It’s worth reiterating how prescient the A5 model line-up proved to be when it was first formulated a decade ago.

Several structural adjustments made to the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 and 4 Series since were direct responses to the easily understandable (and yet canny) positioning of the A5, S5 and RS5.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Residual values aren’t expected to be exceptional but should be good enough to compete with the best in class

As a result, the S5 faces competition from the BMW 440i M Sport and Mercedes-AMG C 43, both of which are marginally cheaper than Audi’s trendsetter, if not as well known.

Predictably, while it comes with 19in wheels, three-zone climate control, electric boot release, keyless start, navigation and LED headlights, the S5’s starting price doesn’t include the Virtual Cockpit (£250), adaptive dampers (£900) and sport differential (£1200) that are required to make the car feel a good portion more complete.

We also advise adding Audi’s Matrix LED headlights (£650), a heated steering wheel (£175), head-up display (£900) and the Bang & Olufsen stereo system (£750), as long as your budget can stretch far enough.

Thus keen drivers can expect to pay more than £50k for a desirably equipped car, and that amount puts it close enough to the £57k you’d need to buy the significantly more powerful BMW M4 to consider the cars close rivals.

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That said, it’s worth praising the efficiency Audi has wrung from its turbo V6. Its claimed 38.2mpg combined makes it marginally superior to its nearest rivals and good enough for a tested 26.2mpg average that includes the effect of hard miles and performance testing, as ever. 

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