Audi has been moving up in the world and now can justifiably claim to be on par with, if not superior to, any of the other prestige German brands.
Audi has been moving up in the world and now can justifiably claim to be on par with, if not superior to, any of the other prestige German brands. As further proof, Audi recently released the high-performance S version of its reliable midrange A5 model series, with the two-door coupe offering satisfying performance to the enthusiast owner who drives with more than one other person aboard.
What we drove: Audi S5 Coupe. It’s a high-performance two-door, four-passenger coupe with 3-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine, 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive, producing 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
What it costs: When you upgrade from A-level to S-level, you’re already paying a premium for basic performance with the more powerful engine justifying the $54,000 base price. But in addition, most S5 coupes will be coming to the dealer with Prestige package (sound system, top-view camera and navigation), S-Sport (adaptive suspension and sport rear differential), Driver Assistance (adaptive cruise control, lane assist and traffic sign recognition), dynamic steering and 19-inch wheels with summer tires. That means you’ll likely start the bargaining at $68,550.
What we liked: Great responsiveness from the combination of solid power, sport-tuned handling and suspension, interior designed for minimalist appeal and ergonomic effectiveness, plus attractive exterior styling.
What we disliked: If two adults won’t fit in the back with the front seats back far enough for adults to drive, why not just put in a package shelf with baby-seat mounts? Bottom line: You can’t fault the performance satisfaction available from driving this car, though we would probably opt for the four-door plus hatchback S5 Sportback rather than the coupe and offer congratulations to Audi for realizing that hatchbacks are now acceptable to North America buyers.