2017 Audi S5 Review – Bonus A5 Review!

It’s one step up from the Audi A5 we’re running long-term – but is it worth going the extra bit for?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below to watch the full video of our 2017 Audi S5 Review now.

Nearly AED90,000 ($24.5k) is what you’ll pay extra over the price of a 2017 Audi A5 – like the one I’m presently running long-term – to get into a new S5.

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

For that you get two extra cylinders (V6 instead of a four-cylinder unit), 3.0-litres instead of 2.0-litres, 354bhp instead of 190bhp (incidentally, that’s also 21bhp more than the previous S5), 369lb ft instead of 236lb ft (also up 44lb ft over the old S5) and a 0-100kph time of just 4.7 seconds instead of the still respectable 7.3 for the A5, plus top speed is a limited 250kph, while the A5 manages 240kph.

You also get 20-inch alloys, Nappa leather upholstery, carbon inlays in the interior and sports suspension and of course Quattro All-wheel drive compared to the A5 putting down traction through the front boots only.

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

So does that make the starting price of AED277,500 ($75,600) worth it then? Well glancing over stats and facts you’d have to say yes, wouldn’t you?

In person it’s quick, it’s meaty, it’s grippy and it looks mean. That healthy portion of torque getting served up from just 1370rpm means in most of the eight gears there’s good response below your right foot. It’ll keep rivals honest at the traffic GP and punch past slower cars for the quick overtakes.

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

The brakes too are absolutely solid, with strong stopping and reassuring response. The helm is faithful if not really that talkative and eager enough, any shortfall in confidence being made up for by the poise of the all-wheel stickiness, although an initial bit of understeer means you need to believe in the handling to push through while planted.

On to practicalities then – boot space is ample for a coupe, rear seats are there (well okay, children could use them and it does boast ISOFIX anchors, though I don’t know what the kids would want with the optional lighter and ashtray fitted to our test car in the back!).

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

Up front there’s good space, a no-fuss seating position and decent visibility despite its coupe architecture and rear-view camera only (no 360). The virtual cockpit is intriguing, but best left with the big fat speedometer in the middle and the stereo is nice.

So a winner then? Wait. You can sense hesitation, right?

Well AED278k (or indeed AED293k for our optioned-up test car) is quite a lot of money. And I’m not saying that the AED187,600 ($51k) A5 is exactly cheap either.

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

However, getting out of the S5 and back into the A5 really wasn’t the wrench and demotion that one might have presumed.

The car maintains all the practical and user-friendly elements of its mightier sibling, but it rides nicer due to the smaller wheels and regular suspension – less brittle and jiggly. It’s lighter and feels it – somehow more nimble, the front-drive only aspect not exactly being a handicap on our dry tarmac.

2017 Audi A5

It’s slower sure, feels it certainly, but not by as much as you’d think, particularly as the four-pot has a rather growly and meaningful thrum, and because my expectations are lowered, perhaps in relative terms it’s the more pleasing sound.

In fact to test out my theory, I recently took the A5 to the same stretch of twisty road I tried out the S5 on. Okay I didn’t cover ground as fast, but it wasn’t slow and I got closer to the car’s limit. Plus I found it almost as enjoyable, and definitely didn’t feel short-changed in anyway.

So as before, I’m struggling with the S5. It’s still an in-between car . The really brutally fast one is – I expect cause I haven’t yet driven it – the RS5 (can’t wait to try it). Meanwhile the swift and elegant everyday cruiser with, by-the-way, truly excellent fuel economy, is the lesser sibling.

Until I try the RS5 then, my preferred choice in this range is the one I’m running at present – the A5.

Have I lost the plot? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

2017 Audi S5 Coupe

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