S5

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2021 Audi S5 Overview

Audi last redesigned the S5 compact luxury car in 2018, and, as it received styling and feature updates in the two years since then, it carries over largely unchanged for 2021. This stylish performance car competes against the likes of the BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volvo S60, and Infiniti Q60.

Though the base A5 is pretty good-looking on its own terms, the S5 adds a touch of aggression. The low stance is emphasized by trapezoid exhaust outlets, standard LED lighting, swoopy side sills, and classy yet sporty wheel designs.

Regardless of model or trim, the S5 is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (AWD). It’s rated for 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The selectable drive mode system, with Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual settings, comes standard; to add an adaptive suspension system, add the S Sport package. Fuel economy changes slightly to account for body style, with the coupe model rated for 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined, and the convertible rated for 19 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined.

Trim levels carry over from last year, with the choice of Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Premium includes a panoramic sunroof, 12-way power and heated front seats, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and ambient lighting. The options menu offers keyless entry, push-button start, ventilated front seats, and a hands-free trunk.

For infotainment, the S5 features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. A 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation, and built-in WiFi are available.

The Audi S5 does not get crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) which is typical of cars in this class. However, the 2020 Audi A5, on which the S5 is based, earned a 5-star overall rating from NHTSA and Good scores in five crash tests from IIHS. The S5 includes a reversing camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, lane-departure warning, the Audi Pre-Sense Basic collision-preparation system, and the Audi Pre-Sense City pedestrian detection system. You can add adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and park assist. rear cross-traffic assist, traffic-sign recognition, and a head-up display (HUD).

This is a case in which it’s just fine to go a model year without any updates. The Audi S5 is sharp, stylish, and fun to drive, and well worth a look in this segment.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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