PRO’s: Outstanding build quality, wonderful performance, supermodel sexy.
CON’s: Big sticker price, doesn’t feel as fast as it actually is, a bit tight for taller drivers.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A kick-ass sports coupe that has no problem taking on the worlds best.
If you’re reading this then you’re probably wondering if the 2013 Audi S5 Coupe S tronic is worth the $67,370 price tag that comes on the sticker. I just spent the better part of a week with this thing and I can tell you that after about 500 miles on some of Northern California’s best roads, that the answer is just not as simple as YES or No. This is a jack-of-all-trades performance coupe. It produces great numbers, is all-weather capable and has some of the best styling in the business. However, does that justify this whopper of a price tag?
The first thing you notice about the S5 is of course, the styling. Handsome and elegant at the same time, the S5 projects an aura of success. There are no bulging hood scoops or rear mounted spoilers trying to project that this car is a bruiser to the general public. Instead there is simply a beautiful quad-exhaust that sings to the common-folk every time you push down on the throttle. Speaking of throttle, let’s talk engine.
Equipped with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, the S5 will get to 60 miles per hour in under 5-seconds and onto a top speed of 155 mph. Power is rated at 333 hp/325 lb.ft. of torque and is transferred to all four wheels through a slick 7-speed S tronic transmission that can be shifted manually via paddles, or left in automatic mode if you’re not feeling sporty.
What’s amazing about the cars performance is that this is no lightweight automobile. In fact with a curb weight of over 3,800 lbs, some would consider the S5 to be a bit of a chubb-chubb. Audi, thanks to some glorious engineering, has done a remarkable job of masking the cars weight. Side to side transitions are seamless and thanks to the cars invisible Quattro all-wheel drive system, traction is never an issue. I pushed the S5 relatively hard through some very tight canyon roads and never once did it get out of shape. Quite the opposite actually as the harder I pushed the S5, the more composed it seemed to be.
As a driver you have the option of choosing between a host of different settings ranging from Comfort to Dynamic mode. These either soften or stiffen up the suspension depending on what the terrain is like and can be adjusted through a small dial that lies just below the center stack. That same dial also controls the S5′s center mounted display screen giving you access to everything from climate and audio controls to the cars interior and navigation settings. It takes a moment, but is actually one of the more intuitive units I’ve used as of late.
Everything about the S5 exudes quality and confidence, very important aspects when you’re trying to sell a performance based automobile. The interior is fitted with top notch materials that include a combination of carbon fiber, leather and aluminum and they’re put together in such a way that no synergy is lost throughout the cabin. The seats are high-back, fully adjustable leather buckets that offer great support with heat settings and lumbar support.
Technically the S5 seats four, but unless you’re less than 5-feet tall, I wouldn’t even attempt to get back there. One thing that taller folks should note is the lack of headroom in the S5. I’m 6’4″ and even with the seat fully lowered, I still only had about an inch of clearance to the roof. Thankfully though it wasn’t terrible and I was able to find a comfortable position thanks in part to the manually tilting and telescoping flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Time and time again I found this car to be a very deceiving automobile. Not in a bad way mind you, but in such a way that triple digits come up very rapidly. Now normally I would never mind this, however with the S5 a sense of speed is rarely conveyed to the driver unless you’re looking down at the speedometer. The other thing is that this car just doesn’t feel fast, even though it goes like stink when you push it.
It’s got some amazing sound insulation, a smooth as silk 7-speed transmission, and when the booming Bang and Olufsen sound system is jamming, hell, you might as well just write yourself a ticket and go directly to jail.
This is a good car, a really good car. It’s got an interior that’s one the best in any class of automobile, and engine that pulls hard, true all-weather capabilities and supermodel good looks. However it’s expensive and that’s my one fault with this machine.
Now granted, if you were to price it out, a base model S5 would set you back around $51,000, a price that is totally 100% acceptable for this car. However if you go that route you lose things like the Prestige Package, a $6,600 option that gives you everything from that kickin’ Bang and Olufsen stereo to your navigation. You’d then also have to ditch the $3,250 Driver Assist Package that gives you adaptive cruise control, drive select controls and Audi’s dynamic steering. Then to top it off, you need to dump the $1,250 Fine Nappa leather interior.
My advice, DO IT. Meaning ditch all the comfy and foofy stuff and get this car in a base model because at under $55k, you’ll be getting a car that’s not only elegant and stylish, but one that offers you wonderful performance and road manners, for thousands less than its rivals.
Or… you can tell me to go to hell, get all the options and still have a KICK-ASS German sports coupe. The choice is yours.