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Audi S5 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
8.1
It's hard to imagine a better place to enjoy the hard-charging antics of Audi's stunning S5 Coupe than the sublime twists and turns of Tasmania's perfect blacktop... and we went there to do just that.

It's inevitable that Audi's S5 will spend the bulk of its time pouncing between traffic lights in Australia's clogged and cramped CBDs, but it's hard to imagine a better place to enjoy the hard-charging antics of this stunning Coupe than the sublime twists and turns of Tasmania's perfect blacktop.

Based on the also-very-pretty A5 Coupe, the S-stamped version adds a powerful 3.0-litre V6 engine, a quick-shifting eight-speed gearbox and some suspension trickery that glues the sleek Audi to the road surface below.

It's the fastest, most powerful and lightest S5 to date, and it's cheaper than the car it replaces to boot. And better still, we had an entire island neatly wrapped in perfect ribbons of tarmac to put it to the test.

The second-generation version of the S5 Sportback is set to appear in May, while the new S5 Cabriolet will follow later this year. For now, the two-door Coupe will lead the charge. 

Audi S5 2017: 3.0 TFSI Quattro
Safety rating
Engine Type3.0L
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8.5L/100km
Seating4 seats
Price from$93,940

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Audi's new S5 Coupe arrives with a sticker price of $105,800, which is a touch over its most obvious competitor - the marginally slower BMW 440i Coupe.

The good news, though, is that you'll want for little, and can easily avoid Audi's infamous options list. Expect 19-inch alloy wheels that display the bright red brake calipers, illuminated door sill trims, nappa leather sports seats that are heated in the front, and offer pneumatic bolster and lumbar support, plus carbon detailing in the interior.

In-cabin technology is taken care of via Audi's awesome 'Virtual Cockpit' (a huge digital screen that replaces the traditional dials in the driver's binnacle - the Google Earth-overlayed navigation is particularly outstanding) along with a second, centred screen that feeds a 10-speaker stereo.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   9/10

Undoubtedly one of the better looking cars on the road today, the Audi S5 Coupe looks sleek and stunning from every angle.

Viewed front-on, the newly designed single-frame grill (it's now wider and flatter) looks slick and powerful, while a raised bulge in the bonnet (Audi calls it a power dome) hints at the performance lurking beneath it.

Side on, a body crease (so sharp it's like it's been cut with a laser) runs the length of the body, while the 19-inch wheels are perched at the furthest corners. Four burbling exhausts emerging from beneath the boot complete this perfectly painted picture of intent.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

Well, the hint is right there in the name. This might be a touch over 4.6m long, but that swooping coupe roofline eats away at your practicality, especially for rear seat passengers.

Up front, though, it's spacious and comfortable and built for purpose, with terrifically bolstered sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel that's among the best in the business.

Shift to the back, and you'll find two seats (the middle one has been replaced by a weird plastic table), but there is plenty of legroom. Headroom, on the other hand, is a less positive story, with anyone who is 183cm (six-foot) or taller are sure to become well accustomed with the S5's roof lining.  

There's a cupholder in each of the rear doors, matching the two for front seat passengers, and two ISOFIX attachment points in the back row. Backseat riders also get their own air-con controls, and a power outlet.

Boot space is what Audi claims is a class-leading 465 litres (up 10 on the outgoing car) and the rear seat is split 40/20/40.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   9/10

The S5 Coupe's engine is an absolute peach, with a thick and steady flow of power that can make you forget a V8 version ever existed.

The turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6 is good for 260kW at 5400rpm and 500Nm from 1370rpm, channelled through a sensational eight-speed automatic gearbox and on to all four wheels. It's enough for a 4.7sec zero to 100km/h time and a limited top speed of 250km/h. But the sprint is only half the story, with the engine's mid-gear acceleration offering an insanely addictive rush of power when overtaking.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Well, Audi puts the number at a claimed/combined 7.5L/100km, but if you drive the S5 anything like you should, then you'll see that number climb skyward like its just been launched into space.

The S5 Coupe's C02 emissions are pegged at 171g/km.

What's it like to drive?   9/10

Addictive. The power delivery from that S5's V6 is rich and constant, and there's useable urge lurking all over the rev range. The sprint from 0-100km/h is enticing enough, but it's the way the car climbs from 90km/h, 100km/h or 110km/h when you plant your foot, a surging wave of power kicking you in the base of the spine as the S5 Coupe blasts you into the future.

The steering tune is bespoke to the S5, and it's the only model in the A5 range that arrives with adaptive dampers as standard fit, allowing you to dial firmness into the suspension, as well as tightening up the steering, gearing and throttle response.

As a result, it is an absolute joy to pilot through bends, sitting low and flat throughout before making use of its all-wheel drive to hurtle out the other side. It's the stuff involuntary smiles are made of, and you're unlikely to ever tire of it.

For day-to-day use, however, it sits just on the firm side of comfortable, which might grate on pockmarked city road surfaces, but the engine, exhaust and steering weight are all muted enough to ensure it can double as a quiet and composed commuter.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

Audi has thrown just about everything it's got at the S5 Coupe, and the safety list is extensive. Expect six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), which join a reversing camera, parking sensors, forward collision warning with AEB and pedestrian detection, a rear-impact sensor, cross-path assist and a driver fatigue detection system.

The entire A5 range was awarded the maximum five star ANCAP safety rating.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The Audi S5 Coupe is covered by a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, and requires servicing every 12 months or 15,000kms.

Audi offers the ability to pre-pay your maintenance costs for the first three years at $1,850.

Verdict

The kind of car that pushes back the autonomous argument, the S5 Coupe is a fun and frantic blast from the behind the wheel. Addictively powerful, sharp to steer and with the kind of endless grip that turns a twisting road into your own personal amusement park, the S5 injects a ton of fun into back-country blasts. It might be a touch uncomfortable in the city, but that's a price we're willing to pay.

Does a V6 turbo Audi S5 trump the previous V8 version? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$88,880
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$81,480
Highest Price
$89,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
3.0 TFSI Quattro 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $93,940 – 108,020 2017 AUDI S5 2017 3.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
3.0 TFSI Quattro 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $83,270 – 95,700 2017 AUDI S5 2017 3.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro 3.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $81,480 – 89,990 2017 AUDI S5 2017 Sportback 3.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.1
Price and features8
Design9
Practicality7
Engine & trans9
Fuel consumption7
Driving9
Safety9
Ownership7
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist

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Pricing Guide

$81,480

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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