Audi S5
(2017 - 2021)

  • Gorgeous design both inside and out
  • Excellent levels of performance
  • Immense levels of safety and tech
  • Great value compared to RS models
  • Depreciation can hit hard
  • Steering feel can be lifeless
  • Cramped headroom in 2-door Coupe
  • Underwhelming warranty period
Overview

The current B9 generation of Audi’s S4 and S5 fleet hit local shores in early 2017, bringing with it a new turbocharged spin to nameplates that previously enjoyed supercharged six and, prior, naturally aspirated V8 power.

Ingolstadt’s middleweight ‘S’ formula was, is and will continue to be considered Audi’s ‘soft rock’ performance in the company of ‘hard-core’ RennSport-chiseled siblings. Closer to the truth is that they occupy a friendly, livable and satisfying sweet spot between the relatively vanilla ‘A’ gear and the high-performance RS excess.

B9 has been a fine S4 and S5 vintage and still is in its recently facelifted guise. The singular recipe blends a 3.0-litre single-turbocharged V6, doling out a potent 260kW and 500Nm, and a befitting eight-speed conventional automatic as a refinement lift over its dual-clutch forebear, of course, via proprietary quattro drive. And it’s a breed underpinned with arguably the finest and most capable chassis of its premium competitive segment.

It could eventually be had in one of five different body styles: the S4 Sedan and Avant wagon, and S5 as a two-door Coupe, five-door Sportback or drop top Cabriolet.

When this generation arrived, pricing kicked off at just under six figures for a clean-skin S4 Sedan and walked up to around $120k for the convertible, many loaded with pricey options, from appearance packages to sports differentials. The mid-sized, middleweight S breed tends to typically lure a more mature professional buyer demographic so a good many used examples will likely to have been pampered and well maintained.

The big lure in 2021 is that earlier examples have copped heavy depreciation – as much as 40 per cent – for what remains a thoroughly contemporary package with current tech and what’s still thrilling sportiness. Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto mirroring, all thoroughly new school and minted with Audi’s deft eye and craft for appealing luxury interior appointment.

While the S4 versions, specifically, were treated to expansive sheet metal revisions for the MY21 facelift currently in showrooms, plus a tickle to the equipment list, including larger touchscreen infotainment range(s) wide. But mechanically little has changed since 2017.

It’s of no surprise that the sedan has been the big S4 seller though Audi’s fast (and faster) wagons have enjoyed fair popularity with something of a cult following. In S5, the impressively practical liftback Sportback has enjoyed the most buyer attention, outselling the two-door Coupe five or six to one.

Worth considering, too, is that many used examples will have aged beyond the surety of Audi’s slim three-year warranty period, one key reason why existing buyers will be moving them on.

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What goes wrong
  • The 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 and torque converter automatic combination in the S4 and S5 are proving to be very solid.
  • This engine and driveline combination is shared across a large range of Volkswagen Group products from The Audi Q8 through to the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne so while you can expect the typical luxury car bugs, don’t be concerned with being left on the side of the road either.
  • The V6 in B9 series went through a change with the B8.5’s supercharger being replaced by a turbocharger and the torque increased by a good margin.
  • We’ve found that the 3.0 V6 still seems to be one of the most reliable German engines available even after the switch to a turbo.
  • However, water pumps and thermostats can still cause some issues, there are reports of PCV valve failure, carbon build-up is possible and thanks to the immense performance, both the S4 and S5 can have quite the appetite for brakes.
  • Externally, it’s critical to use genuine Audi or Audi approved windscreens as cheaper glass can cause havoc with the plethora of sensors.
  • Early model S5 Sportback window mechanisms can be overly sensitive when raising, resulting in the window failing to raise at all.
  • Parking sensors can be faulty on early models however, this should have been resolved under warranty.
  • Internally, the infotainment systems and Audi Virtual cockpit can glitch and falter however this is not a common issue as such and again, should have been resolved under warranty.
  • Overall, the B9 series of S cars are proving to be reliable and dependable, so far.
Check out some of our other Cheat Sheets
Model range, pricing & features

S4 Sedan

  • Price when new: $99,900 - $101,500
  • Price used: $64,000 - $115,000

The S4 is the high-performance version of the A4 sedan. In addition to a more powerful V6 engine, it also features sportier exterior features, luxury & premium-appointed features over a standard A4 model.

The S4 sits in between the A4 range and the RS4 avant wagon, which is the top-of-the-range high-performance sports model.

Standard features:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • S suspension with adaptive damper control
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested in 2015)
  • 8-airbags (dual front, front side, rear side and full-curtain airbags)
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESP)
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – up to 85km/h
  • Audi side assist (blind spot assist)
  • Attention assist (alert tone and visual warning)
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Exit warning
  • Hold Assist
  • Park Assist
  • Tyre Pressure Monitor
  • Active Bonnet
  • Seat belt reminder/indicators for front and rear passengers
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Keyless entry and push button start
  • 360-degree camera
  • LED headlights including LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear tailights
  • Auto headlight and high beam function
  • Electric sport front seats in leather and alcantara with electric
  • lumbar support and memory function.
  • Heated front seats
  • Folding rear seat – 40:20:40 split
  • Privacy glass
  • Tri-zone climate control with rear air vents
  • Electric mirrors, auto-folding, heated, auto dimming with memory
  • and kerb-side function on the passenger side
  • Electric windows with one touch up/down for all windows and
  • remote up/down function.
  • 8.3-inch infotainment system
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • AM/FM radio
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • CD Player
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Voice control
  • Satellite navigation
  • Live traffic updates
  • Stereo System
  • Android Auto
  • Apple Car Play
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Auto wipers
  • Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch display
  • Leather multifunctional flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle
  • shifters
  • Map lights and rear passenger lights
  • Colour ambient lighting package

MY20 adds:

  • Metallic paint,
  • S sports seats in nappa leather (with pneumatic lumbar support and
  • massage function)
  • Extended upholstery package
  • Head-up display
  • Wireless Qi smartphone charging
  • Bang & Olufsen 3D surround sound
  • Two additional USB charging points in the rear

MY21 adds:

  • 10.1-inch infotainment system
  • Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators, adaptive high beam
  • and dynamic cornering lights

S4 Avant (wagon)

  • Price when new: $102,900 - $104,000
  • Price used: $65,000 - $116,000

The S4 avant is the high-performance version of the A4 avant (wagon). It has identical features to the S4 sedan, with some additional wagon orientated features like an electric tailgate

The S4 avant also sits in between the A4 range and the RS4 avant wagon.

Additional features:

  • Aluminium roof rails – Avant (wagon only)
  • Electric rear tailgate – Avant (wagon only)

S5 Coupe

  • Price when new: $105,800 - $108,700
  • Price used: $65,000 - $105,000

The S5 is the high performance version of the A5 coupe, which shares the same underpinnings as the A4/S4.

Like the S4 sedan and wagon, it features a twin-scrolled turbocharged V6 engine under the bonnet and boasts a sportier exterior and luxury and premium features of the standard A5 models.

The S5 sits in between the A5 and RS5 range.

Additional features (in addition to S4):

  • “S” sports front seats in nappa leather

MY20 adds:

  • 20-inch Audi Sport alloys
  • Metallic paint
  • Wireless Qi smartphone charging
  • Head-up display
  • Bang & Olufsen 3D surround sound system

MY21 adds:

  • 10.1-inch infotainment system
  • Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators, adaptive high beam and dynamic cornering lights

S5 Sportback

  • Price when new: $105,800 - $108,700
  • Price used: $70,000 - $123,000

The S5 Sportback is the five-door liftback version of the S5 coupe.

Additional features (in addition to S4):

  • “S” sports front seats in nappa leather

MY20 adds:

  • 20-inch Audi Sport alloys
  • Metallic paint
  • Wireless Qi smartphone charging
  • Head-up display
  • Bang & Olufsen 3D surround sound system

MY21 adds:

  • 10.1-inch infotainment system
  • Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators, adaptive high beam and dynamic cornering lights

S5 Cabriolet

  • Price when new: $119,111 - $122,000
  • Price used: $68,000 - $102,000

The S5 cabriolet is a cabriolet version of the S5 coupe, and adds a electrically closing and opening closing roof.

Additional features (in addition to S5 Coupe):

  • Electrically operated folding fabric roof (open/close) – at speeds of up to 50km/h
  • 50:50 folding backrest (as opposed to a 40:20:40 split found in the Coupe and Sportback)
Should you buy it?

Should you buy one? Well, both the S4 and S5 can depreciate in value quite enthusiastically, in fact you’re potentially looking at a rate of nearly $10,000 a year, the warranty is quite short compared to less prestigious brands and if anything were to go wrong once the S4/S5 is out of warranty, being a premium branded European car that is heavily equiped with complex technology, the cost of parts and labour can potentially escalate quickly.

So, if we were to be logical, no you shouldn’t buy an S4 or S5, but surely logic is subjective isn’t it?

In that case, how about we look at it this way. For what an S4 or S5 asks for on the used car market, they offer an immense amount of car for the money. With even a mild tune both will very nearly match their RS counterparts in terms of performance for potentially $50,000 less and while the S4 and S5 exude comfort, class and sophistication, they can also be down right juvenile and savage if or when you want to let your hair down.

If you’re in the financial position to easily absorb the depreciation and have some money set aside just incase something were to go wrong down the track, yes you should buy an S5, or an S4.

Even if you’re in the market for an RS4 or RS5, we highly recommend trying an S4 or S5 first as the performance difference can be easily remedied and you’ll potentially save yourself tens of thousands of dollars for a vehicle that is near identical.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 year/unlimited kilometre warranty

Servicing:

12 months/15,000km – S4/S5 owners had the ability to option three year and five year servicing packages – so make sure to ask the owner if they have a service package included with the car.

Tech specs

Body Styles:

  • 2-door coupe (S5)
  • 2-door cabriolet (S5 cabriolet)
  • 4-door sedan (S4)
  • 5-door wagon (S4 Avant)
  • 5-door liftback (S5 sportback)

Engines:

  • 3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol

Power:

  • 260kW (3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol)

Torque:

  • 500Nm (3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol)

Transmission:

  • 8-speed tiptronic (torque convertor) transmission, quattro (AWD)

Fuel Economy:

  • 7.5-9.5L/100km (3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol)

Height:

  • 1429mm (S4)
  • 1386mm (S5 coupe)
  • 1386mm (S5 cabriolet)
  • 1382mm (S5 sportback)

Length:

  • 4726mm (S4 sedan)
  • 4745mm (S4 avant)
  • 4692mm (S5 coupe & cabriolet)
  • 4752mm (S5 sportback)

Width:

  • 1842mm (S4)
  • 1846mm (S5 coupe & cabriolet)
  • 1843mm (S5 sportback)

Kerb Weight:

  • 1750kg – 1765kg (S4 sedan)
  • 1810kg – 1825kg (S4 avant)
  • 1745kg – 1765kg (S5 coupe)
  • 1930kg – 1955kg (S5 cabriolet)
  • 1775kg – 1810kg (S5 sportback)

Luggage Space (Boot, without seats folded):

  • 420L (S4 sedan and Avant)
  • 410L (S5 coupe)
  • 480L (S5 Sportback)
  • 375L (S5 cabriolet)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of October 8, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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