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Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Audi S5Sure the 2013 Audi S5 is sporty and perhaps a little pricey to boot, but CNET's Brian Cooley also shows you that it has the tech chops to please.
Audi S5 has always been their glimmer car. It's got a refresh now for 2013. Goodbye V8. Most of the technology stays however and those lines, they never looked any better. Let's try this 2013 S5 and check the tech. Now, I don't know about you but I was long laboring on the mistake and impression that an Audi 5 was a big brother to an Audi 4. It's actually at least in the current in Carnation, the little brother. It's one to three inches smaller in every direction especially length and wheel-based. It's also a subcompact. An A4 is a compact, the whole figure size class. I call this the practical executive coupe but the executives in the back better be on Nurti Systems and to be practical, you gotta go to Europe and import your own 5-door Hatchback model which they don't sell here. -Now, the story inside this S5 is high-tech but less. You can't get everything Audi offers here. There's no head up display available. There's no handwriting pad available. You're gonna use a traditional MMI with the rolley-scrolley wheel but little kick around knob and the four zone buttons around it as well as these dedicated controls. The main technology pleaser in this car leaves behind this door; you've got a SIM card there. That means this car has its own 3G connection. It does even be connected to your phone at all. That powers things like that. You're looking at a map with the usual traffic in streets but notice you've got Google Earth Satellite Imagery. Nobody else does this like this. You can also use this car as a WiFi hotspot. So that same 3G connections powering the head unit, can also power up to 8 connected devices, your tablet, your laptop. That's slicing the onion too thin. The 3G connection is just enough to run what's happening here. You use the hotspot on your phone for everything else. Now, it's 3G not free G. So after six- month trial period on a new car, you're gonna pay 30 bucks a month for that Audi T-Mobile Hotspot Connection. It's a 2GB plan, after that you're gonna get throttled but they still call it unlimited. AM/FM display is really good and rolling between stations and clicking here to select one is very intuitive except for one thing. Join me here for a little demonstration. On the left, you see a list of radio stations. On the right is a shot of the controller you'd use to roll between them. I want you to go down the list. Quick without thinking which way do you turn them up. Right, I wanna turn it clockwise but it's backwards. On the Audi, you gotta turn it counterclockwise to go down the list. Okay, your media sources aside from radio are pretty rich. Jukebox refers to 20 gigabytes of space on the card's hard drive, useless. Here's my SD card, I've got 2 slots for those. My iOS device, iPod, iPhone, that goes in here on this MMI connector cable. Bluetooth streaming as well as Bluetooth handsfree, and this is your WiFi streaming position. If you wanna play media from a WiFi device on the hot spot that won't work, you'd go there. Now our car is loaded up with the Bang & Olufsen sound system but unlike some, this one doesn't cost $4000, $5000 or $6000. It's under a grand and what you really get here aside from the usual based trouble balance fader, is some Bang & Olufsen DSP. This system sounds good especially at a reasonable price but like all systems, it can't do a damn thing for a low bit rate MP3s or Satellite radio. These cars are all quattro all-wheel-drive by the way. Here's our shifter. In this case, we have a 7-speed dual clutch automated manual but behaves a lot like an automatic. Bring it down to drive, go over here for a more stick shifting situation. That means when you input a gear on the pedals, it's gonna stick with that gear. This Audio drive select button let's you pick one of four drive personalities. So you've got dynamic, your sportiest. Individually, you can set each parameter yourself on the screen. Comfort is gonna be your leisurely obviously. And automatic will adapt as you drive. The parameters who affect with these are your steering response, electric power steering, how responsive is it? What's the ratio? You affect your throttle on that and how much [unk] you get for each [unk] of pedal travel and it also affects your shift. Okay, in the engine bay as I mentioned, no more V8 available. That 4.2 is gone at least in the US we get a three liter turbo charge V6 with direct injection, all the latest tech is here, and the number is bared out pretty well. Three hundred and thirty-three horsepower of this car, 325-foot pounds of Torque. Nice high Torque number relative to the horses that's a turbo [unk]. Zero to sixty in this roughly 3900-pound car is under 5-second about 4.9 [unk]. Was delivering 1828 MPG with the sequential gearbox. If you'd go over that 6P manual, you drop down to 1726 and of course, all these S5s are quattro. -Everytime I get in Audi, I'm always taken by one thing first and foremost. They're so damn smooth. The engine is like vibration free. The suspensions are always very compliant in those sporty, is really nicely engineered cars. That's it, the big story here is how is this V6 since you can't get the V8 anymore? The power is either really good or flat-footed depending on how that holds as the power train is driving. So sometimes, I've got great [unk] from a thousand RPMs on now. Other times, you gotta cook it up to about 3-grand to get much out of it but what I find is really the big issue here is what state the gearboxes it? Seven speeds that means when this guy is hunting 7th all the time, as the all the cars do now, that's how they game the EPA numbers, you've got a lot of gears you gotta dig out from under when you wanna get some acceleration from 7th to like 4th or 3rd when you step on it. By the time the gearbox works its way up there, that hole up there in the lane you were trying to get is probably gone. It doesn't happen a lot but the car does get kinda buried in high mileage, high gearing situations once in a while. Going to sports certainly helps mashing your own gears in the pedals, certainly helps but that's also a kind of annoying in everyday driving. And when it does get the sweet spot, it's really sweet. Oh these guys are really roady-no when you are really getting to it. Nice. The blindspot technology on this guy has passed it. You got a light here in the mirror housing when you're about to blind change into somebody but the car does not save you in any case. Okay, let's place our 2013 S5. Base seems attractive at about 518 but then the Go CNET style, the way I've showed you here, damn you're gonna go broke. This is what expensive little car when it's teched-up. The Prestige package is $6600. And he brings in the [unk] Audi connect HD radio, be you know, blind spot, rear camera an adaptive crews plus some Interior niceties. Or do the MMI plus [unk] package for three grand for the camera, DVD, HD radio, Audi connect? Hard drive down, but then you still don't get that Audi drive select or dynamic steering. At that 7 speeds sequential do clutch gearbox is 1400 bucks. At least drive the manual and check it out. I know you do lose 2 highway MPG.