Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
  • 2014 Small Luxury Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
Go

2011 Audi S5

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Audi S5 Review

By

These are interesting times for the luxury car market in North America, and it is made more interesting by the almost explosive growth of Audi in the U.S. The addition of the A5/S5 Coupe and Cabriolet to its mix only serves to raise that growth and awareness. And while there have been a host of competitors attempting to capture the allure of the BMW's 3 Series Coupe and Convertible, most make the attempt with a barely concealed clone of the original recipe. To Audi's credit, the A5 and its S5 performance derivative represent their own takes on a near-luxury sporting coupe and cabriolet. Not only does Audi's recipe constitute a viable option to the 3 Series, in an era of diminishing resources it could constitute a viable alternative to Bentley's Continental GT. And while we're not sure how that would work in or around Windsor Castle, we know it would play (and play...) on California's 101.

You'll Like This Car If...

In a word (or two), Audi's take on the near-luxury coupe and cab encloses a competent drivetrain and comfortable accommodation with what is generally accepted as drop-dead gorgeous sheetmetal. If you are at the life stage which puts a value on at least two of the above three, you'll love Audi's take on two-door transport.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite Audi's spectacular growth in recent years, it remains well outside the consideration curve for those solidly in the automotive mainstream. In the segment there are a number of no-brainers, including BMW's 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class/E-Class, and Infiniti's G37. If auto buying is little more than a reflexive exercise, you'll probably find yourself in someone else's showroom.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011, there are new wheel designs, tweaks in interior trim, and a new Titanium Sport Package available with Premium Plus and Prestige models.

Driving the S5

Driving Impressions The A5, sharing its basic platform with Audi's most recent A4, puts an emphasis on balance. With a new all-wheel drive gearbox, the engine can be placed further back in...

the chassis, creating a far better weight distribution than is typically found in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive chassis. The A5's base 2.0 liter four is responsive, although arguably works better in Audi's own TT or A3 than in the heavier A5. The Cabriolet's standard supercharged V6 is probably the sweet spot in the coupe/cab's drivetrain selection. The all-independent suspension is supple, the steering amazingly direct, and the overall comfort level high. That said, going to 19-inch rims will compromise the ride, and the S5's V8 will compromise your license.

quattro All-Wheel Drive
Standard on all but the A5 Cabriolet - which employs front-wheel drive - the Audi all-wheel-drive system is one for the ages. Impeccably balanced, with a 40 percent front/60 percent rear torque split in most driving situations, the A5 and S5 are revelations to those coming to all-wheel drive with '80s-era preconceptions.

S tronic Dual-Clutch Transmission
With the precision of a manual and convenience of an automatic, the dual-clutch transmission, which is made standard on the S5 Cabriolet, is a way significant moment in the annals of high-performance motoring, and embellishes the S5's capability as an uber-tourer. We look forward to its widening availability on other Audi models.

2011 Audi S5 Details
Interior

At a company known for its brilliant interiors - both in design and execution - the A5 and S5 don't disappoint. The leather-upholstered front buckets provide that often elusive combination of accessibility and lateral support, while the rear seating area serves as a comfortable enclave for two. And while the Coupe's greenhouse is visually airy, the EPA rates the interior environs as subcompact. Moderately sized adults will be comfortable; larger physical types should grab their own A5. The S5 moves the meter, with S-design leather sport seats, Silk Nappa leather and unique inlays (brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, stainless steel or gray birch) completing the high-performance impression.

Exterior

As the only enthusiast pub in the U.S. with a regular column (by Robert Cumberford) focusing on automotive design, Automobile Magazine knows of what it writes. In 2009 the magazine awarded its "Design of the Year" to Audi's A5 Coupe. One look confirms their selection. You're greeted by Audi's mono-form grille, drawn in by carefully sculpted side contours and delighted by a crisp character line which runs the length of the car. The A5/S5 mechanical layout sets the engine further back in the chassis than is the typical FWD/AWD norm, allowing for a shorter front overhang and more athletic stance. Finally, the A5/S5 Cabriolet's use of a cloth roof is an almost classic touch, and has the practical benefit of not impeding (significantly) available trunk space when dropped.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In examining the list of standard equipment, you'll ask the inevitable question: What more could anyone want? The A5 Coupe's Premium trim level includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, Audi concert radio (with 10 speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio and 180 watts), power front seats and a panorama sunroof. On the S5, standard trim is dubbed Premium Plus and includes19-inch alloys, Bluetooth touch-free interface, sport seats covered in Silk Nappa leather, sport suspension and three-zone automatic climate control. With the exception of the A5 Cabriolet, all include Audi's quattro all-wheel drive in the base MSRP.

Optional Equipment

With so much standard, those features customers might opt for are (typically) encompassed in one of two packages. Premium Plus includes its own 10-spoke alloy wheel, Audi Music interface with iPod cable, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, heated front seats, Xenon plus headlights and three-zone automatic climate control. On the S5 Coupe the upmarket trim is Prestige and includes DVD player, Bang & Olufsen premium sound, memory for driver seat and mirrors, navigation and voice control of nav/phone. Functionally, the biggest news is the availability of a sport rear differential on the S5, which varies the amount of torque delivered between the rear wheels.

Under the Hood

As a base powerplant, Audi's superb 2.0 liter TFSI turbocharged four is almost perfect for the application, with adequate (211) horsepower and prodigious (258 pound-feet) levels of torque. As noted, we think the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 may be the sweet spot (S5 Cab only), with horsepower - 333 - close to that of the Coupe's V8 in a lighter, more efficient package. The S5 Coupe's 4.2 liter V8 may - at this point - seem old school, but behind the wheel of 354 horsepower, who's gonna care?

2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 4300-6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
21/31 (quattro manual), 21/29 (quattro Tiptronic), 22/30 (FWD, Multitronic)

3.0 liter V6 Supercharged
333 horsepower @ 5500-7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2900-5300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (S tronic trans)

4.2 liter V8
354 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 (manual), 16/24 (Tiptronic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Audi S5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.8
Out of 10

Based on 34 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.7/10
    Quality
    9.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.9/10
    Styling
    9.9/10

Own the Convertible Version-Excellent

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent all around vehicle"

Cons: "Expensive, but worth it. 9/10 for value."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this vehicle after looking at other convertibles and trading a Honda S2000. Wanted the power of the Honda, but needed some practicality. Where else can you get a convertible with AWD, seating for the wife and kids, a usable trunk, and can autocross on the weekends? Use it all the time, even driving through winters in Ohio, just need to put on winter tires."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

awesome sports coupe

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, power, handling"

Cons: "rear seat comfort"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Fantastic build quality, very fast supercharged motor, handling 4 wheel drive is great! Elegant yet simple styling and lines on the car, large useful trunk. MPG better than expected, 22 in mixed driving. B & O sound system a must! Highly recommended."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Beautiful design-exciting to drive

By on Monday, January 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I own a 2011 S5 Cab - premium plus with the MMI DVD/ nav pkg which includes a rear camera and parking sensors and the the comfort pkg which includes ventilated seats and what Mercedes calls air scarf which blows warm air on your neck which is nice in cool weather with the top down. I agree with most of the comments but I do want to point out a few cons that have not been mentioned. This is a car that lists for 63k and does not have specific features that u think would be standard ...so be careful when buying a used one. For example, no memory on even the driver seat and auto dimming is not included on the side mirrors nor does the passenger mirror dip when in reverse, a nice feature when parking. A USB connection would be appreciated and it's hard to eliminate the brake squeal when braking at low speeds. I believe some of the "cons" have been addressed in the latest models but it's still surprising that in a car at this price point they are not included as standard features. Ps....only the Germans have not found a way to control the brake dust!"

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Second S5--LOVE this car!!!

By on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, Engine, Interior, Power"

Cons: "Needs more interactive (Pandora music, etc)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I owned a 2013 S5, and made the mistake of trading on another car (Tesla--horrible car). I LOVE my 2014 S5--the black optic package is so good looking. I have owned many $100K plus cars--Porsche, etc, and just cannot get enough of this S5. For the price and performance it CANNOT be beat. Amazing engine, interior, torque, maps, design, etc. Glad my new S5 is in my garage!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Like no other car!

By on Saturday, February 16, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Absolute joy to drive"

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Traded in 2007 Civic SI (daily driver) and 2008 Corvette convertible (weekend fun) for my 2012 S5. WOW! This car is amazing in every way. The B and O sound system is the best I've heard in a car. Lots of looks and great comments from strangers. I always start the car with the door open to hear the amazing V8 fire up! It's crazy but my neighbor commented he liked the exhaust note of my S5 over the Vette! You will LOVE THIS CAR!"

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

S5 Cab - Mid Life Crisis Completed

By on Friday, December 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "looks, sporty, fast, sick with top down..."

Cons: "you get what you pay for....pricey"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I just purchased this 2013 S5 Cab in black. It's incredible and loving every minute. The acceleration is unreal and the exterior look is incredible. Sexiest car ever. Worth every cent."

12 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?