2019 Audi S5 Review
2019 Audi S5 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Mark Takahashi has worked in the automotive industry since 2001. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Mark has also contributed to Motor Trend, Auto Aficionado, Chevy High Performance and several motorcycle magazines in various roles. Mark is also a juror on the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards and can be seen regularly on the Edmunds YouTube channel and sometimes representing the company in media interviews.
- Acceleration is very strong and smooth
- Superb grip around turns
- Interior is modern, classy and packed with high-tech features
- A comfortable ride and seats for all-day trips
- Interior storage is adequate but not generous
- Minor shuffling of features
- A new base Premium trim has been added to the lineup
- A wireless charger with signal booster is now available
- Part of the second S5 generation introduced for 2018
The luxury sport coupe class of cars is dominated by German automakers and, among them, the 2019 Audi S5 is an intriguing choice. Coming off a full redesign last year, the S5 is Audi's midrange entry between the more affordable A5 and the higher-performing RS 5.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Audi S5 3.0 TFSI Premium quattro 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.32 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$216/mo for S5 3.0 TFSI Premium quattro
S5 3.0 TFSI Premium quattro
Avg. Midsize Car
This year, Audi has introduced an entry-level Premium trim and made minor feature changes and additions. On paper, the engine output figures drop by 5 horsepower compared to last year, but that's only because of a different reporting procedure. Otherwise, the S5 is unchanged, and that's a good thing. It's attractively styled and provides strong performance, a comfortable ride and a well-crafted cabin.
The S5's most direct competitors are the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. More specifically, the BMW 440i xDrive and the Mercedes AMG C 43, which occupy similar midrange positions within their families. The 2019 Audi S5 benefits from having the freshest redesign, but all three are excellent choices.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
The Audi S5 is at the top of the class when it comes to driver engagement and performance. It's a blast to drive on a twisty road yet well-mannered in everyday situations.
There's a brief hesitation when you hit the gas from a stop. But after that, acceleration is incredibly smooth. Upshifts are almost imperceptible. It's deceptive how quickly this car gets up to speed, requiring the driver to show high levels of restraint.
The pedal is appropriately firm for a performance vehicle such as this. Despite flogging it repeatedly on a challenging mountain pass, we never experienced any fade or softening of the pedal. Under typical conditions, the brakes are easy to modulate and bring the car to a smooth stop.
Steering effort feels right in each drive mode (lighter in Comfort, heavier in Dynamic), but there's little feedback to tell the driver when grip is at the limit. The optional adaptive steering feels awkward when accelerating and turning from a stop.
The S5 has impressive road-holding capabilities. It easily navigates through sharp turns at speeds that would overwhelm lesser vehicles. The all-wheel-drive system deftly supplies power to specific wheels to aid the car's handling balance around turns.
The initial hesitation is a bit of a letdown, but it's nowhere close to being a deal-breaker. The same holds true for the automatic engine stop-start function, but this is typical in most competitors. Otherwise, the S5 is a joy to drive in any condition.
Performance usually comes at the expense of comfort, but the S5 makes no such concessions. The adaptive suspension has a distinct difference between modes to suit your particular mood.
The standard sport seats are very comfortable over long distances and provide excellent lateral support when cornering. The side bolsters are thick but power-adjustable if you want more space for your torso. Standard massage functions are the cherry on top.
For a car with this kind of performance potential, the S5's ride quality is very smooth. Even in Dynamic mode, there's enough compliance to keep it from feeling harsh. Note, however, that we have not tested the S5 with the standard (nonadjustable) suspension.
Noise & vibration
The summer tires emit a noticeable amount of road noise on coarse asphalt, but they are quiet on most other surfaces. Engine noise is louder than in most vehicles, but in this car it feels right and sounds pleasantly aggressive. Wind noise is pretty much absent.
The tri-zone automatic climate control cools the interior quickly after being parked out in the hot sun. The vent placement is good, providing even coverage. Once a temperature is set, there's little need for adjustment.
The S5's cabin is a wonderful expression of modern, understated luxury. The materials quality is high, and the smart layout of controls makes operation easy and distraction-free.
Ease of use
There are only buttons for essential controls. You operate everything else through the MMI infotainment system. The simple design and logical placement and grouping of buttons mean you'll rarely have to look down to use them. This is an example of how it's done right.
Getting in/getting out
The long doors make front-seat access effortless, and the seat-belt presenter eliminates the need to reach back. Access to the rear seats is typical for the class, which means it requires an inelegant crouch and side shimmy to get past the roof and front seat.
The driver's seat has numerous power adjustments and a wide range of movement. There's extendable thigh support, too. Drivers of just about any size and shape should be able to find their optimal position.
As you'd expect from a performance coupe, the S5's cockpit has a sporty wraparound feel, but it never feels tight or confining. Backseat space is cramped for adults, but smaller passengers should be fine.
The roof pillars are moderately thick, which is typical for any car today. But they don't obstruct your outward view much, and the optional top-down camera system takes away any guesswork in tight parking spaces. The mirrors offer good coverage, too.
Even among other great luxury sport coupes, the Audi S5 stands out. All materials are high-quality, and buttons have an identical and precise click. Interior components have a durable heft.
The S5 is about average for interior storage but gets better marks for its trunk space and the convenience items associated with it. The trunk is bigger than the exterior size suggests, though it's not much bigger than average for the class.
There aren't many bins or pockets, and they are not particularly large. They offer just enough space for your personal items and not much more.
The trunk has an 11.6-cubic-foot capacity. That's not great, but it's roomy enough for most daily cargo-hauling tasks. The S5's flat load floor, remote seatback releases, anchor points and retractable bag hangers garner it more points for convenience.
The Audi S5 has a lot of high-tech features and makes them easy to use. The virtual instrument panel is particularly good, with configurable sections and clear graphics in any light. The MMI infotainment system's evolution keeps it among our favorites.
Audio & navigation
The optional Bang & Olufsen sound system delivers powerful audio with excellent clarity. The navigation system is packed with features and is easy to operate, particularly with the trace pad and voice commands. The MMI system continues to get high marks.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment on all S5 models. For audio control, Apple CarPlay is preferable to Audi's MMI, but it's awkward to control with the dial rather than a touchscreen.
The forward collision warning system is well tuned without being overly sensitive in traffic. The blind-spot monitoring is subtle enough to not be a distraction. Stability and traction control are smartly tuned to give you enough leeway to have fun but not enough to get in trouble.
Voice recognition is excellent whether through MMI or Apple CarPlay. Apple CarPlay is a bit easier to use with plain speech but does require an internet connection.
Which S5 does Edmunds recommend?
Odds are if you're considering the Audi S5, you're looking for performance and engagement. For that reason, we suggest the midlevel Premium Plus trim because it's eligible for the S Sport package that adds a sport-tuned adaptive suspension and an upgraded rear differential. If handling prowess isn't quite as important, the new base Premium trim will likely suffice.
2019 Audi S5 models
The 2019 Audi S5 is a high-performance variant of the A5 that is offered in coupe, convertible (Cabriolet) and four-door hatchback (Sportback) body styles. The coupe and convertible seat four while the Sportback accommodates five. It is available in Premium, Premium Plus or Prestige trim levels. All are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (349 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque). All-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features for the Premium trim include 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, LED headlights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, a power trunklid, a sport suspension, selectable drive modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather and simulated suede upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front sport seats, and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.
Tech features include Audi's MMI infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker sound system. You also get Audi Connect Care emergency telematics and forward collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking.
Stepping up to the Premium Plus adds power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free trunklid opener, keyless entry and ignition, a digital instrument panel, driver-seat memory functions, a navigation system, an 8.3-inch infotainment display, a handwriting recognition trace pad, a wireless charging pad with signal booster, satellite radio, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and vehicle exit alert.
The range-topping Prestige trim tops off the list with a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, an automated parking system, a surround-view camera system and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The Cabriolet is only offered in Premium Plus and Prestige and adds a folding cloth top, premium leather upholstery and a wind deflector. It is also eligible for the Luxury package (premium leather, upgraded front seats with ventilation, a neck warmer and a heated steering wheel).
Premium Plus and Prestige trims are eligible for the S Sport package (red brake calipers, adaptive dampers and a sport rear differential), the Warm Weather package (premium leather, ventilated front seats) and variable-ratio dynamic steering. The Black Optic package (20-inch wheels and black exterior trim) is offered only on coupe and Sportback models. Nineteen-inch wheels are also available as a stand-alone option.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Screaming fast. Fantastic fun
Mark J, 01/20/2019
2018 Audi S5 Premium Plus quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
3rd update: Not change, but needing breaks at 38,000 seems too soon when virtually all the miles are highway miles. 2nd update: Just turned 36k miles and still love the car. Just replaced tires. I learned that Audi uses a bit of negative camber (helps with cornering) which causes the tires to wear on the inside at a faster rate than normal. Hence, be sure to get the treadwear … guarantee and rotate tires to get a healthy credit toward the new tires. Update: After 4+ years of ownership I still love this car. Everything below is still valid. Total mileage after 4.75 years of ownership is about 32,000 I've put 12k miles on the car and have not had any troubles. The dealer support for a condenser that was perforated by a rock was above and beyond. The car is blazing fast. Way better than my G35 or 530 ever were. The S5 is also more refined than those cars too. Since I drive 80 - 85 on the highway, when I need to pass and punch the gas it jumps to 100 almost instantly. Acceleration to 60 is also terrific. Road holding (I have the optional split differential) is incredible. A corner that I could never get past 37 in the G35 I've already done effortlessly at 55 in the S5. I'd try it faster, but there is not enough road to get the speed any higher. I've taken the car on an 850 mile one day drive and found it to be extremely comfortable (I'm 6'0 and 200 pounds). Fuel economy on that road trip was 30 MPG. Around town which is a mix of city/highway mpg is 22. This is based on using mid grade fuel. In regards to the turbo lag, I have found it to be almost imperceptible when the transmission is in sport mode. I basically keep it in sport until I reach a road where I can cruise at a steady speed. Oh, and the car gets plenty of looks. Its a work of art.
5 out of 5 stars
My First Audi. Glad it was the 2018 S5 Prestige!
Gene Simpson, 10/17/2017
2018 Audi S5 Prestige quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
This car is absolutely incredible. It drives and handles like a dream. The technology can be a bit overwhelming at first but once you get used to how things work it is great. The controls and ergonomics of the cabin are almost perfect. Great quality materials in the buttons, high-quality diamond stitched Nappa leather and a sound system that is fantastic. Everything is arranged within … the cabin with the driver as the focus of all controls and electronics. The virtual cockpit is incredible to use as is everything else. Engine response is superb with just a slight turbo lag in the low rpm range below 1300rpm. Once past that line, the acceleration is incredible. The handling is so balanced with acceleration and cornering that is way out of its class. I could go on and on about what a great car this is but all I can say is this was my first Audi S5 series, it will not be my last.
5 out of 5 stars
Possibly the best car I have ever owned.
2019 Audi S5 3.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Just took delivery of my 2nd S5 Cabriolet. The previous was a slightly used (5k miles) 2015 Premium Plus. This model is a brand new 2019 Prestige fully loaded. I could not find anything quite comparable to my previous S5 after test drives with BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche, and even Tesla (albeit a completely different concept all-elec). Throwing in all the tangibles and in-tangibles … (warranty, maintenance service support, handling, performance, versatility, wet-sexy looks, country-club street cred, durability, and price) I could not find any match. First, the new 2019 S5, although it looks similar, is a completely different car than its predecessor. Audi changed the body lines and design and added a ton of technology and improvements to the 2018 model. The new 2019 comes with a $10-15k higher price point, regardless of options, but I have to say...WORTH IT. The car is packed so tight with high tech customizable features and options, that it is overwhelming. On the Prestige model, there is almost nothing in the cockpit that is not customizable. For example, the stock Milano leather sport seat with quilted cross-hatch stitching have no less than 40 different possible settings. Not the least of which is the back and lumbar massage system which comes standard with three different pressure points with three different levels of intensity each. Not only can you customize the interior LED lighting system, which is elegantly tucked under the the seamless Atlas carbon fiber inlays, foot-wells, and cup-holders, to literally ANY color in the visible spectrum, you can even delineate the "upper" level lights to a different color than the "lower" level lights. The exterior camera system provides 360 degree "top view" of the car when parking and backing up. You can select any individual camera to view for tight-quarter maneuvers when needed. If that is not enough, you can even change the HUD system (Heads Up Display) to rotate up to 5 degrees R-L and position the projection higher or lower on the windscreen, as well as adjust the brightness and actual information projected to include turn-by-turn navigation, road sign information, and the active lane assist. The car is simply astonishing with advanced customizable features. One of my big disappointments in the 2015 was the lack of voice-command microphone for phone operation and other radio and climate features. The Audi (Volkswagen) engineers figured that out in the 2018-2019 model. The acoustic dampening convertible top is a feat of technology in itself. I can tell no difference in the interior road noise from my friend's plush Lexus hard-top sedan, and my sporty coupe convertible. The exhaust note on start-up turns heads. A friend of mine just said, "Whoa-that sounds like a Ferrari engine." Performance In the 2019 is much better. It has a touchy throttle, and when pressed, it sprints. The over-all 0-60mph time may not be significantly different, but it "feels" lighter and more nimble. The wide 19-Inch sport summer tires could probably hold a 1.1+ G lateral on a track, but I'm slightly disappointed Audi didn't recognize that most of us in the U.S. are daily commuters and not formula-one drivers. They should have installed all-season performance tires to hold up under the all-wheel torque and grind of the Quattro system such as Pirelli P-Zeros. Almost as good, with 4x the mileage wear. The dynamic steering is really necessary to avoid wheel rim rash. The rear wheels track far inside front wheels. This car is ridiculously good for what it is. A very high performance luxury convertible with the price tag of a loaded full-size domestic pick-up truck. Unfortunately they ain't making more. Audi has sadly discontinued the S5 cabriolet for 2020 and the foreseeable future. Go grab one while you still can!
5 out of 5 stars
Looks Great and STILL Fun to Drive (1 year out)
Dr. Ron, 06/22/2019
2019 Audi S5 3.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
Had the 2019 S5 Coupe 1 year now. Still looks great in Quantum Gray with Black Optic wheel package. Continue to get compliments. Love the responsive handling in and out of traffic. Easy merging on the highway with the 350 hp. Comfortable and stylish interior. Electronics seem to enhance the connection between driver, car, and road.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2019 Audi S5, so we've included reviews for other years of the S5 since its last redesign.
2019 S5 Highlights
|Combined MPG||24 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$216/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the S5 models:
- Audi Pre Sense City
- Warns of an impending front collision and automatically applies the brakes if you don't.
- Audi Side Assist
- Notifies you if there's a car in your blind spot and alerts you if you activate the turn signal.
- Vehicle Exit Warning
- Alerts passengers when a vehicle or bicyclist is approaching from behind, to prevent opening the door into traffic.