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Audi RS5 review 2020

The RS5 is blisteringly quick and effortlessly polished, though not quite as fun and engaging as some rivals.

£43,032
Average Price
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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Extremely quick and capable
  • Very practical for the class
  • Subtle yet aggressive looks

Cons

  • Not as engaging to drive as its two main rivals
  • Can get particularly pricy depending on the spec
  • Expensive to run
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    208 - 209 g/km

Model review

The first-generation Audi RS5, in coupe form, went on sale in 2010 after being unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The model was essentially a performance version of the A5 four-seat coupe of the time.

Under the bonnet of the original RS5 was a 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 producing 444bhp and revving to an impressive 8,500rpm.

In 2012, Audi revised the RS5 coupe to include upgraded dampers and springs on the front suspension, new electric power steering – to replace the hydraulic system previously fitted to the model – and a sport exhaust system, among other small updates.

A convertible version of the RS5, called the RS5 Cabriolet, went on sale in 2013.

The second-generation versions of the RS5 came about in 2017 to replace the previous high-performance coupe and convertible.

Current model

As mentioned before, the second-generation, current RS5 was introduced in 2017. This time around, Audi decided to ditch the high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8 motor for a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6.

Out on the road, the RS5 proves more competent at being a rapid GT car than an involving sports car – something to keep in mind depending on what your after. The model picks up speed extremely well, thanks a gutsy powerplant under the bonnet, a quick-shifting automatic gearbox and Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Why is it a better GT than sports car? Well, at times, it can seem a little one dimensional dynamically and the overall feel of the controls isn’t as communicative as some rivals. On the other hand, it’s very comfortable and quite luxurious, making long journeys a breeze.

In 2019, the latest RS5 received a facelift which included a slightly altered exterior, interior and changes to the engine – mainly in the name of emissions for the latter.

Value for money

New RS5 models start at £69,500 – the same for the Sportback five-door version – which is roughly in-line with its main two competitors, the £76,548 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe and the £67,410 BMW M4 Competition Coupe.

Used first generation RS5 examples go for as little as £16,000 – not a huge bargain, but a good price for a V8-powered premium coupe. Step up to the current iteration of the model, on the other hand, and expect to pay upwards of around £43,000.

Looks and image

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we, for one, think the RS5 looks fantastic. It’s subtle, but aggressive: stealthy, but sporty and sharp. The RS5 revels in not being massively shouty or obnoxious – the model instead excels at appearing like the quick, classy, capable coupe that it is. We think most will like the way this fast Audi looks, if not love it.

Space and practicality

The RS5 is rather practical for the class it sits in. Usually, four-seat coupes are reasonably useful – offering just enough space to satisfy most ­buyers – but the RS5 is among the best in this area. Interior legroom and headroom, for the most part, is generous, although the rear seats may prove tight for tall adults – still pretty good though compared to other cars in the class.

Boot space is good, offering a class-leading 465 litres of room. The boot opening as well is particularly large, making loading items surprisingly easy for a coupe.

  

Engines

As the RS5 is the top-dog when it comes to performance within the A5 range, it is only offered with one engine – a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 churning out 444bhp. This hefty amount of power helps the RS5 get from 0-60mph in an impressive 3.7 seconds. Sure, the engine lacks some of the character and sound of the old V8 used in the original RS5, but if its performance you’re after, this V6 unit has plenty.

Running costs

With 444bhp on tap, the RS5 is no tree-hugger. The model is said to return around 31.4mpg and emit 206g/km of CO2. While these figures aren’t especially amazing, they aren’t terrible either, especially when you consider what the RS5 is all about – performance. Buyers simply need to keep in mind these running costs and expect to be splashing the cash on fuel if the car is often driven hard.

Things to look out for

The RS5 should serve buyers well when it comes to reliability – just look out, as you should with any car, for any general, potential faults that may occur. Audi, as a brand, has a relatively good reputation for reliability – with it scoring in the middle of driver satisfaction surveys. Long-term reliability for the current RS5 is still a little in the dark having only first appeared back in 2017.

  

Rivals

The main sporty coupes the RS5 has to contend with is the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and BMW M4 Competition Coupe. Out of the three, each excel a little bit better in different areas, most prominently in that the BMW and Merc are a bit more lairy and engaging, whereas the RS5 could be considered the more capable performance weapon. Other cars the Audi has to contend with include the Lexus RC F and Alpina B4.

  

Depreciation

The RS5 should hold its value rather well thanks to the performance it offers, the luxury and comfort available, as well as the desirability of the Audi badge. That’s not to say it will provide Ferrari or Lamborghini levels of holding its value, but buyers needn’t worry too much in this area. When it comes to selling the model on, the resale value shouldn’t come as too much of a shock if you’ve been keeping up to date with how much they’re going for used.

Which RS5 to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

RS 5 TFSI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic Rs 5 Sportback

Most MPG

RS 5 TFSI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic Rs 5 Sportback

Fastest Model (0-60)

RS 5 TFSI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic Rs 5 Sportback

Trims Explained

There are currently three trim levels offered with the RS5 – RS5, Carbon Black and Vorsprung.

'RS5'

This is the base level trim. Opting for it will get the RS5 kit such as heated RS Super Sports seats with massage function, an RS exhaust system, Audi Matrix LED headlights and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Starting at £69,500

'Carbon Black'

Up next we have the Carbon Black trim. It gets equipment like 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels in glossy blacks, Audi Virtual Cockpit, MMI Navigation Plus, as well as Audi Phone Box with wireless charging.

Available from £75,900

'Vorsprung'

This tops the RS5 range. Going for it treats the model to kit like a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, dynamic light sequencing and dynamic indicators, in addition to 20-inch ’5-segment-spoke Evo style’ design alloy wheels.

Priced from £87,400

Summary

  1. The Audi RS5 is a quick four-seat coupe
  2. It’s based on the A5 and sits above the already rapid S5
  3. The first-generation car went on sale in 2010
  4. The second, current generation RS5 came about in 2017
  5. The original RS5 had a naturally-aspirated V8, but the model now has a twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet
  6. New RS5 models start at £69,500
  7. Used examples can be had for as little as circa £16,000
  8. We think the model looks fantastic – subtle, but aggressive
  9. It’s a very fast car – picking up speed effortlessly – meaning it isn’t particularly cheap to run
  10. It’s one of the most practical cars in its class

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