The Sportback is the S5’s ideal body model.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

You know, a lot as I enjoy the 444-horsepower Audi RS5 Sportback, it truly is just a tiny way too buttoned-up for its individual great. And soon after a 7 days with the 349-hp S5 Sportback, I won’t be able to visualize why you would at any time require anything additional.

Table of Contents


  • Hatchback versatility
  • Comfortable and luxurious
  • Sporty when you want it to be
  • Greatest cabin tech in the segment

Will not Like

  • V6 isn’t going to sound that good
  • Rear headroom is in limited source

All the factors I enjoy about the RS5 Sportback carry above to the S5. It looks good, it truly is peaceful, it truly is comfy, the tech is leading-notch and you can throw a bunch of things in the again many thanks to its hatch. The S5’s three.-liter turbo V6 can make 349 hp and 369 pound-ft of torque, which is lots, and with Quattro all-wheel push and a speedy-shifting, eight-pace computerized transmission, this S5 will strike 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Yeah, the RS5 Sportback will do the -to-60-mph dash in three.8 seconds, but except if you’re regularly having your four-door luxury hatchback to the keep track of (you are not), that .seven-next discrepancy signifies subsequent to nothing in the serious earth. Besides, one of my important complaints about the in any other case flawless RS5 is that it truly is form of sterile — like, certain, it truly is speedy, but you will find no raw emotion. The S5 is like this, way too, but it truly is a tiny additional acceptable in a car that is intended to be a midtier performer. You will find a significant change concerning a Mercedes-AMG C43 and C63, but the S5 and RS5 experience remarkably similar most of the time.

The S5’s three.-liter V6 is a awesome motor. You will find tons of very low-conclude torque and the twin-scroll turbocharger spools up immediately to deliver improve on demand. Having pleasurable with the motor isn’t going to absolutely tank your fuel economy, both. I acquired 23 miles for each gallon through a 7 days of taking part in about in the canyons and managing errands about Los Angeles, matching the EPA-believed blended rating.

This leading-amount Prestige trim has the $2,500 S Activity Package add-on, which is a very reliable improve. You get a stiffer suspension with adaptive dampers, nevertheless it truly is not so severe that it’ll punish you above highway enlargement joints. But the serious purpose to grab this selection is the activity rear differential, which provides torque-vectoring to the rear axle. And considering the fact that the Quattro all-wheel-push procedure is rear-biased in any case, this can make the S5 a tiny additional lively in tight corners. You can never miscalculation it for a rear-wheel-push car, but that is wonderful. And if you reside in a chilly-temperature condition, slap a set of wintertime tires on this bad boy and stay it up when the roads are empty soon after a fresh snowfall.

This is the major purpose why you go for the Sportback.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

In addition to the standard Ease and comfort, Car and Dynamic options, the Audi Travel Pick out has a customizable Personal method, which I use all the time. My favored way to push the S5 is with the chassis on its softest environment, the steering in Dynamic and the motor in Car. You will find a variable-ratio Dynamic Steering selection that you can add for $one,500, and I like the way it quickens up the reaction in its sportiest environment, nevertheless it truly is very mild in the default Ease and comfort method.

The ideal issue about the S5 Sportback is a trait I’ve identified in Audi’s other S cars: good equilibrium. With all the things turned to Dynamic it truly is a hoot on twisty roads, but dial it again to Car and the S5 chills out and just exists as a luxury car, which is perfect for when you’re sitting in visitors or just finding up some carry-out from the taco place down the street. The RS5 has this awesome equilibrium as nicely, but it truly is $twenty,000 additional costly than an S5, and the added electrical power isn’t going to come with the added excitement to make it really worth the surcharge.

The S5 gets a handful of tiny updates this calendar year, which include refreshed LED headlights and taillights that don’t definitely go the attractiveness needle for me one way or the other. I’m all for including the $2,200 Black Optic Package, nevertheless the twenty-inch wheels glimpse awesome and I like the darker trim about the outside of the car. I will often favor the Sportback body model to the two-door Coupe and Cabriolet, mostly since it provides a ton of functionality without screwing up the style and design. Pop the hatch and you will find 21.8 cubic ft of storage place, additional than doubling that of the S5 Coupe. Additionally, you can easily fold the seats down to haul longer products. I might say, “Who demands a crossover?” But I’m not about to open that can of worms.

The center display screen gets Audi’s newest infotainment tech.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

You will find some new cabin tech in the S5 this calendar year: Audi’s MIB three multimedia procedure, housed on a display screen. The great information is that the major menu tiles are colorful, the screen quickly responds to inputs and the total menu structure is very straightforward to master. The bad information is that the S5 isn’t going to get the next screen below the dash — like what you locate on the S6, for example — so there is not a big pad for handwriting recognition. As a substitute, you will find a easy row of climate controls which looks wonderful in this complex cabin. Besides, the ace up the S5’s sleeve is the Digital Cockpit digital gauge cluster, which proceeds to be one of my favored bits of car tech soon after all these several years.

All that things arrives typical on the Prestige, which is an $8,400 upcharge above the S5 Sportback’s $fifty two,895 starting up rate (which include $995 for location). You also get all of Audi’s driver-aid capabilities, like entire-pace adaptive cruise management with visitors jam guide, lane-retaining guide, a head-up display screen, visitors indication recognition, parking guide, a Bang & Olufsen top quality sound procedure, wi-fi cell phone charging and a full bunch of other goodies.

This is the ideal S5.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

A totally loaded S5 Sportback like this one arrives in at $69,240. That feels like a good deal, but it truly is absolutely in line with a Mercedes-AMG C43 (which is not even a hatchback and therefore not as great). I consider most folks will be wonderful with a midlevel Premium Additionally and a handful of preference choices. I fooled about on Audi’s configurator and came up with my perfect S5 Sportback and it truly is a marginally additional acceptable $63,340.

The S5 Sportback is a definitely great all-rounder that is tough to leading. Its major rivals are the BMW 440i Gran Coupe and Kia Stinger GT, except if you want to extend your pondering to involve crossover-coupes which, nicely, no. The BMW is very previous at this level and I’m not certain Audi potential buyers are open-minded plenty of to take into consideration stopping by a Kia dealer just nevertheless, no matter how interesting the Stinger is. Truthfully, the S5 Sportback’s closest rivals are other Audis — namely the S4 sedan or, definitely, an SQ5 crossover. But I might absolutely have the S5 Sportback above both of those choices. Soon after all, I might have it above the incredibly hot-shot RS5, way too.