Used 2014 Audi RS 5 Coupe Review
Audi models often come in mild, hot and extra-spicy flavors, and the 2014 Audi RS 5 is the maximum-hot version of the company's competent A5 and higher-performance S5 coupe and convertible lines. With 100 more horsepower than the S5, the ultra-high-performance Audi RS 5 coupe and drop top provide sizzling performance when conditions allow, yet they're still comfortable and docile enough for commuting and errand-running duties.
Behind its gaping Audi grille, the 2014 RS 5 packs a 450-hp V8 that sends its considerable thrust to all four wheels through a seven-speed automated manual transmission. With the 0-60 mph times of the coupe and heavier convertible averaging about 4.5 seconds, the RS 5 is one seriously quick four-seater. And when you're leaning on it, the V8 provides all the right sounds (including a throaty exhaust growl) as the tach needle rapidly arcs toward a heady 8,000 rpm.
Factor in handsome styling with a few aggressive tweaks and a well-finished cabin and you can see why we think so highly of the RS 5. Still, there are some pretty desirable rivals to consider as well. BMW is out readying its new M4 for 2015, but the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupe offers competitive power and luxury for thousands less, while the Mercedes E550 Cabriolet serves as a stately alternative to the drop-top RS 5. Other prime options include a loaded-up version of the new Corvette Stingray or more expensive choices like the Jaguar XK or Nissan GT-R. Any of these cars is likely to work out well for you, but with its tasty blend of style and performance, the 2014 Audi RS 5 is a very tempting choice.
performance & mpg
Powering the 2014 Audi RS 5 is a 4.2-liter V8 engine that produces 450 hp and 317 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automated dual-clutch manual transmission with shift paddles drives all four wheels through a standard all-wheel-drive system. The RS 5 coupe's EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway). The RS 5 Cabriolet earns 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway) ratings.
In Edmunds performance testing, the Audi RS 5 coupe made the sprint from zero to 60 mph in a quick 4.3 seconds, while the heavier RS 5 Cabriolet turned in a 4.6-second effort. Both times are on equal footing with other cars in this class.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Audi RS 5 include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags (coupe only) and front and rear parking sensors. Optional items include a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitoring system and an automatic emergency braking system that is paired with the adaptive cruise control.
In Edmunds brake testing, the RS 5 coupe came to a stop from 60 mph in 105 feet while the Cabriolet took just a foot longer. These impressively short distances are actually about average for this high-performance segment.
Getting the most out of the 2014 Audi RS 5's high-revving V8 is dead simple thanks to the launch control system, automated manual transmission and standard all-wheel drive. That tenacious traction helps the RS 5 achieve truly impressive 0-60 times, though the Audi trails most competitors' quarter-mile times due to its heavier-than-average curb weight. Numbers aside, the RS 5 feels plenty fast, and it sounds wonderful when you put the pedal to the floor.
The RS 5's turn-in is pretty astonishing, as the front end just hangs on, seemingly unwilling to relinquish its grip on the road. Credit the RS 5's standard sport rear differential, which powers the outside rear tire while the inside front wheel is braked in order to pivot the car around the turn with unexpected agility. Meanwhile, the Audi's steering is accurate, but doesn't quite have the feel you might expect from such a high-performance car.
In normal use, the Audi RS 5 strikes a livable balance between speed and civility. Unfortunately, the RS 5's suspension uses conventional dampers and springs and thus has one mode only: firm. The ride is not as brutal as harder-edged rivals like the GT-R, but it's far stiffer than a plain Jane A5. Opting for the 20-inch wheels can make the RS 5 even more fidgety on broken pavement.
The RS 5's interior receives high marks for its understated design and use of top-notch materials, but functionality is hit-and-miss. Our main complaint is that the standard dash-mounted MMI controller isn't as easy to operate as the upgraded interface that comes with the optional navigation system. With the standard MMI dial, you have to go through more steps to accomplish basic tasks, while the optional MMI benefits from simplified menus and a more ergonomic console-mounted controller.
Front seats provide ample support to hold the driver and passenger firmly in place while cornering, yet are comfortable enough for all-day touring. For the rare driving enthusiast who requires even more lateral support, the optional sport seats should satisfy. Unfortunately, there's no fix for the rear seats, as the lack of head- and legroom makes them suitable for smaller passengers only.
Although the Cabriolet has a traditional soft top, its tight-fitting, multilayer construction provides impressive insulation from noise and weather that rivals more complex and trunk-space-robbing retractable hardtops. With the top stowed, the convertible's trunk provides 10.2 cubic feet of cargo space -- only 2 cubes less than the coupe. Both body styles feature folding rear seats for more capacity, a rarity among convertibles.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.