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2017 Audi S5: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Audi S5, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Audi S5 Review

The swift and sleek 2017 Audi S5 heralds the end of its generation. But even as the spotlight fades, this long-running model remains highly desirable.

It comes as a coupe or convertible (cabriolet), isn’t bad on gas and cossets its occupants with an elegant interior. The 3.0-liter V6 is a fantastic high-performance engine. Because it’s supercharged, as opposed to turbocharged, throttle response is instantaneous. There’s no lag and the intoxicating power keeps on coming as long as the accelerator pedal stays down.

An all-new version arrives for the 2018 model year, but now could be the right time to play hardball with some dealers. Especially for those who like to avoid the first year of a car’s next generation. Keep this S5 for long enough and it could become a classic.

What’s New for 2017?

Audi has made the 2017 S5 available in one trim level. See the 2017 Audi S5 models for sale near you

What We Like

Handsome styling; classy interior; fabulous supercharged V6; superb dynamics

What We Don’t

Basic infotainment system has fiddly dash-mounted controls; no USB port

How Much?

$54,050-$62,050

Fuel Economy

The S5 has a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 developing 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. A precise 6-speed conventional manual transmission is standard on the coupe, with a highly responsive 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual offered as an option. The cabriolet, meanwhile, comes only with the 7-speed automated manual. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard on every S5.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the coupe with the automated manual achieves a solid 18 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined. The 6-speed manual returns 17 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined. The cabriolet’s fuel consumption is 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 4-seater 2017 Audi S5 coupe and cabriolet each come in one trim level. The coupe body style gets a panoramic sunroof (tilt only), while the cabriolet has a power-operated vinyl roof.

The S5 Coupe ($54,050) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, quad tailpipes, sport suspension, xenon headlights with LED accents, LED tail lights, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, Audi Drive Select with adjustable driver settings, exclusive sport-themed exterior styling flourishes, keyless entry/start, heated/self-dimming side mirrors, leather/synthetic suede upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, 16-way power-adjustable heated sport front seats with driver’s-side memory, tilt/telescope steering wheel, Bluetooth (phone only) and iPod integration, Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system with dash-mounted control knob, plus a 14-speaker/505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system (12 speakers in the cabriolet) with an auxiliary input, SD card reader and satellite radio.

The S5 Cabriolet ($62,050) has comparable equipment to its fixed-roof counterpart with the obvious exception of a power soft top that provides excellent insulation, takes no more than 17 seconds to come up or down, and operates at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The cabriolet also has a wind deflector.

Options include adaptive xenon headlights, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, keyless entry with push-button ignition, 19-in or 20-in wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, MMI Plus with navigation and console-mounted joystick knob, Audi Connect telematics with Wi-Fi. A sports rear differential with side-to-side power distribution is also available for both body styles.

Cargo capacity in the coupe is 12.2 cu ft. and 10.2 cu ft. for the cabriolet, which are both quite reasonable. Both cars’ rear seats will also fold down for a little extra space and versatility.

Safety

The S5 comes with standard stability control and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The coupe gets six airbags (front, front side and full-length side curtain), while the cabriolet gets four airbags (front and front side). A blind-spot warning system is standard on Prestige and optional on Premium Plus, while the Prestige-only Driver Assist package includes a collision mitigation system with low-speed automatic braking.

High-performance variants like the S5 typically aren’t subjected to crash tests, nor has the regular A5 been crash-tested by agencies within the United States.

Behind the Wheel

Like the ordinary A5, the S5 has a confident, almost invincible feel at speed. In this case, acceleration is intense and throttle response is immediate. The main handling difference comes courtesy of the optional sports rear differential, which really does mitigate the nose-heavy S5’s tendency to understeer, even if rear-drive machines such as the BMW 4 Series remain sharper.

Although the optional 19-in or 20-in wheels won’t help the ride quality, the S5 maintains a typical Germanic suppleness over rough pavement. More natural-feeling steering would be good, but that’s hardly a deal-breaker.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 BMW 440i — Enjoys a combination of performance and refinement that’s tough to top.

2017 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe or Cabriolet — A variant of the all-new C-Class generation with 362 hp.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS — Less expensive that the S5, but comes with a monstrous 455-hp 6.2-liter V8, a glorious exhaust note and decent handling.

Used BMW M3 — The previous-generation, V8-powered M3 coupe/convertible (E92/E93) was a contemporary of the S5 for years. Its high-revving, race-inspired engine is still thrilling.

Autotrader’s Advice

Don’t forget there’s a new version available as a 2018 model. But if someone wants to negotiate a sweet deal on an outgoing model, there’s a 450-pound difference between the manual coupe and the auto cabriolet. So enthusiasts should consider the coupe for the rigidity of a fixed roof and the lower weight. Then add the sports rear differential and MMI Plus with Audi Connect. Find an Audi S5 for sale

 

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