The Audi S5 has long been a favorite for Audi enthusiasts looking to combine a sporty driving experience with a sleek Audi coupe or Sportback.
However, with such a powerful vehicle, the question of reliability inevitably arises.
Is the Audi S5 a dependable option in the world of performance cars? And if so, are there specific years or models that should be avoided?
In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the world of Audi S5 reliability, examining the best models, identifying the years to avoid, and exploring some issues you should be aware of.
Get ready, and let’s dive into the Audi S5’s reliability!
Overview: Audi S5 Years To Avoid (Reliability by year)
Since its debut, the Audi S5 has captivated drivers with its blend of elegance and power.
However, like any other car, the Audi S5 has had its share of ups and downs regarding reliability.
To provide you with a better understanding of how each model year fares, here is a brief overview of the Audi S5’s reliability by year:
|2007-2010||B8||– Carbon buildup|
– High-pressure fuel pump failure
– Coolant leaks
– Thermostat stuck open
– Failing timing chain guides
– Electrical issues
– Worn control arm bushings
– Sunroof leaks
– Worn seat bolsters
– Flaking push-to-start button
|2010-2017||B8.5||– Carbon buildup|
– Coolant leaks
– Waterpump or thermostat failure
– Ignition coil failure
– Valve cover gasket leaks
– PCV valve failure
– Failed engine mounts
|2017-present||B9||– Interior rattles|
– Thermostat failure
The Audi S5 years you should avoid if you want to prevent as many repairs as possible include the production years 2007 to 2010. These are known for having issues related to carbon buildup, failing fuel pumps, worn control arm bushings, and more.
The best Audi S5 years to buy in terms of reliability are 2010 to 2023. Although they can have problems with carbon buildup, coolant leaks, or failed thermostats, they are generally seen as reliable vehicles.
In fact, we even placed the Audi S5 in our list of the most reliable Audi models!
What Audi S5 Years Should You Avoid?
Now let’s explore the Audi S5 years that you should think twice about getting if you’re looking to spend as little as possible on maintenance and repairs.
2007 to 2010 Audi S5 (B8)
Regarding luxury sports coupes, the Audi S5 B8 (2007-2010) remains a standout choice that has left a lasting impression on automotive enthusiasts.
As the first generation of the Audi S5, the B8 series laid the foundation for what has become one of the most respected sports coupes on the market.
Launched in 2007, the Audi S5 B8 was built on Audi’s MLB platform, also used for the A4 and A5 models.
However, what made it stand out from its competitors was that the S5 is one of the Audis equipped with a V8 engine. Its 4.2-liter V8 engine offers an unmistakable exhaust note!
Although the Audi S5 from the B8 generation can be reliable if maintained correctly, it’s certainly not trouble-free in all cases.
Here are some of the most common issues with the Audi S5 from 2007 to 2010:
- Carbon buildup. Carbon buildup is a common issue where carbon deposits accumulate over time on the intake valves, which causes the flaps to open or close less effectively and results in a performance decrease. If you have an Audi S5 B8, doing a carbon buildup cleaning every 60,000 miles is recommended.
- High-pressure fuel pump failure. The V8 engine in the Audi S5 B8 has two high-pressure fuel pumps which are known to fail quite frequently. Luckily, they are relatively easy to access and replace.
- Coolant leaks. Another common engine-related problem is a coolant leak. This can be caused either by a cracking coolant tank or a faulty coolant pipe.
- Thermostat stuck open. Sometimes, the thermostat on the Audi S5 B8 will get stuck open. This isn’t a major issue, but it will cause your S5 to run a bit cooler than it should, so it’s important to get it fixed nonetheless.
- Failed timing chain guides. Although this issue is not as common as some people make it out to be, it is an issue you really don’t want to deal with. Because if it does, it can have catastrophic consequences for your engine!
- Electrical issues. Some owners have reported they’ve experienced some electrical issues with the Audi S5 B8, particularly related to the electric seats, sunroof, and keyless entry. So, be sure to always check these features!
- Worn control arm bushings. The control arm bushings on this model are known to wear prematurely. Symptoms include a vibration in your steering wheel at higher speeds.
- Sunroof leaks. Clogged or faulty sunroof seals or drains is an issue that can occur for any Audi S5. Make sure to check if you see any signs of water leakage, such as mold or a smelling interior.
- Worn seat bolsters. What seems to be a common issue on any Audi from this generation is worn seat bolsters. Even low-mileage models can show significant wearing on the bolsters of the front seat.
- Flaking push-to-start button. Sometimes, you will also see the plastic paint of the push-to-start button starting to come off.
All in all, when considering a used Audi S5 B8, it’s always wise to thoroughly seek out detailed service records and have a trusted mechanic inspect the car. It doesn’t have to be an unreliable car if it’s well-maintained!
The 2 Most Reliable Audi S5 Models
Let’s take a closer look at the two Audi S5 models that are most reliable when well-maintained:
1. Audi S5 B8.5 (2010 to 2017)
The Audi S5 B8.5, produced between 2010 and 2017, builds on the strong foundation laid by its predecessor, the B8 series.
As a mid-cycle refresh, the B8.5 introduced a range of refinements.
One of the most notable updates in the B8.5 was the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine.
This new powerplant continued to deliver the thrilling driving experience that S5 enthusiasts had come to expect while also offering enhanced fuel economy.
In addition to the upgraded engine, the Audi S5 B8.5 featured several design tweaks that gave it a more aggressive and modern appearance.
The refreshed exterior styling included revised headlamps, taillights, and a restyled front grille.
Inside the cabin, the B8.5 offered an updated infotainment system, a redesigned instrument cluster, and new trim options.
While the S5 from the years 2010 to 2017 is not the most unreliable Audi S5, it does have some issues.
Here is a list of the most common ones:
- Carbon buildup. Like the 4.2 V8 in the Audi S5 from the B8 generation, the B8.5 generation with the 3.0-liter supercharged engine also suffers from carbon buildup. The cause for this is that, like the V8, the supercharged V6 engine in this generation Audi S5 is a direct-injection engine.
- Coolant leaks. One of the most common issues on the 3.0-liter V6 is coolant leaks. It is often caused by brittle plastic parts or aged rubber seals. Especially the earlier models are prone to this issue.
- Waterpump or thermostat failure. Having the water pump replaced at around 100,000 miles is a fairly common practice for this generation Audi S5. The thermostat can either start leaking or have a failure where it’s stuck in either the open or closed position.
- Ignition coil failure. The ignition coils of this generation Audi S5 can fail. Early symptoms include engine misfires, a loss of power, or a check engine light.
- Valve cover gasket leaks. The valve cover gasket becomes more likely to leak oil when it gets older. Once they start leaking significantly, you notice it due to the smell of burned oil.
- PCV valve failure. Another known problem on this generation Audi S5 is a failed PCV valve. Symptoms include increased oil consumption.
- Failed engine mounts. Lastly, we have an issue concerning failed engine mounts. On the Audi S5 B8.5, these hydraulic mounts are electronically monitored by the control unit. That means they can fail physically (increase in vibrations) or electronically.
Tip: If you own an Audi S5 with a turbocharged engine, be sure to use premium gas only.
2. Audi S5 B9 (2017 to 2023)
The Audi S5 B9, produced from 2017 onwards, is likely the most reliable Audi S5.
Under the hood, the Audi S5 B9 has a new 3.0-liter V6 engine that incorporates a twin-scroll turbocharger, replacing the previous generation’s supercharged V6.
Note: If you’re interested in who makes Audi engines, check out this article here!
The exterior of the S5 B9 showcases Audi’s latest design language, featuring sharper lines, a more aggressive stance, and a distinctive Singleframe grille.
The interior follows suit with a cutting-edge virtual cockpit and advanced infotainment system.
As the Audi S5 B9 generation is still a relatively fresh vehicle, it doesn’t have many widespread issues.
However, here is a list of issues that seem to be most common on the Audi S5 B9:
- Interior rattles. By far the most common complaint of the Audi S5 produced from 2017 onwards is a rattling interior, especially near the optional B&O speakers. It’s not something you would expect from such a high-end vehicle!
- Thermostat failure. Like on the older Audi S5s, it seems like the B9 generation is still prone to thermostat failures, which can cause the engine to overheat or run too cool.
With those out of the way, it is important to note that a potential year to avoid for the Audi S5 B9 is 2018.
The 2018 Audi S5 received 26 complaints on CarComplaints.com, the highest out of any Audi S5 year. They’re commonly related to rattling B&O speakers or engine problems like failed engine mounts.
Nevertheless, this generation Audi S5 does have the shortest list of common issues, so we would definitely recommend it as far as reliability goes!
Audi S5 owner testimonials
Audi S5 owners are often passionate about their cars, and their experiences can provide valuable insights into reliability.
To give you a more complete picture, we’ve gathered three testimonials from various Audi S5 owners, highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of owning this high-performance vehicle.
I’ve had zero issues with my 2010 V8 manual trans S5. I have 80,000kms or 50,000 miles on it and it drives throughout temp extremes (-40 degree celsius and +40 degree celsius temps). I am year 3 with this car and outside of a volume control switch that is finnicky, i’ve replaced a key fob battery and the car battery (trunk mounted). Thoroughly enjoying the car and with the Fast Intentions exhaust…it’s sexy to look at…sexy to hear and fun to drive. One of my favorite cars next to my old E46 BMW M3 and my 800+hp 4th Gen Fbody Camaro.– Ryan | Audi S5 B8 (source)
I purchase a 2016 S5 3.0T last summer with 60K and she runs like a dream. Put good winter tires on her and the AWD Quattro, it’s such a great car in the winter as well. Must have traction control on !!! Nope if she’s clean, runs well, has decent service records, I would go for it. Mine also has B&O, love the sound.– Brawne | Audi S5 B8.5 (source)
So far my only problem is that it tends to exceed the speed limit on several occasions. I can’t figure out why! Not sure if warranty will cover it.– Scott | Audi S5 B9 (source)
Is an Audi S5 expensive to maintain?
When driving a powerful car, maintenance costs can be significant.
And as with any high-performance car, the Audi S5 does require routine maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly.
So, in general, the maintenance costs for the Audi S5 can be higher than those for non-luxury vehicles, mainly due to the use of premium components and specialized expertise required for servicing.
RepairPal estimates you’ll need $1,164 per year on average for the repair and maintenance costs on an Audi S5. Significantly higher than the $739 RepairPal estimates for the average luxury midsize car.
So, as a tip to minimize unexpected maintenance costs, we recommend being proactive with your vehicle’s maintenance.
Regular inspections, promptly addressing any warning signs, and adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule can help you avoid more costly repairs in the long run!
It’s also worth noting that the cost of maintaining an Audi S5 can vary depending on factors such as the model year, mileage, and the specific issues encountered.
As we’ve seen, some model years have experienced more significant reliability concerns, which may result in higher maintenance costs!
The Audi S5 is a remarkable fusion of luxury, style, and performance.
And while specific model years have experienced some reliability concerns, many owners have enjoyed years of trouble-free driving!
By identifying the specific model years to avoid and focusing on those with proven reliability, you can maximize your chances of finding an Audi S5 that meets your expectations.
And if you’re interested in learning more, we also wrote an in-depth article on the reliability of Audis in general.
Have a great rest of your day!