The 2019 Audi S5 is based on the A5 premium compact coupe and convertible. Which in turn is based on the superb A4 sedan. When an Audi car receives the S treatment, it doesn’t suddenly become the most powerful version (in this particular context, the RS 5 coupe owns that title). But it does enjoy a turbocharged V6 instead of a 4-cylinder, resulting in a healthy amount of energy.
This is complemented by a sport suspension that brings more agility, stronger brakes for greater reassurance, a set of dedicated aerodynamic additions for cooling and downforce, plus many tech features. Sport front seats have also been fitted, but fear not, they’re still comfortable. The rest of the interior is simultaneously elegant and welcoming.
Fuel consumption is relatively reasonable, considering this is a performance machine with a fantastic 3.0-liter V6 engine. Selectable driving modes change the responses of the throttle, steering system and transmission. Add the optional adaptive suspension and those modes encompass ride qualities from supple to sporty.
The 4-door S5 Sportback is reviewed separately, so is the A5 range and the RS 5 Coupe.
What’s New for 2019?
The S5 Coupe starts out with a new entry level Premium trim. Standard equipment is redistributed among what is now three trim levels for the coupe. Audi has also adopted a new method for quoting horsepower. The 2018 S5 had 354 horsepower, but this year’s model has 349. No revisions to the engine have taken place and torque figures are unaffected. See the 2019 Audi S5 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Polished design
- Smart cabin
- Superb driving manners
- Muscular V6 engine
What We Don’t
- Many advanced driver aids are only available in the top trim
- Steering could have more feel
The S5 has a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 developing 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This connects to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. All-wheel drive (known as quattro along Audi’s corridors) is standard.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving for the coupe, with the cabriolet (convertible) being one mile per gallon thirstier on the highway.
Standard Features & Options
The 4-seater 2019 Audi S5 coupe comes in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. The 4-seater 2019 S5 Cabriolet is sold in Premium Plus and Prestige versions.
The coupe body style has a panoramic sunroof (tilt only), while the cabriolet has a power-operated fabric roof that can be deployed at speeds of up to 31 mph.
The Premium trim ($53,395) includes 18-in alloy wheels wearing summer performance tires, full LED exterior lighting, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles, keyless entry/ignition, a hands-free trunk release, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, selectable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather/Alcantara (simulated suede) seating surfaces, 12-way power-adjustable/heated/massaging front seats with active bolsters, ambient LED cabin lighting, a self-dimming rearview mirror, front/rear parking sensors, forward-collision mitigation, a garage door opener, a 7-in display for the infotainment system, a 10-speaker audio setup, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, HD radio, and two USB ports.
The Premium trim is eligible for a Convenience package that includes driver’s-side memory settings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, an alarm system with motion sensors, rear collision mitigation, a 3-month trial subscription to satellite radio, self-dimming side mirrors, and an Advanced Key for remote engine start/stop and trunk opening.
The Premium Plus ($57,795) has the Advanced Key, blind spot monitoring, Exit Assist (alerts users to any hazards approaching when the doors are being opened), rear collision mitigation, navigation, Wi-Fi, wireless charging, phone signal booster, CD/MP3 player and the Virtual Cockpit (12.3-in configurable driver information display).
The S5 Cabriolet in Premium Plus trim ($66,095) also has a wind deflector.
The Prestige trim ($61,495) adds handwriting recognition for controlling the infotainment system, a head-up display, a top-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam Assist (a partially autonomous system that steers and brakes in stop/go conditions), partially autonomous parking feature, active lane keeping, automatic high beams, road sign recognition and a Bang & Olufsen 755-watt/19-speaker audio system.
An S Sport package is available with the Premium Plus and Prestige trims (both body styles), bringing a sport-tuned adaptive suspension and a sport rear differential.
Cabriolet models in both trims are also eligible for a Luxury package that includes neck-warming air vents, heated steering wheel and ventilated/14-way power-adjustable front seats.
Other options for the 2019 S5 range include ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, 19- and 20-in alloy wheels, high-quality Nappa leather upholstery and variable-ratio steering.
Trunk space is 11.6 cu ft. in the coupe and 9.3 cu ft. for the cabriolet.
The S5 comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and eight airbags (front, front side, front knee and full-length side curtain).
The S5 has not been crash-tested by any North American agencies. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the regular A5 coupe a top overall rating of five stars, with four stars for front impact protection and five for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has also named the A5 coupe a Top Safety Pick Plus after the car earned the top score of Good in all the major categories.
Behind the Wheel
Confidence. It’s everywhere in the S5, from the rapid acceleration to the decisive braking feel, from the resistance to body roll in the corners to the traction and grip of the all-wheel drive system. Keeping the engine between 1,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm is a generously sized sweet spot where power delivery is particularly smooth and responsive.
In most conditions, the AWD system sends 60% of engine power to the rear wheels, imparting an appropriately sporty feel. If circumstances dictate, however, up to 85% can be directed to either axle within milliseconds. The optional (and highly recommended) sport rear differential can even split torque between the wheels at the back axle, enhancing the car’s considerable cornering abilities.
Chances are the optional 19- and 20-in wheel/tire combinations won’t help ride comfort, but the S5 has the obligatory premium-car suppleness over rough pavement. Most manufacturers struggle to provide a natural steering feel since adopting electrical assistance as the norm. Audi does fairly well in this respect, but a little more tactility would be welcome. Don’t let this be a deterrent, though, the S5 is still an awesome driver’s car. But it can also be a luxury conveyance at the same time.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Audi S5 Sportback — If the 2-door S5 coupe is tempting, but not sufficiently practical, the 4-door S5 Sportback hatchback has some good news.
2019 BMW 440i xDrive — Has a blend of sportiness, style and luxury that cements it on any potential buyer’s short list.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS — Less expensive than the S5, but with a mighty 455-hp 6.2-liter V8, a resonant exhaust note, plus surprisingly entertaining and capable handling.
2019 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 — Slightly more powerful, with 400 hp. However, this coupe doesn’t compare well with the S5 in almost any other way.
Either take advantage of a new, less expensive version of the S5 coupe by buying it in Premium trim, or go the whole way and get the Prestige model. The latter is attractive because of its extra driver aids and B&O audio system. Find an Audi S5 for sale