Which to Buy: First-Gen Audi RS5 or Second-Gen Audi RS5?

When Walter de Silva first penned the first-generation Audi A5/S5/RS5, the world was shocked. Not only had Audi never done anything like that before but it was a stunningly beautiful car. It was muscular and aggressive yet still elegant and premium, while also being affordable. It was a massive achievement for Audi, too, as it sold incredibly well. This new Audi RS5 hasn’t been met with the same sort of praise but it is better in every objective way. So which version is the one to buy, the first or second-gen RS5?

Obviously, if you want a first-gen Audi RS5, you have to buy pre-owned. So that makes it immediately cheaper than the second-gen. In fact, you can get first-gen RS5s for under $50,000, while the new RS5 starts at $69,900. That saves you about $20k right there. Though, maintenance will likely be wallet crushing on a used model.

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The first-gen is also slightly better looking, we think. It’s a bit more muscular, a bit more sensual than the new, current version. Sure, the new one looks great and is very sharp looking, but it doesn’t have the presence of the first one.

However, inside, the new Audi RS5 wins hands down. With all of Audi’s new technology and luxury, the new RS5 makes the old one look like a relic. It also packs more creature comforts as well and is just nicer to be in.

In terms of performance, the new one handily beats the old one. While the first-gen is quick, thanks to its 450 hp 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8, the new RS5 is even quicker thanks to its twin-turbocharged V6. Having said that, speed isn’t everything and the older car’s free-breathing V8s is one of the all-time greats, revving to 8,250 rpm and making a wonderful noise all the way there.


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It’s a hard decision to make but one I wish I was in the position to make. On one hand, the older one is better looking, has a brilliant engine and is more thrilling while the newer one is faster, more dynamic and has a better interior. So which one would you choose.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.