Typically, the reason you don’t buy the hottest, fastest version of a car, in this case the Audi RS5, is because it’s too expensive. However, this new article from CNET’s Roadshow actually argues that the RS5 Sportback isn’t worth buying because its less powerful, less expensive sibling — the Audi S5 Sportback — is actually better.
It’s an interesting theory actually and seems to make a lot of sense. The biggest complaint about the Audi RS5 Sportback is that, despite its impressive performance, it’s not very exciting to drive. It’s soft, comfortable, quiet and easy to drive. You know what other car is just like that? The Audi S5 Sportback. It’s also quiet, calm and comfortable. In fact, it’s actually more comfortable, as the RS5 is slightly stiffer.
Sure, the S5 version is slower but not by enough to make a difference The top-dog Audi RS5 uses a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 to make 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. That helps it get from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. While the Audi S5 Sportback uses a 3.0 liter single-turbo V6 with 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. That gets from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Those seven tenths of a second are barely noticeable in the real world and, believe me, 4.5 seconds to 60 mph is fast enough to entertain anyone. I still remember when Ferraris were that fast.
The Audi RS5 Sportback is an awesome car, don’t get me wrong. But for the price, it’s not as powerful, nor as fast or as thrilling, as its competitors in the segment. Both the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio are far more exciting to drive and both are just as fast, if not faster. You only buy the Audi over those cars because it’s smoother, sleeker, nicer on the inside and more practical. But the S5 version is all of those things, too.
The lesser Audi S5 Sportback is also $20,000-ish less than the RS5 to start. That’s a lot of money saved by going with the slightly slower model and, considering both cars have the same demeanor, why actually choose the RS5?
[Source: CNET Roadshow]