2019 Audi RS5 review
The comprehensive Audi RS5 review
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What's in this guide?
|Car Advice||83%||"The end result is a pleasing execution of the sport sedan formula: a pleasant around-town family car with the engaging dynamics of a proper sports car on the open road. A true grand tourer, then."||Read more|
|Drive||80%||"The RS5 Sportback brings a sense of practicality to the European muscle car set, without compromising performance."||Read more|
|CarsGuide||79%||"You instantly forget that it's a rather large five seater with almost room for a pony in the boot. There's miles of grip, it steers really nicely and the big brakes do a really good job under pressure. This, is a proper RS."||Read more|
|Motoring||80%||"It's an elegant design with an attractive, practical interior featuring colourful ambient lighting at night. But ultimately the RS 5 Sportback's appeal lies in its jaw-dropping powertrain and very composed dynamics."||Read more|
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How does the Audi RS5 compare with its peers?
The complete Audi RS5 review
Audi RS5 pricing
There are two RS5 models sold by Audi in Australia, the four-door RS5 spec sedan, known as the Sportback, and the two-door Coupé.
Audi RS5 Sportback
In NSW, the Audi RS5 Sportback's drive-away cost is $170,740.21. That includes a dealer delivery charge of $3,973, federal government Luxury Car Tax (LCT) of $22,277.06, NSW rego of $639.30 and a stamp duty charge of $7,245.
The RS5 Sportback has a 2.9-litre Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection (TFSI) V6 engine that works in tandem with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission (automatic gearbox with a manual override feature). The car has a Quattro AWD system and rolls on 20" diamond cut 5-arm-trapezoid alloy wheels.
As standard, Audi fits LED headlights and rear lights, with dynamic rear indicators. The model comes with a gloss black styling package and a panoramic glass sunroof. Rear passengers benefit from privacy glass. The interior features RS sports seats in the front finished in nappa leather with honeycomb patterning. Audi installs electric adjustment and massaging functions on the front seats plus heating elements. Black headlining continues the ultra-modern interior design theme as does an ambient lighting set-up. A head-up display, which is projected onto the windscreen, shows your speed and navigation information, and analogue instrument dials are replaced by a 12.3-inch customisable digital display. There's a smaller 8.3-inch screen that handles the infotainment graphics and navigation. Audi's infotainment system works with Apple and Android phones, and you can expect pretty sharp audio from a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.
There are heaps of safety equipment too, including the following:
- 360° camera view (a four-camera system)
- Adaptive cruise with stop and go functionality, plus traffic jam assist and a distance indicator.
- Audi active lane assist
- Audi hill hold assist
- Audi collision mitigation/braking
- Parking assistant
The steering wheel is an RS sport leather item, with shifting paddles and multifunction controls. As you'd expect from a model with the Rennsport badge (that's German for racing sport), the car has gloss red, RS-badged brake callipers, a sports diff and exhaust as well as an adjustable RS sport suspension system.
Audi RS5 Coupé
The RS5 Coupé has very similar specs to the Sportback, with obvious differences including the number of doors (two doors vs four doors) and seats (there are five seats in the Sportback and four in the Coupé). It's also slightly more costly with a drive-away cost of $171,165.92. Apparently, Audi's design team drew inspiration from their 1989 IMSA GTO racing car for the RS5.
Click on a model to compare RS5 finance deals.
|Audi RS5 Sportback||Audi RS5 Coupé|
|AWD, 8-speed Tiptronic automatic, 2.9-litre V6 petrol, 5 seats: $170,740.21||AWD, 8-speed Tiptronic automatic, 2.9-litre V6 petrol, 4 seats: $171,165.92|
There's a single no-cost paint option, Nardo Grey. Metallic and pearl effect paints are an optional extra of $1,950.
OverviewIt's a sharp-looking, well-made, performance-focussed, incognito sports car that you could legitimately drive every day thanks to the practicality of four or five seats and a decent-sized boot. The reviewing panel we analysed found a few negatives with the RS5, but these were merely elements that weren't quite to their taste. Journalists said the Sportback is a great option if you don't like the looks, or need the extra boot space, of the RS4 and 6 wagons.
|Car Advice||"It's still hard to fathom why this car exists at all. If you don't need the practicality of four (or five) seats but want premium performance from a Euro bahnstormer, then the RS5 Coupe will serve your needs. If, on the other hand, extra space and practicality are high on your list of priorities, then the RS4 Avant will perfectly serve your needs."|
|Drive||"The new Audi RS5 Sportback is a fast, efficient and refined machine for wealthy enthusiasts."|
|CarsGuide||"It's hard to look past the fact that the RS 5 Sportback is more than $50k more expensive than an S5 Sportback, which itself is hardly cheap. But is it the pick of the RS4 and RS5 family? Probably, but I'm personally still a sucker for the RS4's wagon shape"|
|Motoring||"Priced the same as the RS 5 Coupe, the RS 5 Sportback adds the versatility of two extra doors to the mix of visceral performance from the twin-turbo V6 and the unimpeachable safety of all-wheel drive. The formidable on-road performance is complemented by an elegant, flowing design that incorporates the traditional single-frame grille."|
Engine and performance
Audi designed a high-power 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 for the RS5. The engine is 31 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. Engineers nestled the turbos within the "vee" of the cylinder banks to optimise exhaust and intake flow. The resulting design translates to 331kW from 5,700-6,700rpm and an impressive 600Nm in a football field wide band of torque from 1,900 to 5,000 revs.
Audi chose ZF to supply their eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox. The transmission has manual override pedal shifters on the steering column and you'll find the same gearbox put to use by Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW and other renowned car makers.
Car reviewers' thoughts on the Audi RS5's 2.9 TFSI V6 engine and ZF eight-speed gearbox
First off, a number of the reviewers praised Audi for making the RS5 work around town and as a daily driver. It might be a performance-focussed vehicle, but you could still give your grandmother a lift without worries, so said one automotive expert.
However, a couple of the testers longed for the R8's V8 engine that Audi used to bolt into older generation RS5 models. They missed the cacophony of the former power plant. The new, smaller capacity V6 engine's sound is apparently more subdued and less raucous.
However, when testers switched to Dynamic mode, they commented on how the engine satisfyingly begins to spit and pop as it overruns. Thanks to the massive torque band on this car, motoring journalists discovered you could short shift to a taller gear and the RS5 just keeps powering on. It's no slouch either, with the V6 dispatching 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. To put it another way, this car can equal a Ferrari F40 or a 2003 Pagani Zonda up to 100km/h. With your foot slammed to the floor, Audi claims the RS5 can travel at 280km/h.
The gearbox doesn't get in the way of the engine either, as journalists said it's nice and smooth around town, but then rapidly snaps between gears when driven spiritedly.
All in all, the RS5 is impressive whether as a five-seater sedan or a four-door coupé.
Audi RS5 engine and transmission statistics
|Engine type||Twin-turbocharged, direct injection with Audi valve lift|
|Cylinders||Six in a vee|
|Fuel tank capacity||46 litres|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||8.8L/100km (Coupé)||8.9L/100km (Sportback)|
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||3.9 seconds|
|Emissions standard||Euro 6|
|Top speed (km/h)||280km/h|
|Security||Central locking with electronic immobiliser|
|Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)||N/A|
We use the Green Vehicle Guide for fuel economy figures.
The Audi RS5 Coupé lists its fuel economy as follows:
- Combined: 8.8L/100km
- Urban: 11.6L/100km
- Extra urban: 7.2L/100km
The RS5 Sportback isn't listed on the fuel economy and emissions site, but Audi claims in the brochure that the four-door model uses 0.1L more per 100kms than the two-door Coupé, at 8.9L/100km combined.
Real-world fuel economy
What kind of fuel use did the reviewing panel record then? One outlet actually managed to match the brochure figures, something that doesn't happen all too often. Another logged 11L/100km, though no specifics were given as to the type of driving they were doing to get such thirsty results. A third reviewer said 9L/100km was very doable on a combined run, but for city and town driving, the car will glug as much as 14L/100km. Audi stipulates that 98 RON petrol should be used.
As a performance model, you'd expect the RS5 to have a reasonably good ride and dynamics. Car reviewers confirmed this was the case – with a few minor criticisms.
First off, the Quattro all-wheel-drive system in practice delivers an abundance of traction. Several testers spoke about how little effort was required to drive this car quickly. Its squat stance aids in delivering unshakable handling, according to test drivers. Reviewers also spoke enthusiastically about the adaptable hydraulic suspension that responds in a more forgiving manner on rough, potholed streets. However, the press then said in dynamic mode, the car suitably tightens everything up and sharpens the handling. One journo said it wasn't quite as aggressive as some of Audi's rivals. Overall, it seems fair to sum up the handling as assured.
However, there were a few minor annoyances that motoring writers uncovered. One writer said dynamic mode seemed too rigid and that it was barely acceptable as a daily driver. Others said the RS5 was a little less stirring than models from the BMW M division or Merc's AMG arm.
Interior and features
Reviewers described the RS5's interior as uncompromising. They also mentioned that it was incredibly well made and made use of the highest calibre materials. One went as far as saying it was best in class. Looking at the brochure images, it does indeed look understated and futuristic.
The highlights of the cabin include an 8.3-inch high definition infotainment screen, with DAB, Apple and Android smartphone connectivity and a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. Audio is played through 19 speakers. Satellite navigation is a standard inclusion as is an SD card reader, CD/DVD player and 10GB of onboard memory. Traditional analogue instrument dials are done away with and replaced by a customisable 12.3-inch high-resolution display that Audi calls a virtual cockpit. Principally, reviewers found the user interface to be pretty straightforward to get to grips with. There were some doubts about the fuel gauge design though, with one journalist commenting it took too much concentration to determine the fuel level.
Audi covers the seats in a super soft nappa leather. This is complemented by Alcantara suede in the door trim inserts. Other parts of the cabin are upholstered in man-made leather. There are multiple axes of power adjustment in the contoured front chairs, which are also heated.
Unsurprisingly, the review panel found the RS5 to be very comfortable, though some did complain the heavily sloped roofline robs rear passengers of some headroom. Helping to keep everyone suitably comfortable temperature-wise, there's three-zone air con.
Audi has also outfitted the RS5 with an abundance of safety assists. The standard car includes the following safety assists:
- Driver attention monitoring and warning
- Audi pre-sense city with AEB and pedestrian detection
- Electronic stabilisation control (ESC) with wheel-selective torque control, ABS, ASR, EFL and braking assist
- Hill hold assist
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- 360° camera (4-lens system)
- Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, plus traffic jam assist, distance indicator and speed limiter
- Audi active lane assist
- Audi parking system
- Audi pre-sense front (collision mitigation up to 250km/h)
- Blind spot warning
- Collision avoidance assist – supports steering force when the driver initiates an evasive manoeuvre
- Rear cross traffic assist – monitors traffic travelling perpendicularly when reversing
- Warning when opening doors for cars and cyclists approaching
- High beam assist
- Park assist
- Turn assist
- Full-colour head-up display with navigation and assistance information
It may not look like a car that has a big boot, but the RS5 Sportback has a VDA-measured boot capacity of 480 litres with the rear seats up. The Coupé has a very usable 465 litres.
The RS5's exterior styling is very tasteful. It looks purposeful and refined, but there are clues to the impressive performance contained within. Those Audi Quattro-inspired wheel arches and the rear twin exhausts, plus the set of massive 20" 5-spoke alloys convey that the RS5 is a sports car. The designers also gave the RS5 a cavernous maw with a single front honeycomb grill. It's all rather tasteful. At each corner, Audi installs gloss red RS badge brake callipers, which according to motoring journalists, deliver ample stopping power for road driving. Audi lists a carbon-ceramic brake package in the brochure, but you'd really only get the maximum performance out of these on a track day.
However, some reviewers believed that Audi could have given it a more aggressive stance. One tester also mentioned that the low front valance can cause a problem if you have a driveway that slopes dramatically; you may find it comes stressfully close to scraping on the ground.
There are a few optional styling packages designed for the RS5. You can add a carbon and matt aluminium look styling kit to your build list as well as a carbon and black package or an RS design package. These collections vary the look of your front spoiler, sills, rear spoiler, door mirrors and the diffuser insert.
Audi RS5 safety, security and driver assists
|RS5 safety features|
|Audi pre-sense city with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), plus pedestrian detection||✔|
|Electronic stabilisation control (ESC), with wheel-selective torque control||✔|
|ABS, ASR, EDL and brake assist||✔|
|Hill hold assist||✔|
|Seat belt reminders for all passengers||✔|
|Tyre pressure monitoring system||✔|
|360° camera system||✔|
|Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, including traffic jam assist, distance indicator and speed limiter||✔|
|Audi active lane assist||✔|
|Audi parking system (front and rear display)||✔|
|Audi pre-sense front (works up to 250km/h)||✔|
|Audi side blind-spot assist||✔|
|Collision avoidance assist||✔|
|Cross traffic assist rear||✔|
|Door exit warning system||✔|
|High beam assist||✔|
|Anti-theft alarm with selectable interior monitor, tow-away protection and tilt alarm sensor||✔|
Audi RS5 interior and comfort features
|RS5 Coupé||RS5 Sportback|
|Number of seats||4||5|
|RS front seats with extendable thigh support||✔||✔|
|Nappa leather with honeycomb pattern upholstery||✔||✔|
|Door and side panel Alcantara trim inserts||✔||✔|
|Power adjustable front seats||✔||✔|
|Front seat massaging function||✔||✔|
|Heated front seats||✔||✔|
|Extended man-made leather upholstery on select parts of the interior||✔||✔|
|3-zone deluxe air-conditioning, rear digital display||✔||✔|
|Ventilated glove compartment||✔||✔|
|Inlays in anthracite aluminium||✔||✔|
|Inlays in piano black||NO COST OPTION||NO COST OPTION|
|Natural grey oak inlays||NO COST OPTION||NO COST OPTION|
|Auto-dimming, frameless rear-view mirror||✔||✔|
|Ambient interior lighting with 30 selectable colours||✔||✔|
|RS emblem, illuminated door sill trims||✔||✔|
|Light and rain sensor||✔||✔|
|Stainless steel pedals||✔||✔|
|RS flat-bottomed steering wheel with multifunction controls and shift paddles||✔||✔|
|Audi virtual cockpit – 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster||✔||✔|
|8.3-inch high-resolution navigation display||✔||✔|
|Audi smartphone interface for Apple and Android devices||✔||✔|
|Wireless phone charging||✔||✔|
|Bang and Olufsen 19-speaker 3D sound system||✔||✔|
|DAB+ digital radio||✔||✔|
|2 x USB for music interface||✔||✔|
|Rear USB sockets (for charging only)||✔||✔|
Audi RS5 exterior styling features
|RS5 Coupé||RS5 Sportback|
|20" 5-arm, diamond-cut alloy wheels||✔||✔|
|RS-badged, gloss red brake callipers||✔||✔|
|Space saver spare wheel||✔||✔|
|Dynamic ride control with adaptive damper control||✔||✔|
|Quattro sport differential||✔||✔|
|Four mode Audi drive select||✔||✔|
|Gloss black styling package||✔||✔|
|Keyless entry and start||✔||✔|
|Heated, folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors||✔||✔|
|Electric rear tailgate||-||✔|
|LED headlights with DRLs||✔||✔|
|Dynamic front and rear indicators||✔||✔|
|Rear and side window privacy glass||✔||✔|
|Panoramic sunroof, tinted glass with electrical tilt and opening||✔||✔|
|RS sport exhaust with gloss black oval tailpipes||✔||✔|
The Audi RS5 is a supercar you can use every day. It comes in either a four-seater coupé or a four-door, five-seater saloon. Reviewers praised Audi for its rapid acceleration, safe dynamics, build quality, safety technology and sleek body design. However, some wanted the body to be a little more feisty and the exhaust to make a more raucous noise. Some journalists thought it was too expensive, but the pricing is in line with rival offerings.
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