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Used Audi S5 review

Following on from its extremely successful predecessor, the second-generation Audi S5 performance coupe is bigger, more modern and sharper-looking than before. It’s also considerably more efficient, swapping out the first-gen model’s hairy-chested V8 and supercharged V6 engines for a leaner, greener turbocharged V6 motor. An upgrade all round. 

Design

Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. At cinch, we think the Audi S5 is a beautiful car. Its sleek, muscular looks and swollen wheel arches just scream German premium-ness. The S5 doesn’t shout as much about its sporting credentials.  

In fact, it’s all rather low-key, with only quad exhaust pipes and a couple of very low-key ‘S’ badges giving any hint as to the S5’s performance. 

What's it like to drive?

Behind the wheel of an Audi S5 is a particularly pleasant place to be. This is a car that’s been engineered for keener drivers, so of course there’s an optimal driving position – you sit quite low behind the wheel – and great forward visibility. 

Out on the road, the S5 feels planted and secure, inspiring equal amounts of confidence on sweeping A-roads and tighter twisting country byways. There more than enough grip from the tyres – remember that the S5 has Audi’s legendary Quattro 4-wheel drive system as standard – and minimal body roll in corners. The ride is also impressive, with the S5 handling rough urban surfaces and smooth motorway tarmac with equal aplomb. 

With a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine under its bonnet, the Audi S5 is never going to be short of power in pretty much any driving environment. So, whether you’re covering fast motorway miles or negotiating a challenging B-road, the S5 will have your back. 

Out on the road, the S5 feels planted and secure, inspiring equal amounts of confidence on sweeping A-roads and tighter twisting country byways.

Interior

There’s plenty of adjustability for both the driver’s seat and the steering wheel, so finding the perfect driving position in this Audi is a straightforward task.  

The S5 is generously equipped, with Audi’s 8.3-inch display MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system and heated nappa leather sports seats coming as standard. You can connect your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depending on your model. Some highly specced cars also feature Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard and upgraded 12.3-inch central display screen, as well as a powerful audiophile Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Virtual Cockpit was one of the first of its kind on the market and Audi have continued to impress with each update it gets. 

Audi interiors are renowned for their exceptional quality and use of premium materials, and inside the S5 is no exception. The seats are supremely comfortable and supportive, the dashboard is clear and intuitive, while the well-placed controls and switchgear feel tactile and well-engineered.  

Practicality

The Audi S5 offers plenty of head- and leg-room up front for both driver and passenger, who will find themselves cossetted in considerable luxury.  

Rear seat passengers don’t fare so well though, with the S5’s sloping roofline restricting head room a little. Your mates will be in a rush to call shotgun on this one. Longer journeys may not be ideal for those over 6-feet tall. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a coupe, so practicality isn’t its number 1 remit.  

If you need more space, Audi also makes a more capacious 5-door Sportback version. Still, this S5’s boot space is more than impressive, offering class-leading amounts of room which will easily swallow a couple of medium-sized suitcases. Additionally, the individually folding rear seats lie flat when dropped, allowing you to carry even more stuff should the need arise. 

Reliability and running costs

While the Audi S5 is expensive to buy and run, it offers very good value against the competition. Residual values are fairly strong and it offers impressive fuel economy, with its brawny 3.0-litre V6 engine returning a more than decent 38.2mpg. Combined with a low CO2 figure of just 170g/km, the S5 leaves most rivals in its wake when it comes to efficiency.  

Step inside the S5 and you’ll immediately know that this is a quality product. Underneath it may be based on the running gear of the humble A4 saloon, but, as this has proven to be a dependable and reliable performer, we expect the same qualities to apply to the S5. However, you might want to consider cinchCare for added peace of mind. 

What cinch loves

We love the S5’s beautifully made interior and its sleek, restrained looks. This is a car that will make you feel great while driving it, but it still allows you to go about your business in relative anonymity. We love the S5’s power too, as well as its host of safety features, which include an array of airbags, an electronic stability programme and Audi’s autonomous emergency braking system, which will work at speeds up to 52mph if it senses that an accident is about to happen. 

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Verdict

Good

Stylish, understated looks, great driving dynamics, a class-leading interior, a powerful yet efficient engine and genuine real-world practicality. The Audi S5 delivers it all. And it’s safe as well, boasting a full 5-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. We’re sold.

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