By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 8.3
Audi’s 2017 A5 and S5 luxury-sport coupe and Cabriolet convertible blend performance driving with a luxurious interior that defines what a personal luxury car should be. The A5’s timeless design looks as though it was carved from a single billet, making it seem more like art than basic transportation. Power is provided by a 220-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine on the A5 and backed by Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive (AWD). More comfortable than the BMW 4 Series or Infiniti Q60, the A5 leaves the hyper-performance role to its S5 cousin. With a 333-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6, sport suspension and available 6-speed manual transmission, the S5 coupe is a stellar performer that’s even more alluring in convertible form.
If you prefer the personal space only two doors can provide, Audi’s 2017 A5 and S5 coupe offer stunning good looks, impressive performance and luxury beyond what most would consider sufficient. Standard AWD is an added bonus during winter driving.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, the Audi A5 and S5 receive a number of minor upgrades. Automatic-equipped A5 Sport models receive a flat-bottom steering wheel, while front and rear acoustic parking sensors are made standard. A new Convenience package adds heated seats with driver’s memory, Audi advance key and auto-dimming exterior mirrors.
In the 2017 Audi A5 coupe, the driving experience begins even before the engine begins running. Be it the convertible A5 Cabriolet or fixed-roof A5 coupe, both versions reward their...
... owners with a sumptuous interior and a driving experience that is comfortable on long stretches yet balanced and poised when the asphalt ribbon below begins to twist and turn. Credit goes to a sophisticated 4-link suspension coupled with a rigid chassis enhanced by numerous, lightweight aluminum bits. As one would expect, each variant is tuned differently, with the standard A5 leaning more toward comfort versus the S5’s aggressive yet firm setup. Similarly, the A5’s 2.0-liter engine is plenty quick, but it’s the S5 coupe and S5 Cabriolet’s supercharged V6 and quattro all-wheel drive that allow even the most novice driver to feel like a seasoned professional.
3.0-LITER SUPERCHARGED V6
The 3.0-liter supercharged V6 in the 2017 Audi S5 pumps out 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque that help make this car a world-class contender. Even with the AWD setup, fuel economy is respectable with either the 6-speed manual or 8-speed Tiptronic automatic.
Where some cars seem to add curves or bulging light fixtures just to be different, Audi’s 2017 A5 and S5 coupe are a rolling testament to designers who truly understand the artistry required to create automotive masterpieces.
Rather than compromise function for form -- or vice versa -- Audi manages to blend striking design with easy day-to-day usability. The leather driver and passenger seats offer excellent support, but are still easy to get in and out of. The driver-focused gauges and center stack are sporty and functional. The S5 ups luxury and sport, with Nappa leather and a selection of dash inlays that includes carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, stainless steel or gray birch. While Audi's MMI infotainment system and other controls are easy to use, what really sets this interior apart are design and attention to detail.
Audi has mastered the art of designing conservatively attractive cars, and the 2017 A5 coupe is a prime example. The sleek lines help tone down the brand's signature oversize grille, while the grille itself makes this car unmistakably Audi. The bold grille is flanked by LED headlight accents to create an unmistakable face, while the finely tailored sheet metal shows off the lovely flowing curves along the sides with carefully executed creases and crisp detailing.
This year, all new Audi A5 models get the upscale S-line exterior treatment. Other standard equipment on the A5 includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, quattro AWD, 3-zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescope steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof and 10-way-adjustable power leather seats. There's Bluetooth and iPod integration for the 10-speaker audio system, and even automatic headlights and windshield wipers. Audi S5 models add the supercharged V6 engine, plus Alcantara upholstery and keyless entry and ignition.
Options for the 2017 Audi A5 and Audi S5 include high-intensity-discharge headlights, LED taillights and a variety of wheel packages. Navigation now includes Audi connect, which allows searches using Google Earth, providing realistic terrain imagery, as well as the ability to send destinations from any browser directly to the car. Audi A5 and S5 convertible models can be ordered with a Red Acoustic convertible top, and the Black Optic Plus Package for the Audi S5 gets new 20-inch wheels.
It's a good day when the "base" engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that's standard in the Audi A5. With 220 smooth horsepower, standard quattro AWD, and your choice of a 6-speed automatic or an 8-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual control, it's no penalty box. However, we're particularly fond of the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 in the Audi S5, with its 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (manual), 22/30 mpg (automatic)
3.0-liter supercharged V6
333 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 mpg (manual), 18/28 mpg (Coupe, S tronic automatic), 18/26 mpg (Cabriolet, S tronic automatic)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
Prices for a 2017 Audi A5 Coupe with a manual transmission start at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $42,200, including the $925 destination charge. Step up to the more powerful S5 model (you'll thank us) and you'll pay just a tad over $54,000. There's a convertible version of each, with the A5 Cabriolet starting just below $50,000, and the S5 drop-top a bit above $62,000. It's no surprise that options rapidly inflate the price of this luxury coupe, and the A5 lineup's prices are on par with its primary competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Before buying, check out KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what customers are paying in your area. Audi's predicted resale is very good, with the 2017 A5 Coupe expected to do significantly better than the BMW 4 Series Coupe or the Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe.