2018 Audi S5 Sportback Review, Ratings, Specs, and Prices

The people who are looking for a fast, practical, agile, and attractive 4-door saloon, you needn’t look much further than the 2018 Audi S5 Sportback. It is a stylish car that has an exquisite interior and space for 4 adults.

Audi S5 Sportback starts from $54,400 for Premium plus trim and $58,800 for Prestige trim. It comes with a 3.0 Liter Turbocharged V6 engine with 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque which is available as low as 1370 RPM. Whichever trim of Sportback you choose, you get an interior that makes a similarly priced BMW’s look a little bit dated.

It’s just as well built as the similar size S4 saloon, yet the S5 driving position feels lower and sportier. Audi’s large infotainment screen means there are few conventional buttons which show the excellent quality between trim pieces and expensive looking finishes.

What we like

  • Sleek styling
  • Strong engine
  • High-quality interior

What we don’t like

  • Alternatives more fun to drive
  • Virtual Cockpit in Prestige trim only
  • Can realistically sit four people

What’s new in 2018 Audi S5 Sportback

  • Available in 4 door version

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Pricing and Options

Audi S5 Sportback has 2 trim levels: S5 Premium Plus and S5 Prestige. Both are 4 door versions and are all-wheel drive. S5 Sportback is powered by a 3.0L twin-scroll turbocharged V6 developing 354 horsepower with 369 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission which delivers excellent gear changes.

Trims Premium Plus Prestige
MSRP $54,400 $58,800
Features Six-piston fixed front calipers with S badging

Audi side assist and Audi pre sense rear with Rear cross traffic assist & Vehicle exit assist

Leather/Alcantara seating surfaces with diamond stitching & S embossing

Front S sport-contoured seats with pneumatic side bolster and massage function for driver and passenger

Everything on Premium Plus and:

Audi virtual cockpit and Head-up display with navigation and assistance systems information

Six-month trial subscription to Audi connect PRIME and Audi connect PLUS online services

Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, 19 speakers, 16-channel amplifier and 755 watts

MMI navigation plus with MMI touch with handwriting-recognition technology

Parking system plus with top view camera system

Audi S5 Sportback has standard features such as MMI center infotainment display, Sirius XM satellite radio with 90-day trial subscription, garage door opener, parking system plus with camera, heated front seat etc. but prestige model gets some serious kit mainly Heads up display, Audi virtual cockpit, which is a 12.3-inch LCD fully digital driver instrument cluster and surreal Bang Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, 19 speakers, 16-channel amplifier and 755 watts.

Our Recommendation for the best trim

The Audi S5 Sportback is a bargain for what all you get. We suggest that you go for prestige trim as for $4,000 difference from Premium plus you get features that are not available in optional packages. Also, be it wet or be it snow you will always be in command with Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Engine and Performance

“The 2018 Audi S5 is the automotive equivalent of having your cake and eating it, too. Power delivery from the new turbocharged V6 is immediate and gratifying. Much more than a mere straight-line performer, the S5 shines when the road twists and turns.”- KelleyBlueBook

Engine and Transmission

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Engine
2018 Audi S5 Sportback Engine

Audi S5 Sportback is powered by a mighty 3.0L twin-scroll turbocharged V6 engine with 354 horsepower generating 369 pound-feet of torque and it comes mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. Agile and smooth-running, it incorporates with Audi valve lift system. At the push of a button, the engine note can be either quiet for cruising or loud and sporty for more aggressive driving.

Models Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
MSRP $54,400 $53,200 $53,400 $60,000
Engine 3.0L TFSI 6 Cylinder 3.0L DOHC 24-Valve 6-Cylinder 3.0L V6 Biturbo 2.0L 16V I4 Supercharged Turbo Polestar
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Power 354 hp 320 hp 362 hp 362 hp
Torque 369 lb.-ft 330 lb.-ft 384 lb.-ft 347 lb.-ft

Against the competition, Mercedes C43 AMG and Volvo S60 Polestar have 8 more horsepower than the S5 Sportback. BMW 440i languishes behind at 320 horses. All are mated to 8-speed automatic transmissions except Mercedes which gets a 9-speed automatic. In terms of price, the S5 sport back, BMW 440i and C43 AMG are pretty close to each other with of difference of only a $1,000 but Volvo is expensive at $60,000 dearer by $5,600 from the S5 Sportback.


Audi S5 Sportback with the 3.0L engine couple coupled with Quattro all-wheel-drive system and 8-speed automatic transmission gives it mind-blowing acceleration. Thanks to the launch control feature, the S5 Sportback leaps from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds and finishes of a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds.

Models Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
0-60 MPH 4.5 sec 4.6 sec 4.6 sec 4.5 sec
Quarter mile 12.9 sec 14.2 sec 13.3 sec 13.1 sec
Engine 3.0L 3.0L 3.0L 2.0L

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.4 7.1 7.7 8.0

In comparison tests, S5 Sportback and S60 Polestar are fastest to 0-60 MPH at 4.5 sec. BMW 440i and C43 AMG come neck to neck with a time of 4.6 seconds. It’s altogether a different story in quarter mile times with S5 Sportback being fastest at 12.9 seconds which is followed by the S60 Polestar at 13.1 seconds. The C43 AMG clocks in at 13.3 sec for the quarter-mile run and the last is BMW 440i with a 14.2 sec time.

Handling and Steering

Now the Main question arises, what is like to get behind the wheel of S5 Sportback? Being the sporty model in the range, the S5 handles better than the standard A5. It’s pretty neutral car to drive, though, meaning it’s surefooted and predictable at speed but you may find it a bit too predictable and, as a result, not quite as exciting around hard bending stretches of the road.

If you want the sporty low-slung looks and big wheels but without the discomfort of the suspension, it’s worth having optional sports adaptive damping suspension which has comfort mode that’ll help take the edge off bumpy roads. Quattro all-wheel-drive system is an absolute beauty. The pushing sensation it gives out of bends makes it sportier during wet days and with the added traction, it can lay all its awesome power down without spinning its wheels.


Audi S5 Sportback gets 13.8 inches front discs and 13 inches rear discs. All are ventilated discs. The S5 Sportback weighs in close to 2 tons at 3924 pounds. It has a stopping distance of 110 feet from 60-0 MPH.

Model Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
Brake Front(in) 13.8 13.4 14.2 14.6
Brake Rear(in) 13.0 13.0 12.6 11.9
Curb Weight(lbs) 3924 3775 3459 3862
60-0 MPH (ft.) 110 118 114 111

Considering the fact that S5 Sportback is the heaviest among the competition it still has the best stopping distance from 60-0 MPH at 110 feet. S60 polestar weighs in at 3862 pounds but stops nearly close to the same mark of S5 at 111 feet. C43 AMG, being the lightest among all, stops at a distance of 114 feet. BMW 440i again is last at 118 feet due to 3775 pounds of weight.

Fuel economy

With an 8-speed automatic transmission and turbocharged engine, Audi S5 Sportback manages 21 MPG in city driving cycle, an impressive 30 MPG in highway driving cycle and 24 MPG combined driving cycle.

Model Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
MPG (City) 21 21 20 20
MPG (Highway) 30 31 27 27
MPG (Combined) 24 25 23 22

BMW 440i is best by a margin of 1 MPG in highway and combined driving cycle against the S5 Sportback whereas C43 AMG and S60 Polestar are almost identical at 20 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, 23 MPG and 22 MPG in combined driving cycle respectively.

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior

“There’s no denying the S5 Sportback has style. Its tapered roofline, longer wheelbase, and kinked window line give the Sportback a visual presence missing from its two-door stablemates.”- CarandDriver

Dimensions and Weight

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior
2018 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior

The S5 gets some styling upgrades to make sure it stands out and looks more aggressive than the normal A5. The 2018 Audi S5 Sportback is 187.1 inches in length and 72.6 inches in width with side mirrors retracted. Ground clearance is 6.2 inches due to its coupe-style low slung design. Wheelbase is 111.2 inches which provide for good space at the rear for the adults. Height is low at 54.5 inches which provides for agile handling and cuts through the air like a jagged knife.

Model Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
Curb weight(lbs) 3924 3775 3459 3862
Length(in) 187.1 182.6 185.0 182.5
Width(in) 72.6 71.9 71.3 73.4
Height(in) 54.5 54.8 56.3 58.4
Ground clearance(in) 6.2 5.1 4.4 5.4
Wheelbase(in) 111.2 110.6 111.8 109.3
Track width(in) F/R 62.5/61.7 60.8/62.8 63.0/61.0 62.1/62.0

Comparing the dimensions, Audi is the longest at 187.1 inches with Mercedes C43 AMG at 185 inches. BMW and Volvo are almost similar in lengths at 182.6 and 182.5 inches respectively. In Width and height, however, Volvo edges out the S5 Sportback at 73.4 inches and 58.4 inches with latter being 72.6 inches and 54.5 inches respectively. Mercedes is also good in height but falls short in the width department. The wheelbase of 111.8 inches is best in C43 AMG despite being short in length.

Exterior Features

  • Full LED headlights and Taillights

    2018 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior Features
    2018 Audi S5 Sportback Exterior Features
  • S model quad exhaust
  • Power tailgate
  • S model front and rear fascia and side sills

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Interior

“Performance usually comes at the expense of comfort, but the S5 makes no such concessions. The adaptive suspension has a distinct difference between modes to suit your particular mood.

The S5’s cabin is a wonderful expression of modern, understated luxury. The materials quality is high, and the smart layout of controls makes operation easy and distraction-free.”- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Seats
2018 Audi S5 Sportback Seats

The Audi S5 Sportback has a well-built interior that’s mostly made of soft-touch expensive feeling plastics. The S line has the sportiest interiors of all. They get S embossed leather Alcantara sports seats with diamond stitching. It also has 12-way power front S sport contoured seats including 4-way power lumbar adjustment, pneumatic side bolsters and massage function for driver and passenger.

The Rear seats have less headroom due to the coupe-like styling and frankly speaking, can only seat 2 to be very comfortable. Adding a third passenger will have cramped space. Otherwise, the legroom and shoulder room are really good at the back.

Model Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
Passenger capacity 5 4 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 98.7 93.0
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)


39.4/55.7/41.3 39.8/55.3/42.2 37.1/55.3/41.7 38.6/57.0/41.9
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)


37.0/54.5/35.1 36.1/51.7/33.7 38.2/55.0/35.2 37.6/55.2/33.5

In comparison, Mercedes C43 AMG and S5 Sportback are almost identical in rear legroom department at 35.2 inches and 35.1 inches respectively. BMW 440i has the best Front headroom and legroom at 39.8 inches and 42.2 inches respectively. In terms of shoulder room at front and rear, Volvo is the best among competition at 57 inches and 55.2 inches respectively.


2018 Audi S5 Sportback Infotainment
2018 Audi S5 Sportback Infotainment

The infotainment on the premium plus trim is a 7-inch MMI color infotainment screen with the essential Sat-nav. It’s not a big issue though because Apply CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated which use the sat-nav app on your smartphone when connected.

The basic MMI system clearly laid out menus are easy to navigate and the control knob located between front seats makes it easy to use on the move.

The Prestige trim gets an 8.3-inch high-resolution screen which looks more at home in Audi’s plush interior. Its processor is faster than the basic system and includes dynamic route guidance. In addition to this, it also gets the brilliant Virtual cockpit that replaces conventional dials with a massive 12.3-inch screen that not only looks brilliant, particularly in full-screen map mode but is also super functional.

On top of it, MMI control wheel gets a touch-sensitive top on which you can write. The 19 speaker, 755 watts and 16- channel amplifier Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is just WOW.

Cargo Space

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Cargo
2018 Audi S5 Sportback Cargo

Audi S5 Sportback is as practical as an A4 when it comes to storage. It has a boot space of 21.8 cu ft. It has some useful features such as netted small space and tether points to strap your luggage and hooks to hold your bags in place.

The split 40/20/40 split can carry a couple of people in the back and fold down the middle seat to let your ski and other long luggage to fit in the car. With both rear seats folded, it increases the space to 35.01 cubic-feet which is pretty good and can carry a bike in it.

Model Audi S5 Sportback Premium Plus BMW 440i xDrive Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Volvo S60 Polestar
Volume (ft cube) 21.8 15.7 12.6 12.0

In comparison, the S5 Sportback has the best cargo space at 21.8 cubic feet. The closest rival is the BMW 440i at 15.7 cubic feet. Mercedes and Volvo do not offer much space in the trunk with a dismal 12.6 and 12 cubic feet respectively.

2018 Audi S5 Sportback Safety

Although the NHTSA and IIHS have not conducted any safety tests separately for the S5 yet, the similar A4 and A5 models have both received 5-star safety ratings. The 2018 Audi S5 Sportback comes with lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam. The S5 has many safety features such as:

Driver and front passenger advanced airbags, knee airbags and front head/thorax side airbags
Front passenger occupant detection for airbags
Power central locking system with safety unlock feature if airbags deploy
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with secondary collision brake assist and traction control (ASR)
Anti-theft alarm system
Tire-pressure monitoring system
Safety belt reminder for driver and front passenger
Lower anchors for child seats in rear seats
Electromechanical parking brake

2018 Audi S5 head to head Competition

BMW 440i xDrive

It’s really hard to split between 440i and S5. Both offer endearingly excellent drivetrains without compromising the ride comfort for enjoyable dynamics and refinement levels are similar. Visually the S5 is properly sleek whereas BMW Gran Coupe looks more like a sedan with a tapered roofline. The Audi looks and feels more special inside, while it extends its lead with better practicality with storage options and more rear headroom.

Volvo S60 Polestar

The S60 on paper looks on par with the S5 Sportback in terms of performance. The S60 has really good looks but it’s not as dynamic to drive as the S5. It still needs more finesse in its ride and refinement and the interior needs a little more makeover. The price of S60 Polestar is $60,000 which is pretty expensive for a Volvo, but it is good to see the product that they delivered to match its German counterpart, still has a long way to go.

Mercedes C43 AMG

Mercedes C43 AMG breathes fire on track with more power and torque. It’s fast, engaging, comfortable and a sense of style inside out. But when it comes to daily driving, the S5 Sportback feels more practical with interior space and huge cargo volume. It might not have the power to equal the C43 AMG but S5 does it better in performance. The six-cylinder turbo mated to an 8-speed auto is much more fuel efficient than 9 speed C43 AMG.

Final Verdict

The words practical and flexible really does sum up the S5 Sportback. It might have an understated design but the quality of the interiors and the technology on offer is unbeatable. Strong and punchy engine with predictable handling gives it all the grins that you look forward when you drive. If you’re into fast and yet looking for a very spacious option, the S5 suits your sense of desire.

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