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2015 Audi S5 Test Drive


First Impressions

Last year, Vehix reviewer Nathan Adlen wrote about the Audi A5 2.0T Coupe and determined that the car’s beauty was more than skin deep. This time around, we give the hot-rodded Audi S5 (view photos) a go, and while we’re at it, check out the car credentials as a rolling tanning salon.

Unfortunately, abnormally inclement weather patterns brought cold air and a freight train of rainstorms into Southern California the week we had this beautiful Sprint Blue Pearl Audi S5 Cabriolet in our possession. At one point, in the middle of a suburban Los Angeles afternoon, the S5’s temperature display read 38 degrees and a little snowflake icon was warning us that the road surface could be slippery. There was a single nice day all week, and we made the best of it. But before we talk about what it’s like to drive this car, a bit of housekeeping is in order.


About Our Test Car

The 2015 Audi S5 is basically the performance-tuned version of the Audi A5, a car offered as a two-door coupe or convertible. The S5 Coupe has a V8 engine under its hood, while the S5 Cabriolet is equipped with a supercharged V6 engine. Either version can be equipped with Premium Plus or Prestige trim, and prices start at $54,525.

We drove the S5 Cabriolet. Equipped with the standard Premium Plus package, the base price was $59,325. To this, the Navigation Package ($2,450 – includes reversing camera), the Sports Rear Differential Package ($1,100), a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system ($850), and Carbon Atlas interior inlays were added to the car, bringing the total to $64,700. The paint color you see in these photos is Sprint Blue Pearl Effect, and we think it’s a great choice.

The one option our test car was missing, one that would have come in handy during California’s unseasonably chilly weather, is the Comfort Package ($1,400). Order this option, and you’ll get heated and cooled front seatbacks along with a air vent designed to deliver heated air to your neck on colder days, not unlike the AirScarf system from Mercedes.


Safety Reliability and Value

Audi includes a comprehensive set of standard features on the S5 Cabriolet. Dual front airbags and knee airbags for the front seat occupants are complemented by dual side airbags designed to protect the head and thorax of the driver and front passenger. Because the S5 Cabriolet hasn’t got a solid roof, an automatic active rollover protection system is designed to deploy from behind the rear seat in the event of a rollover. The S5 also includes stability and traction control; antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and automatic brake disc wiping; and rain-sensing wipers. Order the Navigation Package, and a reversing camera helps the driver to see behind the S5. Pony up for Prestige trim, and buyers can select the optional Audi Side Assist blind-spot monitoring system and an adaptive cruise control system designed to maintain safe distance from traffic ahead.

Unfortunately, there is no crash-test data to share. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not performed testing on the S5 Cabriolet or the car on which it is based, the Audi A5 Cabriolet. Same is true for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Likewise, reliability and quality data is scant. Consumer Reports has not made any predictions about the Audi’s potential reliability. J.D. Power and Associates said that reliability was expected to be average, but that assessment was made for the 2014 model. Ratings for the 2015 version are not available on JDPower.com.

There is good news on the value front. The S5 (view photos) is the onlyAudi to earn a 5-star depreciation rating from Automotive Lease Guide, which bodes well for the car’s ability to retain its value over time. We wish Audi offered a more comprehensive warranty, however. The automaker stands behind the S5 for the first four years or 50,000 miles of ownership, and supplies unlimited roadside assistance for the first four years with no mileage limit. Buyers also get their first scheduled service paid for, as long as the appointment is made within the first year or 5,000 miles of ownership. Otherwise, aside from 12 years of rust perforation protection, any problems are the responsibility of the owner.


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