2009 Audi S5 Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Audi S5 Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Audi S5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 354 hp @ 6800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Audi S5

  • The alluring 2009 Audi S5 may seem a bit overpriced when compared to the cheaper and equally capable BMW 335xi coupe. But once you lay eyes on the S5's bodacious bodywork and hear the sweet sounds of its V8, you might decide it's worth every penny.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Striking styling, world-class V8 engine, sharp handling, upscale interior, standard all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Beefy curb weight and artificial steering feel hamper the car's sporting potential; not the best value in this segment.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Audi S5 adds an auxiliary audio jack to its standard features list, while newly available options include a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and the Audi Drive Select Package, which features variable-ratio steering and electronically adjustable dampers.

Full 2009 Audi S5 Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Audi S5 adds an auxiliary audio jack to its standard features list, while newly available options include a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and the Audi Drive Select Package, which features variable-ratio steering and electronically adjustable dampers.


Whenever we hop into a drop-dead-gorgeous car, we can't help but think of that old automotive epithet: "All show, no go." We hope this won't be the case, but we know from experience that beauty is often only skin-deep in our image-conscious car culture. That's why a car like the 2009 Audi S5 is such a revelation. It's got curb appeal to burn, yet it's also one of the most engaging cars to drive in this segment.

Audi's S lineup aims for the middle ground between the high-strung RS models and more pedestrian machines like the V6-powered A5 coupe. As such, the S5 improves significantly upon the performance of its A5 sibling, while retaining that car's identity as a luxurious yet sporting coupe. The biggest upgrade can be found under the S5's curvaceous hood, where you'll find the latest version of Audi's familiar 4.2-liter V8. Generating 354 horsepower and some of the sweetest mechanical noises this side of a Porsche 911, this is one of the finest eight-cylinder engines on the market, and it clearly sets the S5 apart from its most natural rival, the turbocharged six-cylinder BMW 335xi.

With a 40-percent front/60-percent rear power split, the S5's rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system is seemingly at odds with the car's nose-heavy 58-percent front/42-percent rear weight distribution. Happily, it all comes together admirably well on sinuous back roads, where the S5 displays good body control and impressively neutral handling characteristics. There's no getting around the S5's considerable mass, however -- at 3,807 pounds, the last S5 we tested wasn't exactly light on its feet. Moreover, the standard speed-sensitive power steering feels rather artificial, as does the optional variable-ratio system.

In other words, the 2009 Audi S5 isn't the sportiest coupe in this segment; that honor belongs to the inimitable 3 Series. However, it does have other virtues, such as a finely wrought interior and that killer V8. Also, the S5 arguably offers more eye-catching style than all of its competitors put together, and let's face it -- when you're dropping this much cash on a coupe, looks are important. Add it all up and the S5 makes for a pretty enticing proposition.

Other models to consider include the aforementioned BMW 335xi (or simply the rear-wheel-drive 335i, if you don't require AWD traction) as well as the V8-powered Mercedes-Benz CLK550. Yet the more affordable Bimmer can't match the S5's looks, and the rear-drive-only Benz is pricier and less sporty. A dark-horse contender is the Infiniti G37, which almost matches the S5's power output for many thousands less, but isn't nearly as refined. In short, we wouldn't blame anyone for being seduced by the S5's knockout combination of looks and performance.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Audi S5 high-performance luxury sport coupe is available in a single trim level. Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon headlights, a panoramic tilt-up sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front sport seats with seat heaters, leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

Options include adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, Alcantara-trimmed seats, alternative cabin accents (including wood, "Carbon Atlas" and stainless steel), Bluetooth connectivity, keyless ignition, park assist (with a rearview camera), a navigation system and a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. The Audi Drive Select package, which adds variable-ratio steering and adjustable dampers, allows the driver to vary throttle, transmission, steering and suspension calibrations at the push of a button.

Powertrains and Performance

The S5 is propelled by a 4.2-liter direct-injected V8 that churns out 354 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. In performance testing, we spurred a manual-transmission S5 from zero to 60 mph in a fleet 4.9 seconds, with the quarter-mile blurring past in 13.3 seconds.

EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined with the manual transmission, while the automatic is rated at an appreciably better 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.


Antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags all come standard. A blind-spot warning system is also available.

Interior Design and Special Features

The S5's richly appointed cabin is one of its strong points, boasting high-quality materials and good fit and finish. Audi's proprietary MMI (Multi Media Interface) routes many functions through a control knob mounted on either the center stack or the center console, depending on whether the optional navigation system is present. Many of our editors find MMI more user-friendly than BMW's much-maligned iDrive, but it's still likely to try your patience with its maze of menus and submenus.

The front seats offer satisfactory comfort and support, though the S5's low seating position and high cowl and beltline may make shorter drivers feel as though they are peering out of a bathtub. The rear seat's truncated head- and legroom make it suitable for small passengers only, though people stuck back there will be treated to their own set of climate controls mounted in the rear of the center console. The trunk offers an extraordinary 16.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and if that proves insufficient, the rear seat folds down to accommodate larger items.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Audi S5 is a sharp-handling coupe, with nicely controlled body roll and tenacious AWD traction. However, you'll certainly feel the S5's ample poundage when you're hustling it along a winding road. We also aren't fans of the S5's standard speed-sensitive power steering system -- it's artificially light at parking-lot speeds and artificially heavy on the highway. The optional variable-ratio steering system that comes with the Audi Drive Select package provides a similarly contrived feel, though at least it's adjustable according to driver preference.

The mandatory 4.2-liter V8, on the other hand, is a revelation -- acceleration is authoritative, yet it never seems to be working hard, emitting an intoxicatingly mellow burble from idle to redline. The manual transmission features long but reasonably precise throws; the automatic, on the other hand, can be rough at times, though shifts are remarkably quick in manual mode. The ride is quite firm with the standard 19-inch wheels.

Read our Audi S5 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

S5 first 2k miles

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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

I've always wanted a 993/996/997 BUT need a back seat that can accommodate a baby seat. The S5 has plenty of room for 3 adults and a large baby seat. It's very comfortable, has all wheel drive (go to YouTube and check out the S5 racing a down hill skier, the car goes up and down the slope!) and has similar stats to a 997 4. 0-60 4.9 S5 vs 4.8 997 4 and 1/4 13.2 S5 vs. 13/12.9 997 4. The 6 speed gear box is not quite as nice as the 997 but is still easy to shift. Anyway this is a great sport GT/luxury sports car. It sticks to the pavement, drives GREAT in the rain and is very comfortable. We'll see how it does over the next 90k miles, but I am very happy with the first 2k miles.

Great but can be improved.

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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

First of all to all those who think this care is fast I hate to break it to you but it's not. I shelled out close to 63 thousand dollars and I could have bought a Z06. Now on the other hand the looks are great and I love the handling. Since last november minor things have gone wrong with the car(electrical/led lighting etc). Audi should have built a faster car. I guess that's why they are coming up with the RS5 for 85K!

My thoughts

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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

S5 is indeed a beautiful car. I just got it, but I must say it is not that great of a car. I own an M5 2007 so there is a big difference in performance. When driving you must step on the gas more due to the quattro system. When you release you will feel a slight deceleration which makes people think you are braking but you are not. The handling is not as nice due to the really light wheel. I do not get any feedback like when I drive rear wheel cars. You will notice it the most when you drive on twisty roads. I do understeer on turns since the line of entry is a little different with this car. Great car for everyday drive but for performance the 335i can boogie against this car.


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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

I've owned my new S5 for two weeks now...test drove everything (many, many times) from the 335i, Cayenne GTS, M3, G37, 650i, others..and yes, this was the winner. First, let me mention it looks phenomenal in person, way better than in pictures and better than anything else under $100k. I've found the V8 is perfectly robust and yet sumptuous, and the acceleration is long and powerful in any gear. The interior made my former 3-series feel outdated instantly. This is a perfect touring GT where the M3 is a sports car, and that touch of gentleman is exactly what I was looking for.


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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

Bought my US Spec Auto S5 over here in Stuttgart Germany. The 1st 600 miles break in period was hard to do on the autobahn. I have slowly stepped it up since and will not really see what it can do until I have passed the 2500 mile mark. All and all so far it has been everything I have expected. A few things I have noted are that the IPOD option does not come with an IPOD adaptor! Seats are a 6 on long trips due to comfort and I have noticed that the tires seem a little narrow over 100 mph. If you need to do an emergency slow down, the back end seems to want to get away from you but the ESP kicks in and keeps it under control. Overall I still give it a 9.

Best daily driver

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Vehicle: 2009 Audi S5 quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

This car is by far the best daily driver. My last car was a Porsche 997 S Cab and before that a BMW E46 M3 Cab. Unless you are going to take this car to a race track it outshines the others. It is way more comfortable and had great Cabin Tech. Ipod integration is outstanding as is the B&O Sound System. If you are looking for a fast, sporty, great looking daily driver look no further. Compared to other German cars with this level of performance it is also a good value. There are not many of these on the road in my area and the car gets a lot of attention.

Talk About The 2009 S5

2009 Audi S5 Discussions See all Started By

have a 2007 Q7 3.6 Premium and a 2009 S5 4.2L...by FAR the best two cars I have ever owned, Including MB, Lexus (junk), BMW (not impressed), Honda, Nissan, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jag, etc...the only car ...

http://www.ridewithg.com/index.php/2009/11/2010-audi-a3-a4-s4-a5-s5-lease-rates-- november-2009/...

Just put a $2,500 deposit on an 2009 S5 Automatic. Could have negotiated that deposit price but didn't. He also said it was a non-refundable deposit. Again, could have negotiated for refundable cla...

Read more about the 2009 Audi S5

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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