2017 Audi S5 Review
Edmunds expert review
Nine years is a long time for a car to survive without a redesign. It's even longer for a sport luxury coupe, yet the 2017 Audi S5 remains just as desirable as it was when it debuted in 2008. That's a testament to the S5's timeless design inside and out, as well as its comfort and potent performance.
At long last, a replacement is just over the horizon, with an edgier look and sharply creased body panels. That means if you're partial to the smooth flowing lines of this current-generation S5, this is your last chance to get one. Keep in mind that you'll likely be missing out on all of the latest technology as well as improvements in performance and efficiency.
Newer S5 rivals also enjoy similar advantages for the time being and are worthy of your consideration. These include the BMW 440i, Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe and Cadillac ATS Coupe. It can be argued that these alternatives lack the timeless style of the 2017 Audi S5, so you'll have to decide for yourself if this classic shape can still compete.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Audi S5 include antilock brakes, stability/traction control, front-seat side and knee airbags, and (in the coupe) full-length side curtain airbags. A blind-spot monitoring system, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors are included in the Technology package
In Edmunds brake testing, the S5 coupe and convertible came to a stop from 60 mph within a foot of each other at 108 and 109 feet, respectively. These distances are comparable to those of competing vehicles with summer performance tires.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Audi S5 is a four-passenger luxury coupe that is also available as a cabriolet (convertible). Standard features include 18-inch wheels with performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights and foglights, heated auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, a sunroof (coupe only), cruise control, keyless entry/ignition and selectable drive modes. The S5 cabriolet also receives a power-folding cloth top and a wind blocker.
Inside, you get tri-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather/faux-suede upholstery (premium leather for the cabriolet), 16-way power-adjustable and heated front seats with driver seat memory functions, 60/40-split folding rear seats, brushed aluminum interior trim, ambient interior lighting, a universal garage door opener, Bluetooth, Audi's MMI infotainment system, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system with satellite radio, an SD card reader and iPod integration.
Options include the 19- or 20-inch wheels, a sport differential, an adaptive suspension and the Technology package (adaptive headlights, a blind-spot monitor, rear parking sensors, a navigation system with voice control, a rearview camera, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Google Maps and services, HD radio and a DVD player). The cabriolet's premium leather is available on the coupe as an option.
The 2017 Audi S5 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The coupe comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional on the coupe and standard on the cabriolet. Every S5 features all-wheel drive, which can be enhanced with an optional sport differential that actively distributes torque between the rear wheels for optimal cornering precision.
In Edmunds performance testing, an S5 coupe equipped with the automatic transmission (and pre-programmed launch mode) accelerated to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is a quick time among its primary rivals. The convertible hit 60 mph in a competitive 5.3 seconds.
The EPA estimates fuel economy of 20 mpg combined (17 city/26 highway) for the coupe with the manual transmission and 21 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway) with the automatic. The convertible is rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).
The 2017 Audi S5 is remarkably easy to live with, yet it's ready to thrill whenever you get the urge. Power from the supercharged V6 is plentiful, and this one is virtually vibration-free, even as it approaches the redline. The standard steering system manages to be both calm on the highway and responsive in turns. We also like the feel of the sport differential during aggressive driving, though you won't get much use out of this feature unless you're comfortable taking corners with all four tires squealing.
Drivers who choose the coupe's stick shift will be rewarded with precise, positive action through the gates. That's no knock on the S tronic automatic transmission, however, which supplies silky-smooth shifts in normal driving yet reacts quickly to the manual commands of the paddle shifters, executing rev-matched downshifts with clinical precision.
Even with the Audi S5's sporting personality, ride quality remains quite pleasant overall. The optional adaptive suspension gives the driver some choice in the matter, but we think the standard calibration strikes an agreeable balance between comfort and control. Whether you're on a twisty mountain pass or in the midst of a cross-country trek, this handsome two-door is a rewarding traveling companion.
Much like its exterior, the 2017 Audi S5's interior has held up well over time thanks to its elegantly simple design and excellent materials. Most controls are logically placed, and all buttons and knobs have a quality feel. It loses some points for the lack of a USB port; instead it has a proprietary cable that supports only the latest Apple devices.
Front passengers will appreciate the well-shaped seats that provide plenty of support over extended trips and hold you in tight when cornering. Rear seat passengers, on the other hand, will find the child-sized accommodations lacking in head- and legroom. The convertible top does get high marks for its quick operation and ability to keep out wind and road noise.
Cargo capacity for the coupe comes to 12.2 cubic feet, which is smaller than rivals. The convertible takes away another 2 cubic feet, but the folding rear seats offer good overflow space.
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.