The S5 coupe and convertible are the lovable delinquents in Audi's family of respectable compacts. Loaded with performance upgrades, the S5 can get downright aggressive, even if it looks like an upstanding citizen outside.
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2017 Audi S5 Overview
What's New for 2017
Last year's optional Bang & Olufsen sound system is now standard.
Choosing Your Audi S5
The S5 shares its body with the more common A5, but looks slightly more aggressive thanks to a lowered suspension, unique 18-inch wheels, and subtle trim revisions. The important difference lies under the hood of the S5: a 333-horsepower supercharged 3-liter V6, which can be paired with a six-speed manual (coupe only) or a seven-speed automated manual transmission. Selectable driving modes, all-wheel drive, and summer performance tires are standard across the board. Expect to pay a premium of about $7,000 for the convertible, which carries a power soft top and a retractable rear window that doubles as a wind deflector.
Once again, the S5 is available in Premium Plus and Prestige trims:
Any S5 can be equipped with an adaptive suspension system and a sport differential that transfers power between the rear wheel. Both of these performance upgrades are reasonably priced at $1,100 each.
The Premium Plus is a better buy this year now that the Bang & Olufsen system is standard and the available Technology package carries a $250 factory credit. Upgrading to the Prestige is really just a matter of whether you want to add the Driver Assistance package and/or the coupe's Luxury package.
2017 Audi S5 Review
Is the 2017 S5 still a good buy, despite its aging features, or should buyers just wait on the brand-new 2018 model? That's the question we pose today as we look at one of the former standard-bearers for the all-too-small luxury performance coupe market, which is entering its final year on the market.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2017 Audi S5 comes in two body styles – coupe and convertible – and each has just a single trim. The 2017 S5 coupe and convertible start from $55,050 and $62,050 (including $950 destination fee), respectively. They come standard with:
- Eighteen-inch wheels
- Automatic xenon headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Sunroof (coupe model)
- Keyless entry and ignition
- Tri-zone climate control
- Leather and faux-suede upholstery with heated front seats
- Universal garage door opener
- Fourteen-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system
- Supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual transmission
While there are plenty of standard features included with the 2017 S5, there are also loads of options. These include a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission ($1,000), a sport differential ($1,100) Nappa leather upholstery ($1,250), and an adaptive suspension ($1,000).
There is also a Technology Package that runs $3,250 and includes adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitor, rear parking sensors, navigation, a rearview camera, a Wi-Fi hotspot, an HD radio, and a DVD player.
All S5s use a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 that produces 333 horsepower. While convertible buyers are stuck with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, S5 Coupe owners can choose between the optional two-pedal arrangement or save some cash with the standard six-speed manual.
- The 333-horsepower V6 feels a lot more potent than its output indicates
- The engine sound absolutely fantastic
- Standard all-wheel drive makes for effective use of its power.
- Incredible handling without feeling too stiff on the daily commute.
- Steering lacks feedback
- Too much artificial weight in the steering system
- Front seats are extremely comfortable, especially for a sports model
- The cabin is super-luxurious without being ostentatious
- Audi’s MMI infotainment system is one of the best in the business
- Rear seats are very cramped and offer little support
- Thick C-pillars hamper rearward visibility
- Lack of IIHS testing, even in its less-performance-oriented A5 sibling, doesn’t inspire confidence
- The area surrounding the gear shifter is very button-heavy
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The delicate dance the S5 does between cushy luxury car and raucous sports coupe is incredible. It seems to walk that thin line very nicely, never feeling too rough on a daily commute or lacking the punch when the driver throws the hammer down.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The $55,050 price tag on the S5 is a tough pill to swallow for many. It’s more than a comparable BMW 440i xDrive ($51,495 with $995 destination fee) and only about $1,400 cheaper than the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe.
The Bottom Line
Its looks are dated (an all-new model is coming in 2018) and its price tag is higher than we’d like, but there isn't much else to dislike about the 2017 Audi S5. It delivers on the daily commute and the track, and its slew of desirable options make it highly customizable for the more discerning buyer.
However, with the 2018 S5 coming in with only a $525 price hike, an all-new look, and improved performance, you may just want to wait for it.