about the S5 Cabriolet that applies to the S5 as well, was the steering: “The only fly in Audi’s dynamic punchbowl is the variable-effort steering, which reminds me how terrible it is every time I drive through our parking garage and experience the disconcerting and slightly dangerous build up in effort half way through a turn.” The Audi S5 Cabriolet truly is a convertible for all four seasons.
- Balance of S5 performance and handling
- Quiet convertible with the top up
- The hallmark Audi interior: excellent
You Won’t Like
- Variable-effort steering
- No more V-8
- Mercedes-Benz C350
- BMW 435i
- Infiniti Q60 IPL
- Infiniti Q60S
- Lexus RC F
- Cadillac ATS Coupe