Since we’ve already compared the Audi S3 vs S4, we figured we would go a step up and compare the Audi S4 vs S5. Audi has a big fleet of sedans, ranging from the A3 all the way to the S8. If you’ve been in the market for a high-performance variant of an Audi sedan, you’ve likely come across the S4 and S5 and wondered what the difference is. You’re in the right spot. In this article, we will be going over the price, size, performance, common problems, reliability, and more for both vehicles.
Audi S4 vs S5 – The Basics
The Audi S4 was first introduced in 1991 and is still being produced today. The Audi S4 is the high-performance A4 variant. There have been 6 different generations since its inception. The first generation in 1991 was actually built off of the Audi 100. However, every S4 since then has been built off of the Audi A4, as you can tell with the generation letters. Variants that have been available for the S4 are a four-door sedan, a five-door Avant, and a two-door cabriolet. We won’t go over what platform all the generations were built on, but we will go over the last 3. The fourth-generation (B7) was built on the PL46 platform and the fifth (B8) and sixth (B9) S4s were built on the MLB platform.
The Audi S5 was first introduced in 2007 and is still in production today. The Audi S5 is the high-performance A5 variant. There have only been two generations of the S5. The first generation )(B8/B8.5) was built on the MLB platform, while the second generation is built on the MLP platform. Variants available for the S5 are a coupe, cabriolet, and Sportback, or five-door fastback. If you have seen an S5, you will likely notice how much more aggressive it is aesthetically than other “S” Audi models, which we love.
Audi S4 Generations
- C4 S4 (1991-1994)
- B5 S4 (1997-2002)
- B6 S4 (2003-2005)
- B7 S4 (2005-2009)
- B8 S4 (2009-2016)
- B9 S4 (2017-Present)
Audi S5 Generations
- B8/B8.5 S5 (2008-2017)
- B9 S5 (2018-Present)
Audi S4 vs S5 Price
New Audi S4 & S5 Price
In this portion, we will not only be going over the new 2022 model prices, but also used prices. A Premium Audi S4 with a 3.0L V6 TFSI engine starts at $51,900, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $55,500, and lastly, a Prestige Audi S4 with the same engine starts at $60,200. A Premium Audi S5 Coupe with a 3.0 V6 TFSI starts at $55,300, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $58,900, and lastly, a Prestige Audi S5 with the same engine starts at $63,400. We think it’s important to cover the Audi S5 Sportback prices as well. A Premium Audi S5 Coupe with a 3.0 V6 TFSI starts at $55,300, a Premium Plus with the same engine starts at $58,900, and lastly, a Prestige Audi S5 with the same engine starts at $63,700.
If you are curious about the trim differences with Audi’s, here is an article we wrote about the different Audi trims.
Used Audi S4 & S5 Price
When it comes to used Audi S4s vs S5s, pricing is pretty much consistent with new prices. With that, we mean since the S5 is a little larger than the S4, it tends to be a bit more expensive. We will be basing prices on the most popular generations for both models: B8 S4 & B8/B8.5 S5. A used B8 S4s price ranges from $12,675 – $42,995* with an average price overall of $27,835, depending on model year and mileage. A used B8/B8.5 S5 price ranges from $12,995 – $46,499* with an average price overall of $29,995, depending on model year and mileage. The S5 is more expensive on the new and used side. So, is the Audi S5 worth the extra money? Let’s jump into more considerations including size, performance, and more.
*At the time of writing this article, we believe we are in a market where used vehicles are inflated, so consider that when seeing the used prices above.
General S4 & S5 Topics
S4 vs S5 Size
Below are some basic details about the size and weight differences seen between the 2022 Audi S4, S5 Coupe, and S5 Sportback.
Audi S4 vs S5
The reason we wanted to include the S5 Sportback in this is that it offers equivalent seating capacity as the S4. Given the S5 coupe is a two-door, it is smaller than the S4 in all dimensions except width. However, at around the same price, Audi offers a 5-door S5 Sportback. This is a better comparison between the Audi S4 vs S5. To our surprise, the overall dimensions between the S5 Sportback and S4 are very similar. The only thing that separates them in a major way, is cargo space. The S5 Sportback has the ability to fold the rear seats down to increase cargo space.
Audi S4 vs S5 Performance
For consistencies sake, we will be using the 2022 S4 and 2022 S5 factory performance specs. Again, to our surprise, there isn’t much of a difference..
Engines, Drivetrain, & Fuel Economy
A 2022 Audi S4 features a 3.0L TFSI quattro® engine that puts out 349hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in three different trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Putting down a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. This engine offers an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The 2.0T engine gets 21mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 24 with a 15.3gal fuel tank.
A 2022 Audi S5 has the exact same engine and specs as the S4. It features a 3.0L TFSI quattro® engine that puts out 349hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in three different trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Putting down a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. This engine offers an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with Audi’s quattro® AWD system. The 2.0T engine gets 21mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway for a combined mpg of 24 with a 15.3gal fuel tank.
S4 & S5 Reliability and Common Problems
Is the Audi S4 reliable? The S4s reliability is below average. RepairPal has rated its reliability 2 out of 5 stars which is below the average luxury midsize car reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5. This places the S4 27th out of 31 luxury midsize cars. Model years that should be avoided are 2006-2008 & 2015-2017 because of carbon buildup, intake manifold issues, and transmission issues. The average annual maintenance for a luxury midsize car is $739. Unfortunately, the average annual maintenance of an Audi S4 is $1,171, which is above the average luxury midsize car.
We’ve compiled the problems we have written about for many S4 generations, and this is the list that is common across all generations. Common problems seen are as followed: water pump or thermostat failure, carbon build-up, ignition coil or speak plug failure, premature fuel injector failure, deteriorating bushings, and PCV valve failure. If an S4 is properly maintained, especially after 100,000 miles, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000.
Is the Audi S5 reliable? The S5’s reliability is similar to the S4 and it is below average. RepairPal has rated the S5s reliability 2 out of 5 which is below the average luxury midsize car reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5. This places the S5 30th out of 31 luxury midsize cars, lower than the S4. Model years that should be avoided are 2013-2015. Unfortunately, the average annual maintenance of an Audi S5 is $1,164, which is above the average luxury midsize car.
Common problems that are seen in S5 are as followed: ignition coil or speak plug failure, carbon build-up, transmission issues, water pump or thermostat failure, defective intake manifold, premature engine mount failure, and PCV valve failure. Like the S4, if an S5 is properly maintained, especially after 100,000 miles, we’ve seen them last up to 150,000.
S4 vs S5 – Which is Better?
When it comes to which model is better, this could be a rather simple portion. First off, we feel this is rather subjective. We know consumer preferences and lifestyles demand different vehicles. However, our personal opinion, we like the Audi S5 Coupe the best. This is because we love the sporty look and currently don’t need to seat 5. But since the S4 can seat 5 and has the exact same engine, it really is just the outer shell it seems. Both models have a 5-star safety rating. Both have equivalent interiors, safety features, and technology. Both also have similar bad reliability ratings. Therefore, to us, it almost seems like the only difference between the two is aesthetic.
Since they are so similar, we advise going to a local Audi dealer or used car lot to get a first-hand experience with both. A test drive goes a long way in assisting people to choose whether the S4 or the S5 is best for them.
Audi S4 vs S5 Conclusion
To conclude this article, we hope the information above has assisted you in your purchasing decision. In short, the Audi S4 and the Audi S5 are far more similar than we thought. Is the S5 worth the extra thousand bucks? If you happen to have experience with either vehicle and care to explain your pros and cons in the comments, this will assist readers in the future.