What a difference a cool color makes. Before I made my most recent automotive purchase, the Audi S5 Sportback was very high on my list of daily driver contenders. Considering my $50,000 budget was about $5,000 short of where the brand new S5 starts, I was limited to shopping Audi’s Certified-Pre-Owned lot. All of the options I came across were painted pedestrian colors, silvers and the like. But this, this Turbo Blue 2022 S5 Sportback Prestige…might have caused me to reevaluate the budget. OK, it would have totally blown the budget, as this loaner comes with just about every option and has a sticker price north of $70,000! Still, it’s quite a good looking thing, let’s see how it stacks up to its sticker.
2022 Audi S5 Sportback Overview
Like the Q7 Prestige I tested last week, the S5 Sportback comes in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels. Prices start at just over $55,000 for the base model, up to $63,700 to start for the top spec like our car. Naturally all versions come with Quattro AWD, and all versions also get the same turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine with 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Mercifully, Turbo Blue (along with Ibis White, and Quantum Gray) are free of charge. The rest of the colors will run you from $595 for the other optional colors, up to $3,900 for “exclusive paint colors”. The Prestige trim, just like in the Q7, is pretty maxed out with features like heated rear seats, Nav, upgraded headlights, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a heads-up-display, automated parking, and traffic sign recognition. That’s on top of all the other stuff the Prestige and Prestige Plus come with. Our tester wasn’t done there though, someone at nearby Audi HQ optioned it to the hilt, adding thousands in extras including “Fine Nappa” leather interior for $1,000, as well as all of this:
S sport package ($2,500)
- 20″ 5-twin spoke polygon design, bi-color wheels
- Black exterior trim
- Black exterior mirror housings
- Summer tires
Dynamic steering ($1,150)
- Precise steering feel and feedback from the road surface
- Reduces steering effort when maneuvering and parking
- Supports a “sporty driving style” (according to Audi)
All-in you’re at $70,670 including Destination, and not including any Adjusted Dealer Markups (ADM). Your results may vary, but either way, this S5 has a lot of stuff on that sticker. Let’s get into the details a bit more.
2022 Audi S5 Sportback Prestige Inside & Out
Turbo Blue. I could have just ended this section with those two words. Reminiscent of Nogaro Blue, the paint color on this S5 is stupendous. I couldn’t stop looking at it from every angle possible. Even in low light it shimmers, add the aggressive but not over-the-top front end and pointy taillight design and there isn’t much I’d change about this S5.
Love it or hate it, the “coupe” injection into sedans and SUVs is here to stay, and in this case, they freakin nailed it.
The exterior is near perfect, the interior is quite good, if not without a fault or two. The Fine Nappa leather interior is quite comfortable, and I’m a sucker for the quilted look. Overall, the materials are first rate, save for a little piece of plastic I’ll mention in a bit. The ergonomics are really good, even the center console is perfectly aligned with the shifter so I can rest my arm across them both. I will say the steering wheel is probably a bit too big for track driving, I would want something with a smaller circumference, but for a daily driver it’s spot on.
I guess I would get used to the volume button being parked down to the right of the shifter, but hey, at least it has one! Even the heads up display has an easy to use knob to raise it up and down or turn it off whereas most systems bury it in the settings menu. Also, seat massage is a game changer and it’s present here for both the driver and the passenger. So good.
There are nice cubbies and storage spots, in fact I found it more practical than the Q7 with regard to front passenger stowage. It even has tri zone climate control, which is kind of funny in a small-ish car, but I’m sure it would come in handy on a long trip.
Rrear-seat legroom is limited, just 35.1 inches total. My 5’10” tall daughter ended up with her feet across the seat when we went out to dinner and she got stuck with the back seat. Of course that does best the S5 coupe and convertible which have 32.7 and 33.1 inches of legroom respectively.
The big difference is the 21.8 cu. ft. of cargo space in that big ole hatchback area. With a nice flat loading space, it would easily make quick work of a decent size Home Depot run. In case you were wondering, that’s more than twice what you get in the coupe or convertible.
2022 Audi S5 Sportback Prestige On The Road
I was massively excited to get out on the road in the S5 Sportback. Audi does “drive modes” fantastically well, the buttons are intuitive and there are multiple ways to get the vehicle into the mode you prefer. You can use the the actual shifter, the paddles, or the drive settings button. My favorite bit was that it keeps the car in the same setting you had it in the last time you drove it. So I always came back to “Individual” greeting me, my setting of choice was set up with the angrier exhaust but a more pliant ride from the suspension.
It’s quick too, mags have pegged it around 4.3 seconds to 60 mph. Off the line it’s got great Quattro grip, and the smooth mid-range passing power on the highway was more than adequate. Getting up to speed can be done by letting the eight-speed auto do its thing, or via the paddles. The shifter paddles feel plastic, because they are, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does a pretty good job of holding a lower gear, I could cruise up to a stop sign in 1st and listen to the sonorous V6. It will still default back to Drive after a little bit, but overall it was easier to keep in a low gear than some other “performance” vehicles I’ve driven.
Audi is building some fantastic cars and SUVs with great designs and tons of features and options. I still have some bad memories from owning cars from parent company Volkswagen, as well as from hearing some sheer horror stories from friends in the Audi world. Overall, in this car, the quality felt first rate, with one exception.
This little guy.
The S5 Sportback is perhaps one of the best looking cars under $100,000, definitely under $70,000. The lines are just about perfect, and it’s got the perfect mix of aggression and style. It’s quick and would make a great long-distance tourer, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I’ll give Audi a pass on the broken button because journalists are very hard on vehicles. However, it did validate my theory that any future Audi ownership on my end will likely be accompanied by a warranty.