I've never been so disappointed to not win the lottery. For you see, had I won the recent Powerball jackpot, the new 2022 Audi S5 Cabriolet was on my wish list. I recently spent a week with the top of the range S5 Cabriolet Prestige Quattro and what an almost indescribably magnificent week it was. Full disclosure, I leased an Audi A3 in its last generation and am a huge fan of Audi's sporty German engineering and handling along with its impeccable design and craftsmanship.
The A5/S5 is in its second generation and was refreshed in 2020. The S5 Cabriolet exterior is sporty with a black honeycomb grille. It's so well designed with a profile that looks amazing. Perhaps the most unusual thing about the exterior is its color, District Green Metallic.
And those wheels! The upgraded 20-inch V Spoke Star design wheels with summer tires look striking set against the sophisticated green hue. (Tip: I say this from experience, spring for wheel and tire insurance.)
The S5 Prestige benefits from Audi's very top-of-the-line Matrix-design LED headlights with Audi laser light. The tail end features trapezoidal tailpipes designed to give the vehicle a wide look.
When I reviewed the new 2022 A3 recently, I mentioned I'd love a few more ponies, ponies the S5 more than delivered. The S5's 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic delivers 349-horses and 496 pound-feet of torque. Wow does it feel amazing. It's all the S badging. Audi cites a 0 to 60 time of 4.7 seconds.
The S5 Prestige's sporty cabin could not be more perfect. It's so well designed and executed with a superb mix of premium materials including Nappa leather seats and Carbon Atlas inlays.
The leather, diamond-stitched S Sport heated, power and massage function front seats offer very cool power side bolsters that really hug you. The quilting and comfort level are both amazing. The S-badged headrests are super cushiony as well. I'm a huge fan of the interior's Rotor Gray hue with Anthracite stitching. It's the perfect complement to the black elements and carbon atlas inlays throughout the cabin. The multi-textured and contrasting door panels also look great.
Glossy black trim surrounds the short S-badged gear-shift knob on the center console, along with controls for the audio, rearview camera and soft-top operation.
You'll find a wireless charger in place of a center console bin, but Audi provides small storage areas for items on the center console itself.
You can easily access the back seat using power controls on the side of the front seats. And you'd be surprised at the roominess of the back row, too. No complaints about cargo space either. And surprise, you can actually fold the second row down using a lever in the cargo space so you can fit longer items.
Standard features also include three-zone climate, voice control seatbelt microphones, and a 3-spoke steering wheel with the S badging.
The S5 features Audi's 10.1-inch MMI touch screen and the new MIB 3 multimedia system. The touchscreen sits atop the dash rather than being integrated into the center stack. The system's graphics and responsiveness are great and it's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And yes, as you'd expect the premium 20-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D audio system delivers excellent sound.
The Audi MMI Navigation plus system is also impressive with directions along with fantastic map quality. The voice command system is impressive as well.
A 7-inch driver display is standard in the S5, but this model is equipped with Audi's Virtual Cockpit. It's certainly a great display, but I've recently experienced Audi's more advanced Virtual Cockpit PLUS system in the all-new A3 which has the best integrated graphics and navigation I've ever seen. So this one doesn't wow me quite as much. However, great news, because that upgraded system will be available in the 2023 model.
One interesting feature I noted on the Monroney - this vehicle is equipped with an integrated Toll Module for nationwide toll collection, which is pretty cool. The built-in transponder that allows drivers the ability to use touchless transactions to pay to use compatible toll roads in the U.S., something I imagine could be useful on a road trip.
Soft Top Operation
Wow, is the soft-top easy to operate in here. A flip of the switch and it powers up and down, controlling the windows as well. The roof stows away in roughly 15-16 seconds. Installing the windscreen is also super easy, as you can see in the video. The best part is that you can keep it up even with the top down.
You're going to want to drive the S5 cabriolet with the top down as much as possible, trust me. What a ride. I even took it out on the highway without the windscreen, and with the windows rolled up my hair survived just fine. Roll the windows down and you get the purist convertible experience.
Notably, Audi's really done a great job with acoustics in here. Audi's Acoustic soft-top is designed with three layers of insulation to help block wind and road noise. Also, there are seat-belt microphones designed to help you chat with your front seat passenger when the top is down.
Ride and Drive
The level of driving engagement in the S5 Cabriolet is something to get excited about every time you're behind the wheel. You feel a real connection to the car thanks to its precise steering response and throttle feel. Thanks to Audi's iconic Quattro all-wheel drive system, handling is amazing, sporty and confident. Audi Drive Select provides a choice of four different modes – comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. Dynamic being the my favorite. The S5 accelerates smoothly and fast. The ride quality is on the firmer, sportier but comfortable side just how l like it in my go-to Dynamic mode.
The S5 is equipped with basic Audi driver assistance features: Audi pre-sense basic (preventive occupant protection), pre-sense city (forward collision warning and avoidance assistance), land departure warning and a rearview camera.
The Prestige package adds Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam assist, Audi side assist with pre sense rear and a top view camera system. It also adds a Parking System Plus with Park Assist and a Head Up Display with traffic sign recognition.
Options include the District Green Metallic paint ($595), 20-inch wheels ($800) and the Prestige package ($8,100).
The Prestige package loads you up with all sorts of goodies. They include the 20-speaker Band & Olufsen sound system, top view camera system, Matrix-Design LED headlights with Audi Laser light, Park Assist, the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a Head-Up display with traffic sign recognition, LED interior lighting plus package, MMI Navigation Plus, Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, side assist with pre sense rear, and leatherette covering on the center console and door armrests plus a hHeated steering wheel with hands-on detection.
Add it all up and this specific model MSRP's for a well worth it in my opinion $73,540.
Forget about want. The S5 Cabriolet is a need. It's the RX for life's everyday stresses. That said, it looks like I'll buying another lottery ticket soon.
- What I liked most: Looks, Sporty Cabin, Performance, Convertible Top
- What I would change: If I'm being really picky, maybe some different switchgear for the multi-function steering wheel.
- MSRP: Base price $63,000. As equipped: $73,540.
- Fuel Economy: 21 city/28 highway/23 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 6,983 miles.
- Weight: 4,167 curb weight.
- Spare Tire: Space-saving spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 184.9 long/54.5 with mirrors/ 79.9" high w/mirrors.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.3 gallons with fuel tank on the passenger side. (Premium recommended)
- Official Color: District Green Metallic w/ black roof ($595.)
- Towing Capacity: N/A
- 2022 Audi S5 Cabriolet in a few words: An incredibly engineered convertible that delivers an unforgettable and exhilarating experience behind the wheel.
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles New Vehicle Warranty/12-year Limited Warranty against Corrosion Perforation/ 4-year Roadside Assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Neckarsulm Germany.
- Manufacturer's website: Audi