Audi A5 vs S5: Is The V6 Worth It?

The Audi A5 is considered pretty sporty within Audi’s regular ‘A’ range of cars. Unlike the other hatchbacks and saloons, the A5 is a coupe at heart. It’s also offered as a cabriolet and a sportback that bridges the gap between coupe and saloon.

So what about the Audi S5? For those unaware, the ‘S’ indicates a performance version of Audi’s regular cars. This means the Audi A5 and S5 are built from exactly the same base, but the S5 is essentially the A5 with higher engine specs.

That’s the bottom line, but let’s take a closer look at the exact similarities and differences between these two popular Audis.

Quick Summary

Audi denotes its cars performance levels with the letters A, S, and RS, with the RS being the fastest. The Audi S5 is essentially a souped-up Audi A5 which houses a gutsier V6 engine and gets unique styling elements.


Comparing the cost of the A5/S5 coupes and sportbacks, the 2021 A5 starts at $44,000 MSRP whereas the S5 starts at $52,500 MSRP. It doesn’t need explaining that being a high performance version of the A5, the Audi S5 is the more expensive car.

Audi A5 interior
Audi S5 interior

S5 Has A Sportier Design

Given the fact they’re built from the same base, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the A5 and S5 are visually very similar.

However, on closer examination the S5 has some exterior subtleties that make it look more sporty, such as additional exhaust pipes at the rear, different side sills and red S badging.

On the inside, the S5 changes things up with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and S sport-contoured seats with pneumatic side bolsters.

Both are available as a Coupe, Cabriolet or Sportback

The Audi A5/S5 can be purchased as either a coupe or sportback with no difference in cost. The cabriolet (convertible) costs more.

Audi A5 body type variants
Audi A5 Coupe (top), Sportback (middle), Cabriolet (bottom)

The coupe is a two door car with a sloped rear roofline, whereas the sportback has four doors. Unlike a typical four-door sedan, the sportback has a more sloped rear roofline, giving it a sportier, more aerodynamic appearance. Think of it as a 4-door coupe.

Although both the coupe and sportback offer four seats, the sportback is roomier and offers much more convenient entry. The coupe trades practicality for the ultimate driver’s experience: slightly nimbler handling and better performance.

Although we’re big fans of the 2-door coupe and cabriolet, we personally prefer the look of the sportback overall. The longer body gives the sportback a perfect silhouette.

Both Feature Quattro AWD

Audi’s patented Quattro all-wheel drive system is featured on both cars, making them well-suited to driving in slippery conditions or on rougher terrain.

The S5 is Faster

The whole point of buying the S5 over the A5 is for the improved performance and track handling. So how big is that performance gap? Let’s compare the specs of the 2021 Coupes (the sportbacks are very similar, but a tiny bit slower because of the additional weight).

The A5 features a four cylinder 2.0-liter 261-hp turbocharged TFSI engine that can take it from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.

By comparison, the S5 features a much more powerful 3.0-liter TFSI 349-hp V6 which takes it from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

Although you won’t get to legally be allowed to drive either car at their top speed, the A5 maxes out at 130 mph whereas the S5 can reach 155 mph.

The A5’s engine is mated with a seven-speed S-tronic® dual-clutch automatic transmission whereas the S5 adopts the eight-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission for more aggressive gearing.

The A5 Has Better Fuel Economy

Going hand in hand with its bigger engine, the S5 is more gas-hungry. It achieves a 20/28 city/highway mpg for a combined 23 mpg. Compare this with the A5 that achieves a 24/31 city/highway mpg and a combined 27 mpg.

Audi S5 Trunk
Audi S5 Trunk

The A5 Has A Smoother Ride

The S5 has a very slightly lower ground clearance and a stiffer suspension that can be optioned with Audi’s sport adaptive damping suspension. The result is better cornering around the track, but you’ll be able to feel more of the road’s imperfections. The difference isn’t major, however, and isn’t as noticeable as when you compare the ride quality between the S5 and RS5.

Both Are Available In 3 Trims

New A5s and S5s are available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.

Premium Plus and Prestige trims have the same performance as the base Premium trim, but offer some additional luxuries and driving assists. You’ll want to refer to the Audi website for a comprehensive list of differences, but new features like Audi Virtual Cockpit, Audi Pre Sense traffic assist, adaptive cruise control and a Bang and Olufsen sound system are only present on high-end trims.


The decision to go with an A5 or spend more for the S5 should be a simple one based on your needs and preferences.

The A5 is more sensible for all intents and purposes. It’s cheaper, luxurious and faster than you’ll ever need to be going. On the other hand, some will find the extra power you get from the S5’s beastly V6 too hard to pass up on.

Comparison Table

2022 Audi A52022 Audi S5
Engine2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
Horsepower201 hp @ 4475 rpm349 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque236 lb-ft @ 1450 rpm369 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm
Transmission7-Speed Automatic8-Speed Automatic
DrivetrainAll-Wheel DriveAll-Wheel Drive
Steering TypeRack-PinionRack-Pinion
Rear SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Rear Wheel SizeP245/40HR18P255/35YR19
Front SuspensionMulti-LinkMulti-Link
Front Wheel SizeP245/40HR18P255/35YR19
Turning Diameter (ft.)38.438.4
Fuel Economy
MPG/MPGe - Hwy3430
MPG/MPGe - City2621
MPG/MPGe - Combined2924
Gas Tank Size (gallons)15.315.3
Cruising Range - Hwy (miles)520.2459.0
Size and Weight
Height (in.)54.654.6
Length (in.)187.2187.2
Weight (lbs)37593924
Max Width (in.)72.672.6
Wheelbase (in.)111.2111.2
Interior Dimensions
Seating Capacity55
Front Seat Leg Room (in.)41.341.3
Front Seat Head Room (in.)37.737.8
Front Seat Shoulder Room (in.)55.755.7
Rear Seat Leg room (in.)35.135.1
Rear Seat Head Room (in.)37.037.0
Rear Seat Shoulder Room (in.)54.554.5
Infotainment Features
HD RadioOptionalOptional
MP3 PlayerStandardStandard
WiFi HotspotNot AvailableNot Available
Satellite RadioOptionalOptional
Bluetooth ConnectionStandardStandard
Entertainment SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Premium Sound SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Auxiliary Audio InputStandardStandard
Smart Device IntegrationStandardStandard
Hard Disk Drive Media StorageNot AvailableNot Available
Interior Trim
Cloth SeatsStandardStandard
Vinyl SeatsStandardStandard
Leather SeatsStandardStandard
Premium Synthetic SeatsStandardStandard
Bucket SeatsStandardStandard
Leather Steering WheelStandardStandard
Woodgrain Interior TrimStandardNot Available
Comfort Features
Rear A/CStandardStandard
Seat MemoryOptionalOptional
Seat-MassageNot AvailableStandard
Keyless EntryStandardStandard
Keyless StartStandardStandard
Cruise ControlStandardStandard
Multi-Zone A/CStandardStandard
Power LiftgateStandardStandard
Climate ControlStandardStandard
Head-Up DisplayNot AvailableNot Available
Power Mirror(s)StandardStandard
Automatic ParkingNot AvailableNot Available
Navigation SystemNot AvailableNot Available
Power Driver SeatStandardStandard
Cooled Rear Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Hands-Free LiftgateNot AvailableNot Available
Heated Rear Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Remote Engine StartNot AvailableNot Available
Cooled Front Seat(s)Not AvailableNot Available
Heated Front Seat(s)StandardStandard
Power Passenger SeatStandardStandard
Remote Trunk ReleaseStandardStandard
Heated Steering WheelOptionalOptional
Adaptive Cruise ControlNot AvailableNot Available
Navigation from TelematicsNot AvailableNot Available
Universal Garage Door OpenerStandardStandard
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsStandardStandard
Safety Features
Brake AssistStandardStandard
Night VisionNot AvailableNot Available
Rear Parking AidOptionalOptional
Traction ControlStandardStandard
Stability ControlStandardStandard
Blind Spot MonitorOptionalOptional
Cross-Traffic AlertNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Keeping AssistNot AvailableNot Available
Tire Pressure MonitorNot AvailableNot Available
Lane Departure WarningStandardStandard
Knee Air BagStandardStandard
Driver Air BagStandardStandard
Seatbelt Air BagNot AvailableNot Available
Passenger Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Head Air BagStandardStandard
Rear Side Air BagOptionalOptional
Front Head Air BagStandardStandard
Front Side Air BagStandardStandard
Basic4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Corrosion12 Years / Unlimited Miles12 Years / Unlimited Miles
Drivetrain4 Years / 50,000 Miles4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance4 Years / Unlimited Miles4 Years / Unlimited Miles