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Audi S5: Buying guide and review (2007-present)

Audi S5: Buying guide and review (2007-present) Classic and Performance Car
Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5 Audi S5
Most sporty cars love to show off their performance potential, even when standing still.  Surely if you want something fast then you must also want a big wing, garish paint work with flame decals stuck to your doors? Unsurprisingly, there are those who appreciate driving something sporty without drawing any undue attention to themselves while doing it… 
 
As it turns out Audi has just the solution in the form of its S range of sports cars. Fitting in between the standard offerings and the full fat RS versions, the S spec cars offer a subtle exterior makeover combined with more powerful engines creating the perfect Q-cars.
 
The Walter Da Silva penned A5 is perhaps too elegant looking to ever go unnoticed however in S guise the subtle changes to the exterior make it stand out no more than any well specced standard car. The biggest changes take place under the bonnet with uprated engines that push performance uncomfortably close to the RS5. The Quattro four wheel drive system adds that extra level of safety to a great package.
 
Which one to buy?
 
An overview of the changes to engines, transmissions and body styles means that there are a number of variants to choose from and there should be an S5 for every taste.
 
The original S5 was available in coupe form with a characterful 349bhp 4.2-litre V8 providing motive power. It was available with either six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic transmissions, with this basic specification remaining until the 2012 facelift. 
 
The S5 Convertible and Sportback body styles introduced in 2009/10 also saw the launch of the 328bhp 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine which was unique to these body styles until 2012. No manual option was ever made available, offering the new seven-speed S tronic gearbox in its place. The MMI navigation and upgraded infotainment systems were also made available at this point.
 
2012 brought with it a mid-life facelift, which included changes to the head and tail lights, as well as suspension changes and an updated Quattro system. All models now featured the 3.0-litre supercharged engine and seven-speed S-tronic gearbox. Electromechanical power steering was introduced across the range. Desirable options to look for are the Bang & Olufsen sound system and keyless entry on the earlier models. Adaptive suspension makes a big difference to the ride quality and is worthwhile option to look for as well.
 
The original V8 coupes especially in manual form are quite different in character to the face lifted supercharged cars, they compromise on low end torque and fuel efficiency but make up for it with a great V8 soundtrack and more better steering feel. The Sportback body style adds the practicality of two extra doors and the efficiency of the updated drivetrain making it the family favourite. Convertibles also have the benefit of the efficient powertrains and transmissions, while offering open top motoring in a practical and desirable package. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Audi S5 Sportback
Engine 2995cc 24valve DOHC V6 
Power 328bhp @ 5500-7000rpm 
Torque 325lb ft @ 2900-5300rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-62mph 5.1 seconds 
Fuel consumption 34.9mpg 
Gearbox Seven-speed S-Tronic
Insurance group 40-42
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2811mm
Length 4718mm
Width 1854mm
Height 1382mm
Weight 1820kg
 
Common problems
 
Most early V8s have fallen out of the dealer network by now, so don’t be put off by service stamps from specialists as long as all the maintenance has been carried out correctly. Audi offers a four or five-year warranty extension on its new cars, which is transferable between owners, so it’s worth checking to see if this applies to the car in question.

• The V8 engines are low stressed and there have not been any major issues to worry about, and the 3.0-litre V6 engines are equally reliable. One issue that has started occurring is a carbon build-up in the intake manifold. While not causing damage, this can cause decrease performance, and appears to be a common issue affecting all FSI engines.

• Intermittent electrical issues have been noted by some owners but it seems that the systems affected are random so it is best to check the service history on whether your potential purchase is one of the troublesome cars.

• Headlight control modules can fail, however parts are readily available from the main agents. These arern’t cheap, so make sure everything is working correctly
 
Model history

2007: Audi S5 launched with 349bhp 4.2-litre V8 in Coupe form. It’s available with either six-speed manual or six-speed tiptronic gearbox
2009: Convertible and Sportback body styles introduced only available with new 328bhp 3.0l supercharged V6 and 7-speed S tronic transmissions. Upgrades carried out to MMI interface and optional navigation system
2012: Facelift carried out across range with changes to head and tail lights as well as trim options. Steering racks changed from hydraulic to electromechanical versions. All models now standard with 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and seven-speed S tronic transmission. Black edition offers upgraded sound system and matte exterior trim finish
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.audi.co.uk
• www.audiownersclub.co.uk 
• www.unit20.org – Audi specialists
 
Summary and prices
 
Early V8 Coupes without huge mileages start at £15,000 and are the only ones that were offered with a manual transmission option. £18,000 is where the first 2009 model year 3.0-litre supercharged cars start with not much difference between the convertibles and Sportbacks. 
 
2012 and newer facelifted cars start at around £25,000 which is a decent saving over the £43,000 pricing of a stock standard new S5, before options. A replacement should be announced in the next year or two so these 2012/13 models may well be the best place to put your money.

The S5 is an accomplished all-rounder with some real performance lurking under that unassuming exterior. With a range of body styles to suit a variety of needs it is a great sports car for those who prefer their performance served in a discreet package. 
 
Words: John Tallodi
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Last updated: 17th Dec 2015
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Audi S5
16750 52500 GBP
  • Audi S5

    £18,490 £18,490

    Bluetooth, Climate Control, Colour SatNav, Dual Climate Zones, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Immobiliser, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Auto-dip Rearview, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Handbrake, Bang & Olufsen, Central Locking, Locking Wheel Nuts, Front Centre Armrest, Brake Assist, CD Player, Radio, 20'' Alloys, 4x4 A lovely Audi S5 finished in Phantom Black with Black Leather interior and 20'' Alloy wheels.The Audi has had one private owner from new and has a full Audi service history. The vehicle has received a new MOT and RAC check in preparation for sale.Highly specified the S5's options include Tech Pack High, Bang and Olufsen Speaker System, 20'' Alloys, Cruise Control and Parking Sensors.We are an RAC and Trading Standards Approved Dealer.Finance and Part Exchange are available.Viewing by appointment please.

    • Mileage: 45119 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
    £18,490 £18,490
    Oxford Specialist Cars
  • AUDI S5 3.0 TFSI Sportback S Tronic Quattro 5dr - LR60 YYP 2010

    £16,750 £16,750

    ***FINANCE AVAILABLE***, Upgrades - Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Cruise Control, DAB Digital Radio, DVD Satellite Navigation, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Automatic Dimming Rear View Mirror, Tyre Pressure Monitoring Display, Audi Parking System Plus, Next MOT due 03/09/2018, Full service history, Full leather interior, Four wheel-drive, Standard Features - Rear Acoustic Parking System, Deluxe 3 - Zone Climate Control, Upholstery - Fine Nappa Leather, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Colour Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front Windows, 19in x 8.5J 5 - Parallel - Spoke Design Alloy Wheels with 255/35 R19 Tyres and Locking Wheel Bolts, Audi Concert Audio System - Single CD with MP3 Compatibility - Colour Screen - SD Memory - Card Reader and AUX - IN Socket, Electrically Adjustable Front Seats, Automatic Windscreen Wipers. 4 seats, White, HPI CLEAR, 1 FORMER KEEPER, FULL SERVICE HISTORY, NATIONWIDE WARRANTY OPTIONS AVAILABLE, FLEXIBLE FINANCE OPTIONS AVAILABLE, 100 POINT PRE-DELIVERY CHECK, VIDEO LINK COMING SOON, FAMILY RUN BUSINESS, MORE PICS ON www.elite-cars-direct.co.uk, PLS CALL OR EMAIL TO ARRANGE VIEWINGS

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.995
    For sale
    £16,750 £16,750
  • Audi S5 Reserved

    POA POA

    Audi S5 V8 presented in Meteor Grey Metallic comes with a full Audi service history and the following specification; red leather, heated seats, multi-function leather steering wheel, dual zone climate control, Bang + Olufsen sound system, satellite navigation, heated electric seats with memory and lumbar support, cruise control, xenon headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, bluetooth connectivity, AMI (Audi Music Interface), auto dimming rear view mirror, automatic lights/wipers and 18" alloy wheels. Part exchange welcome, competitive finance available. Viewings welcome by appointment only. Body: Coupe Transmission: Manual Mileage: 66,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2008 (08) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 4.2 Finished in: Meteor Grey Metallic

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 66000 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Audi S5 Coupe

    £40,990 £40,990

    Variant name:RS5 FSI QUATTRO ,Derivative:MK1 FL (8F7) ,Variant: 2015 15 Audi RS5 4.2 V8 FSI Quattro Convertible Facelift Model We are extremely proud to be able to offer this pristine example, low mileage 15 reg Audi RS5 4.2 V8 FSI Quattro 450 BHP Auto 2 door convertible with only 13958 miles from new and fully maintained and cared for by Audi to the highest of standards (FASH) and finished in white metallic with contrasting charcoal leather upholstery which is without doubt one of the finest colour combinations available in this sports & performance range. Optional extra specification includes sports package and leather centre armrest with a total cost of £2505. Also includes 20" gloss black alloy wheels, colour sat nav, Audi drive select, bluetooth with audio streaming, DAB radio, bang & olufsen speakers, paddleshift, heated seats, electric seats with driver memory, jukebox storage, audi music interface (AMI), bi xenon lights, sports suspension and full RS5 body styling. Also benefits from the remainder of the manufacturer warranty, outstanding performance and Audi Quattro 4 wheel drive technology. Viewing is essential as we are extremely confident there is no better example available on the market, first to see will buy!

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 13958 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
    £40,990 £40,990
  • AUDI S5 4.2 V8 QUATTRO MANUAL - BANG&OLUFSEN - SAT NAV + MULTIMEDIA

    £25,995 £25,995

    The styling cues that set the S5 apart from its A5 sibling give the car's sleek form an edgy air befitting a performance model from Ingolstadt, with more pronounced bumpers, larger spoiler and chrome accents scattered about. But it's the engine that really marks the car as an S model. The 4.2-liter, 354-hp direct-injection V8, a detuned version of the Audi R8 supercar's engine, reaches a torque peak of 325 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, with 85 percent of that available at just 2000 rpm. In a straight line, the S5 pulls hard, with a fantastic rumble from the V8. During testing, it turned in a 0-60-mph time of 4.95 seconds. Flick the steering wheel, however, and the S5 really comes to life. It stays well planted around the cones, with a quick turn-in and predictable tracking, the nose reacting instantly to throttle inputs and demonstrating just a bit of understeer. This Brilliant Black example comes with a long list of extras to include Crimson Red Fine Nappa leather interior, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Audi Multimedia with satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, 20 inch double spoke alloy wheels, Black Optic Package, Convenience Package - see more details below. Private plate S5 AWE

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 25000 mi
    For sale
    £25,995 £25,995
  • AUDI S5 3.0T QUATTRO MULTITRONIC CONVERTIBLE - 12000 MILES - AUDI FSH

    £32,995 £32,995

    Unlike many competitors, the S5 Convertible gets a light weight, insulated cloth folding top rather than a more complex, but more coupe-like, folding metal hardtop. The S5's exterior is set apart from its more mild-mannered sibling by a chrome-trimmed grille, quad tailpipes and more muscular bumpers. The resulting package is refined yet athletic, with luxury appointments that ensure comfort matched with a powertrain that won't disappoint. Unique front and rear fascias help the exterior, while the interior gets carbon fiber trim, a unique steering wheel plus it seats four adults with ease. Audi S5 Convertible is powered by a supercharged 3.0-litre TFSI V6 petrol engine which delivers 333bhp ? enough for 0-62mph acceleration in just 5.6 seconds. And driven with some restraint you should be able to get 30mpg from it, too. This Phantom Black / black Nappa leather hide example having covered only 12500 miles comes in unmarked condition. Long list of specification include Bang&Olufsen sound system, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Audi Drive Select, Satellite Navigation - see more details below.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 12500 mi
    For sale
    £32,995 £32,995
  • AUDI S5 4.2 V8 QUATTRO MANAUL - BLACK PACK - B&O SOUND SYSTEM

    £18,995 £18,995

    The styling cues that set the S5 apart from its A5 sibling give the car's sleek form an edgy air befitting a performance model from Ingolstadt, with more pronounced bumpers, larger spoiler and chrome accents scattered about. But it's the engine that really marks the car as an S model. The 4.2-liter, 354-hp direct-injection V8, a detuned version of the Audi R8 supercar's engine, reaches a torque peak of 325 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, with 85 percent of that available at just 2000 rpm. In a straight line, the S5 pulls hard, with a fantastic rumble from the V8. During testing, it turned in a 0-60-mph time of 4.95 seconds. Flick the steering wheel, however, and the S5 really comes to life. It stays well planted around the cones, with a quick turn-in and predictable tracking, the nose reacting instantly to throttle inputs and demonstrating just a bit of understeer. This Phantom Black example comes with a long list of extras to include Crimson Red Valcona leather interior, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Audi Multimedia with satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, 20 inch double spoke alloy wheels in Anthracite, Black Optic Package, Comfort Package - see more details below. Private plate S

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    For sale
    £18,995 £18,995
  • AUDI S5 4.2 V8 QUATTRO TIPTRONIC - SAT NAV - BLUETOOTH - 19'' ALLOYS

    £19,995 £19,995

    The styling cues that set the S5 apart from its A5 sibling give the car's sleek form an edgy air befitting a performance model from Ingolstadt, with more pronounced bumpers, larger spoiler and chrome accents scattered about. But it's the engine that really marks the car as an S model. The 4.2-liter, 354-hp direct-injection V8, a detuned version of the Audi R8 supercar's engine, reaches a torque peak of 325 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, with 85 percent of that available at just 2000 rpm. In a straight line, the S5 pulls hard, with a fantastic rumble from the V8. Flick the steering wheel, however, and the S5 really comes to life. It stays well planted around the cones, with a quick turn-in and predictable tracking, the nose reacting instantly to throttle inputs and demonstrating just a bit of understeer. This example comes in a very classy colour combination of QuartzGrey and Magma Red (Premium Valcona Leather) interior. Long list of specification include Audi Multimedia with HDD based satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, Audi Music Interface, 19 inch double spoke alloy wheels, Audi Advanced Parking System - see more details below. Four Pirelli P Zero tyres fitted recently. Please m

    • Year: 2010
    • Mileage: 33000 mi
    For sale
    £19,995 £19,995