GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Audi - A5 - S5 quattro coupe

Our Opinion

We like
Strong engine with fantastic note, top quality interior, muscular-yet-still-elegant profile that looks great in the metal
Room for improvement
High price, not enough rear headroom, firm ride not suited for imperfect roads

Audi logo9 Oct 2007

THERE'S no doubt the S5 is a beautiful, stylish and muscular coupe.

It's also clear that the S5 is quite expensive.

At $131,900 for the manual and $134,900 it sits well above the 335i 3 Series coupe at $108,900 but below the $157,000 M3 coupe. It stacks up pretty well against the Mercedes-Benz CLK500 at $150,100, which is getting on a bit.

It's worth noting that since the S5 was launched, Mercedes-Benz announced the new C63 would land here in March with a sharp pricetag of $139,500.

With a price premium of just $4600, the 336kW/600Nm Merc blows the 260kW/440Nm S5 out of the water when it comes to performance and stacks up pretty well on standard equipment.

The big thing the Audi has going for is the style that only a coupe shape can bring.

The S5 can appear a little plain in some photos, but it looks imposing in the metal. Its wide, low, profile and the gently sloping lines really come out when you see the car on the road.

The strip of LED lights that run during the daytime also outline the premium status of the S5, although not all people who saw the test car though the headlight "jewellery" was such a good look. In a few years this feature could look great or be dismissed as a gimmick.

While it lacks the all-out power to tackle cars like the C63, the S5 still has a fair amount of grunt on tap.

You can spin the smooth-revving 4.2-litre V8 out to the power peak at 7000rpm, and it punches hard all the way through.

It's not, however, the same as the RS4 engine, now also used in the R8, which sings all the way to 8250rpm.

Still, the engine is great fun and Audi has ensured the S5 has a delicious exhaust note which has a hint of menace when the engine is working hard, without sounding like a V8 Supercar all the time.

The engine is at its sweetest at about 1500rpm when cruising around town. When you open up the throttle in, say third gear, it responds quickly while delivering that fantastically gruff note.

You could expect that such a performance engine would have wallet-crushing fuel consumption, but the S5 does well in this regard.

Despite opening up the throttle a few times to listen to the exhaust note, the fuel economy figure came in at 12.8L/100km.

That figure included a good mix of highway runs and city driving. To be honest, you would expect it to use more.

The test car was a manual, which wasn't really the best fit for the S5.

There was nothing wrong with it and it had a nice crisp action and a light clutch, but the S5 seems like a car better suited to an automatic, which of course is also available.

It can run hard when it needs to, but the S5 is a luxurious prestige car that will spend most of its time cruising.

Aggressive gear ratios means the engine sits at 2500rpm at 100km/h. While you don't hear it in the cabin, that is pretty high for a six-speed with so much torque and the engine could easily cruise at that speed ticking over at 1500rpm.

Noise suppression of the S5 is very good and there is very limited tyre and wind-noise in the cabin.

When it comes to handling, the S5 is quite impressive.

Firstly, the traction levels are amazing. Standard quattro all-wheel-drive gives it excellent traction in wet and slippery conditions, and also helps put the power down when pushing hard out of corners.

The steering feels well weighted, although it still doesn't have the same precise feel as a BMW.

The suspension is well sorted for track work and there is very little bodyroll in turns.

Ride quality has long been an issue with Audis in Australia, but the S5 is not the worst offender we have tested.

The S5's ride is firm side and can jolt occupants on bumpy country roads and rough city streets, but it is not as bad as some previous Audis and it would probably be unfair to call it a kidney rattler.

As you can expect, the interior of the S5 is a high point. The clean-cut design is class-topping, while the materials are of the highest quality.

Metal-rimmed trim sections look great, while the carbon-fibre-look trim used for the door sills and the centre console looks fantastic.

The jumble of controls on the centre console near the gearshift is the only part of the interior that doesn't look clean.

There are so many buttons here and more on the dashboard. That's a bit odd because the MMI control system is supposed to operate those features.

Audi's MMI control system, which comprises a dial and four 'corner' buttons, is the most intuitive of all the central control systems and makes the iDrive roller ball system in BMWs seem like a mean practical joke.

The S5's leather seats are supportive with substantial side bolsters, but also look elegant - not like they have come out of a 'boy-racer'.

Small touches like the S5 logo embossed on the seat-backs and the quality of the leather really cap-off the luxurious look.

While the interior might look great, it's not all good news in the S5 cabin. The two rear seats are comfortable enough, but the lack of headroom is a real problem.

Average adults can't sit in the back without their heads hitting the sloping roof and we suspect even shorties would have a problem.

What is it with Audi coupes and cramped rear seats? Anyone older than seven is simply unable to get comfortable in the back of the TT coupe, which has incredibly cramped rear seats.

It's a real shame because the back of the S5 could be pretty comfortable place otherwise. But the boot has a lot more space than you might expect.

Another bonus is the split/folding rear seats that drop down for when you need to cart larger items.

That is a handy feature and, surprisingly, it's also something that's missing from something as humble as the Holden Commodore, which has to make do with a small 'ski-port'.

It's quite expensive and lacks the firepower to compete with some very strong German rivals, but the S5 is still an impressive luxury coupe in its own right.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Enquire on or Test Drive a New A5

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

A5 pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.