Audi
S5
2018
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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - April 11, 2017

Expert Rating

4.0 (Excellent)
MPG
21 City / 30 Highway

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2018 Audi S5 OVERVIEW

Like other German premium automakers, Audi boasts a group of stand-apart, high-performance variants of its standard models, identified by the “S” prefix. Based upon the stylishly sporty, but civilized, A5 coupe and convertible, the S5 versions might be considered the youthfully impetuous outsiders in Audi's family of respectable compact models. Packed with performance upgrades, each S5 boasts sufficient power and sport-performance technology to behave downright aggressively, even if they appear to be upstanding automotive citizens.

What's New for 2018

Audi has redesigned the S5 – along with its A5 parent – for a second generation, adding a new Sportback body style. Billed as a “five-door coupe,” the Sportback joins the two-door S5 coupe and convertible. A new version of Audi’s 3.0-liter V6 develops 354 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission has replaced the previous six-speed unit.

Audi S4

Choosing Your Audi S5

Although the S5 shares its basic body with the more common A5, it looks a bit more aggressive, due to a lowered suspension, subtly revised trim, and unique 18-inch wheels. Of course, the vital difference lies beneath the hood of each S5, where a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 whips up 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The energetic V6 mates with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. A manual gearbox is not available.

Every S5 has Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. There are four distinct driving modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual. The flat-bottom steering wheel includes shift paddles. Five-double-spoke 18-inch wheels hold summer performance tires.

Acceleration to 60 miles per hour takes a mere 4.4 seconds, according to Audi. Fuel economy of the coupe and Sportback are estimated at 21 miles per gallon city, 30 highway, 24 combined, according to the EPA. The convertible is a hair less thrifty, at 20/29/23 mpg.

Expect to pay a premium of $7,700 for the soft-top convertible, compared to the coupe.

As before, S5 models are available in two trim levels:

Premium Plus

Starting at $55,575 (destination charge included) in coupe form, the basic S5 includes leather and Alcantara seating surfaces, a panoramic sunroof, full-LED automatic headlights, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, 10-speaker audio, three-zone automatic climate control, extendable sunvisors, and ambient interior lighting. Heated power front seats have four-way power lumbar adjustment, pneumatic side bolsters, a massaging function. The parking system includes a rearview camera and front/rear acoustic sensors. On the safety front, blind spot monitoring and Audi's Pre Sense Rear collision protection system with cross-traffic assist and vehicle exit assist are standard, as is Audi's Pre Sense Basic and City safety systems. The smartphone interface integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Pricing of the convertible starts at $63,275, whereas the new Sportback stickers for $55,375 ($200 less than the coupe).

A Navigation Package ($2,600) for Premium Plus trim includes Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster and MMI navigation with an 8.3-inch screen. Dynamic Steering is available for $1,150, and a Nappa leather interior adds $1,250.

Prestige

For $59,975 as a coupe, the Prestige edition gets additional technology, including standard navigation with an 8.3-inch display screen and MMI Touch with handwriting recognition. The standard Virtual Cockpit, with 12.3-inch screen, features two visual modes. Standard equipment also includes a head-up display, top-view camera system, blind-spot monitoring and Audi Pre Sense Rear, with rear cross-traffic assist and vehicle exit assist. Bang & Olufsen audio includes 3D sound.

The Prestige convertible is priced at $67,675, while the Sportback goes for $59,775

Exclusively available to Prestige trim, for $1,800, is a Driver Assistance package that adds active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and a high beam assistant.

CarsDirect Tip

Clearly, the new Sportback appeals mainly to drivers who make frequent use of the back seat, which isn’t exactly roomy in a coupe or convertible. Upgrading to the Prestige adds some tempting technology (mostly optional for Premium Plus), as well as the possibility of getting the additional features in the Driver Assistance package.

Get your price on an Audi S5 »

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