2009 Audi S5 Long Term Road Test

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2009 Audi S5: Not Enough Guts for My Tastes

May 27, 2009


After making the nearly 1,000 mile trek to Colorado, I was sure of two things: 1) the S5 is one of the best looking cars on the road today, 2) I probably wouldn't buy one for myself even if I could.

As far as the first one goes, it's purely subjective. Every time walked back to the car from a snack break, or stopped to take a picture, the S5 looked perfect, even with hundreds of miles of road grime caked to its nose. It has the right stance, perfect proportions and simplicity in its lines that are hard to argue with. And judging by the number of random thumbs up I saw, most are in agreement with me on this one.

So why wouldn't I buy it?


Pretty simple - not enough power. Sounds nuts given its 354-horsepower V8, but it's not enough I tell ya. You hear that big 4.2-liter rumble to life and you expect something dangerous to happen when you lay into it, but all too often you get nothing but a gentle nudge.

It's an irresistibly smooth nudge mind you, and the noises that go along with it are almost worth the effort, but with a passenger and a couple of suitcases on board the S5 feels too soft at wide open throttle.

Maybe it's the fact that there's only 325 pound-feet of torque trying to move nearly 3,900 pounds of car, but our M3 only has 295 pound-feet of torque and it rarely feels so overwhelmed.

I suspect that few will agree with me on the S5's lack of punch, but I did nearly 2,000 miles in the thing in five days, I know what the car can do. Bring on the RS5 please.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor @ 2,322 miles


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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Audi S5 in VA is:

$152 per month*
* Explanation