Just recently, The Smoking Tire test drove the Audi RS7 Sportback and felt that it was a great overall package. And it is. However, now they’ve driven the Audi RS5 Sportback and it seems that the cheaper, less powerful car might actually be the better deal.
The Audi RS5 Sportback is similar to its more powerful, more expensive sibling in one very important way — they’re both Sportback models. That essentially means they’re sedans with hatchback trunks but don’t look like hatchbacks. That added practicality makes them feel very similar on the road, especially when you consider they both have four doors and seat four adults. Though, the RS5 is quite a bit slower.
Under the hood is a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 444 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, which is a huge dropoff from the 591 horsepower of the RS7’s twin-turbo V8. Still, the RS5 is capable of 0-60 mph in around four seconds (TST did it in 4.1 seconds), which is nothing to scoff at. It also puts its power down effectively while on the move, so it feels fast all the time, not just at launch.
Where the Audi RS5 Sportback seems to fall down a bit is when you really try and push it. As fast and grippy as it is, the RS5 is just not designed to be a scalpel-sharp sports car. Admittedly, that seems intentional, as if seems as though Audi decided not to make the RS5 a BMW M3/AMG C63 competitor but rather something more comfortable and usable everyday. And the same can be said about the Audi RS7 but the RS5 is about 30 percent cheaper and barely sacrifices and interior space or speed.
According to TST, the only real issue with the Audi RS5’s package is its even less powerful sibling, the Audi S5 Sportback. The less spicy S5 Sportback looks identical, has nearly the exact same interior, comes with all of the same tech (most of it as-standard, too), and is available with all of the same options for $20,000 less. It’s slower, with only 340 horsepower from its 3.0 liter turbocharged V6, but it’s still quick enough to be fun.
So it seems that the moral of the story is this; don’t get the Audi RS7 Sportback because the RS5 Sportback is a better value but you shouldn’t get the RS5 Sportback because the S5 Sportback is the better deal. And I don’t think I can argue that.