First Drive: The 2022 Audi S5 Sportback Is A Remarkably Well-Designed Daily Driver
The turbocharged V6 Sportback features sports massage seats, laser headlights and a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Besides the R8, Audi doesn’t do pure driver’s cars, which is why the brand has been able to maintain such broad market appeal. When it comes to building quality cars that people actually enjoy using daily, Audi is hardly rivaled. And the 2022 Audi S5 Sportback is no exception.
Not much has changed for 12 years since this generation S5 was introduced. The car uses the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, now capable of 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, pushed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic.
Gaining speed is easy with Audi’s Quattro AWD system, then sustaining it proves to be even easier. The self-locking center differential splits output easily and evenly, delivering 60 percent of torque to the rear and 40 percent to the front.
The interior of the 2022 Audi S5 is incredibly well-designed. With every detail and line, it shows how much the designers put into developing the cockpit. The central console is modern yet simple, with all controls easily fitting the hand and not distracting the driver from the road.
The capacitive touch button trend currently taking over the automotive industry isn’t for everyone. Capacitive buttons tend to misbehave and require quite a bit of fiddling to get working properly. Thankfully, the S5 Sportback doesn’t use them.
The steering wheel features mechanical buttons, there’s a large physical volume knob to the right of the shifter, and more “real” buttons to operate climate controls. The latter is really a unicorn these days in premium sedans.
The dashboard is home to a digital seven-inch screen that’s easy to read and widely configurable. Most of the time, you’ll be able to focus on the road with slight glances below the dash line. Smartphone integration is available via Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a wireless charging pad hidden beneath the center armrest, encouraging users to ditch cables.
Spend some more time perusing the interior, and cleverly-placed pockets all around the cabin are revealed. More importantly, Audi designers opted for premium materials for all areas that your hands might touch. Even more remote areas are wrapped in quality upholstery.
The sport seats are more comfortable than you would ever expect to find in this price segment while offering plenty of lateral support and the ability to tweak lumbar support or tighten up the sides for high-speed cornering.
The three massage programs installed in the front seats, available only on the $8,400 Prestige trim, promise to reduce driving fatigue. The package also brings laser headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, and a brilliant Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Audi excels at what they’re known for: excellent daily drivers with just the right amount of sportiness to stave off boredom. The whole cabin is brimming with quality and attention to detail, ride quality is competitive in the segment, and the V6 engine has enough kick to let you fly off the stoplight into the sunset with a trunk full of groceries.
At $65,745 including the Prestige package, the S5 Sportback brings the best of both the family man and the eager youngster together. The additional $2,500 S Sport package places further emphasis on fun, for those looking to spice up their daily drive.