Audi S5 Sportback

Editors' Review

You know, much as I love the 444-horsepower Audi RS5 Sportback, it's just a little too buttoned-up for its own good. And after a week with the 349-hp S5 Sportback, I can't imagine why you'd ever need something more.

All the things I love about the RS5 Sportback carry over to the S5. It looks great, it's quiet, it's comfortable, the tech is top-notch and you can throw a bunch of stuff in the back thanks to its hatch. The S5's 3.0-liter turbo V6 makes 349 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque, which is plenty, and with Quattro all-wheel drive and a quick-shifting, eight-speed automatic transmission, this S5 will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Yeah, the RS5 Sportback will do the 0-to-60-mph dash in 3.8 seconds, but unless you're regularly taking your four-door luxury hatchback to the track (you aren't), that 0.7-second discrepancy means next to nothing in the real world. Besides, one of my key complaints about the otherwise flawless RS5 is that it's kind of sterile -- like, sure, it's quick, but there's no raw emotion. The S5 is like this, too, but it's a little more appropriate in a car that's supposed to be a midtier performer. There's a big difference between a Mercedes-AMG C43 and C63, but the S5 and RS5 feel remarkably similar most of the time.

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The Good ~ Hatchback versatility ~ Comfortable and luxurious ~ Sporty when you want it to be ~ Best cabin tech in the segment

The Bad ~ V6 doesn't sound that great ~ Rear headroom is in short supply

The Bottom Line The Audi S5 Sportback is a luxurious, sporty all-rounder, and a car that's easy to recommend as a daily driver.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9.5

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