- - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Audi S5 is a luxury sport coupe and convertible that is classy inside and out. Not only does it look good, it also offers impressive technological advances and great performance.

Case in point is the styling. Though understated, this Audi really doesn’t need to say anything more. Its overall appeal is obvious, and couple that with the supercharged engine and new 2014 Audi S5 additions like keyless entry/ignition and Audi Drive Select system, it is an impressive ride.

Competition includes a few of the most attractive choices — think the 2014 BMW 435i, Mercedes-Benz C350 or E350 Cabriolet or even the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in the same price range.

The 2014 Audi S5 comes either as a coupe or soft-top convertible (Cabriolet) trim. In addition, each one can be had either in the Premium Plus or Prestige trims; however, the entire Prestige trim can be added on to the Premium Plus package.

With Premium Plus, you get 18-inch wheels with summer tires, xenon headlights, LED running lights, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, a tilt-only sunroof, sport-tuned suspension and keyless entry/ignition.

As for the interior, this too is where the S5 really shines with automatic climate, leather and simulated suede upholstery, heated eight-way adjustable front sport seats, driver-seat memory functions, split-folding rear seats and technology extras like Bluetooth for the phone, dash-mounted (MMI) multimedia interface electronics controller and a 6.5-inch display screen.

As well, the Audi Drive Select system has a driver control over steering and transmission calibration mechanism and there are the audio lover extras such as 10 speakers and satellite radio.

If you opt for the S5 Cabriolet, you can add a power-operated soft top with a wind blocker and upgraded leather upholstery to the package.

With the Prestige trim, there are adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitoring and 14 for the coupe/12 for the convertible Bang & Olufsen speakers. There is the MMI Navigation Plus package and that gives you a console-mounted controller for the system, a 7-inch screen, navigation system, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera and Bluetooth connect also with the Audi Connect WiFi and HD radio.

The optional Driver Assist on the Prestige package adds adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering. The Comfort package comes on both trims and offers ventilated front seats and that includes neck heating on the Cabriolet.

If you don’t want the entire package of extra goodies, there are a few stand-alone features such as 19-inch wheels, sport differential, adaptive dampers, upgraded leather interior and various interior trim accents that can be had a la carte.

New in 2014 is the Black Optic package with not only 19-inch wheels, but also a blacked-out grille, body-color exterior mirrors and on the coupe only, you get gloss-black window surrounds.

For power under the hood, this is one place the 2014 Audi S5 really shines, boasting a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. On the all-wheel-drive Audi S5, the coupe comes standard as a six-speed manual transmission and the Cabriolet offers the seven-speed automated manual transmission, which also can be had on the coupe.

The 2014 Audi S5 has a variety of safety features from the antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side and knee airbags and on the coupe there is also full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors are standard on the Prestige package and while you get a blind-spot monitoring system on the Prestige, you can also opt for this feature on the Premium Plus. The adaptive cruise control system includes a warning and brake intervention when the vehicle is at less than 19 mph and a frontal impact warning.

Inside this Audi, it’s class and style all around since the materials used are high-quality, but as well there is a dash-mounted controller that has the MMI system devise, but this is a bit harder to negotiate than the regular console-mounted control that come’s with the MMI Navigation Plus system.

The front seats are sporty and comfortable so if a road trip is imminent this is a good vehicle for the ride, but in the back, the leg and head room is limited for passengers. As well, the trunk on the convertible is only 10.2 feet of cubic feet with the top put away, but the coupe only comes in at 12 cubic feet. On both, however, there is the feature of rear seat backs.

As for what happens when you get behind the wheel, the power from the engine is what you will notice first, followed by a ride that handles and maintains the road with no questions. A sporty but classy ride you can drive in style and hit the gas as needed with nary a worry.

Should You Need to Know: The 2014 Audi S5 offers all-wheel-drive traction, and one new standout is the Black Optic appearance for 2014 models.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2014 Audi S5 Coupe I drove delivered 16 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Cost: At the high-end of the price tag the 2014 Audi S5 Convertible is about $60,400.

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