2009 Audi S5: The Class of the Strip
February 15, 2010
Here's the long-awaited Part 2 entry about my Vegas road trip in our long-term 2009 Audi S5. Like our long-term Dodge Challenger R/T, the S5 feels great on the open road. As you'd hope, though, for a car that costs $25,000 more ($61,915 vs. $36,310), the Audi feels that much more refined -- from the way its cabin materials look and feel, to the way everything fits together and operates.
I was surprised to find the ride quality in the S5 exactly to my liking. It has bigger wheels and tires (255/35ZR19 96Y) than our long-term A4 Avant, yet it doesn't share that car's busy, harsh ride over grooved freeway slabs. (Yes, yes, maybe it's the tire model -- Dunlop SP Sport Maxx on the S5 versus B'stone Potenza RE050A on our A4.) Whatever the case, the S5 has a comfortably firm ride and its suspension quickly and unobtrusively absorbs bumps and ruts.
The tires were a little noisy for my taste on I-15, but the 19-inch wheels are so attractive, I'd probably just put up with that if this was my car.
The seats in the S5 fit me perfectly and were never anything other than comfortable and supportive for the 5-hour blocks behind the wheel.
Using the Multi-Media Interface's big rotary controller to scroll through iPod menus and destination options can be a bit clunky at times, but given the broad functionality here, I'd rather have MMI than not have it.
In addition, I found MMI useful for managing time with a destination entered in the navigation system. The time counter is far more accurate than most I've encounted, and I did indeed return to LA at about 2:25 p.m.
My fuel economy on the trip back was identical to my mileage on the trip there, so over 570 miles, the S5 averaged a respectable 20.6 mpg.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 16,722 miles