A5 vs S3

Hi guys,

Long time lurker on this forum but currently looking at getting a B9 A5 sportback. I'm after the 2.0/45 TFSI. I've noticed this is the same engine that is found in the S3, however it produces ~310 hp in the S3 compared to the ~250 hp in the A5. The S3 also has a nicer (to my ears at least) stock exhaust note compared to the A5.

I've been trying to find out what the physical differences are between the two and if it would be possible to get the increased power and nicer sound from the A5. I'm guessing the S3 has a different turbo? Is anyone able to shed any light?

BW,
Squib
 

HMG1K

Registered User
I had a B9 A5 Sportback S-Line, the 40 TFSI - moved from a Jaguar XF R-Sport. The A5 was so fab I swapped to a B9.5 A5 Sportback, this time with the 35 TDI. Even better and with the diesel I'm getting 63mpg on motorway runs, compared to 45mpg on the TFSI.

The A5 you sit lower, I say a sports car low ride with the looks and practicality of a family car. The A5 sits about two inches lower than an A4, which is perhaps the same as the A3.
 
Thanks for sharing your experience and I'm glad you're enjoying your A5!
I'm definitely set on an A5, it looks better imo, is more practical and the interior is nicer.

I was mainly just wondering if it's possible to get the power and sound to match the S3 - seeing as both cars have the same basic engine (2.0 TFSI EA888).
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Like for like comparison is the S3 to S5 V6 Petrol The S3 has less power than the S5 but the S5 is heavier so performance is similar although the S3 will be more agile for the obvious reasons just like the S5 will be more comfortable
 

jonstatt

Registered User
In the UK at least the B9.5 got an unexplained bump in power with the 45 TFSI to 265PS. Not a massive difference but looking at the 0-60 times , clearly noticeable.

In general the new Audi's don't sound like before due to new regulations. My 2017 TTS had the backfires on gear changes and a throaty sound not from the soundaktor. The new TT has no bangs/farts and is just quieter overall too. The S3 I drove was even quieter and quite frankly the interior felt cheap compared to a TT and an A5

Also as there is no S5 Cab in the UK this year , I took the A5 Cab 45 TFSI instead but its running in so haven't pushed it yet. But in comfort mode it's practically silent. I don't know whether it transforms in dynamic but I can't see it changing radically. It is very responsive and feels quick even though I am being gentle.
 

Bells

Registered User
I’ve previously owned a S3 (310bhp) before moving to an S5 (V6 Petrol), but I have also driven a 45 TFSI while my S3 had some warranty work done for a few days, so I’m able to compare the 3 cars.

Power wise the A5 felt nothing like my S3 when I had it, it was Quattro and Auto like my S3 but engine tone was far quieter, idle was pretty much silent and there were no crackles / pops on the overrun, even downshifting in manual. A5 felt notably heavier, engine wasn’t sluggish but wouldn’t say it felt noticeably quick either. It didn’t sound bad but just not sporty in the slightest. Only thing going against the A5 was that it might’ve had the new petrol particulate filter whereas my S3 did not, so that effects the sound.

S5 side of things it feels just as fast as my S3 was, certainly whilst rolling it’s got far more torque. My S3 was probably quicker off the line but 0-62 times are very similar between the 2. I’d say the S5 is slightly quieter than the S3 but the V6 tone is much nicer.

My advice would be don’t rule out a used S5 Sportback you may be surprised at how little price difference there is between that and a A5. I noticed a A5 coupe only a year younger than my S5 up for more than I’d just paid! Insurance may be a little higher, but to be honest I didn’t notice a huge amount of MPG difference compared to when I had the A5 both around mid 20’s and I’ve had 40 out of my S5 on a long run. I dare say a S model will hold its value better too.
 
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jonstatt

Registered User
I’ve previously owned a S3 (310bhp) before moving to an S5 (V6 Petrol), but I have also driven a 45 TFSI while my S3 had some warranty work done for a few days, so I’m able to compare the 3 cars.

Power wise the A5 felt nothing like my S3 when I had it, it was Quattro and Auto like my S3 but engine tone was far quieter, idle was pretty much silent and there were no crackles / pops on the overrun, even downshifting in manual. A5 felt notably heavier, engine wasn’t sluggish but wouldn’t say it felt noticeably quick either. It didn’t sound bad but just not sporty in the slightest. Only thing going against the A5 was that it might’ve had the new petrol particulate filter whereas my S3 did not, so that effects the sound.

S5 side of things it feels just as fast as my S3 was, certainly whilst rolling it’s got far more torque. My S3 was probably quicker off the line but 0-62 times are very similar between the 2. I’d say the S5 is slightly quieter than the S3 but the V6 tone is much nicer.

My advice would be don’t rule out a used S5 Sportback you may be surprised at how little price difference there is between that and a A5. I noticed a A5 coupe only a year younger than my S5 up for more than I’d just paid! Insurance may be a little higher, but to be honest I didn’t notice a huge amount of MPG difference compared to when I had the A5 both around mid 20’s and I’ve had 40 out of my S5 on a long run. I dare say a S model will hold its value better too.

There are many versions of each engine. The TTS/S3 was 310bhp in 2017, 300 in 2018/2019 and 320 in 2020. And each version is quieter than the last. I just drove a new 2020 S3 last week and it was very quiet with no crackles or pops in dynamic.

The 45TFSI has many many versions, the latest 265bhp version taking 0.3 seconds off the 0-60 time of the 2018/2019 predecessor. Also of note is launch control on a TTS/S3 gains 0.5s 0-60 but a whole second with a 45 TFSI. But it is outrageously quiet. I didn't check if it still has the exhaust valve system in it.
 

jonstatt

Registered User
Actually only the TTS has the 2020 engine edit with 320, not S3. So many variants at the same time. I don't get why Audi do that.
 

Bells

Registered User
Actually only the TTS has the 2020 engine edit with 320, not S3. So many variants at the same time. I don't get why Audi do that.
Yeah weird Audi didn’t put that engine in the S3 when the new Golf R has it, will probably come in the facelift a few years down the line.

As a general rule most cars that have been produced after 68 reg onwards have the new the new petrol particulate filter and the vast majority sound very quiet / and muffled. Most pops and bangs are gone. Saw a video the other day of the new R8 with a V10 that was rev limited to under 4K rpm and it sounded awful. Imagine paying all that money and having a sports car sounding like that :tearsofjoy:
 
I’ve previously owned a S3 (310bhp) before moving to an S5 (V6 Petrol), but I have also driven a 45 TFSI while my S3 had some warranty work done for a few days, so I’m able to compare the 3 cars.

Power wise the A5 felt nothing like my S3 when I had it, it was Quattro and Auto like my S3 but engine tone was far quieter, idle was pretty much silent and there were no crackles / pops on the overrun, even downshifting in manual. A5 felt notably heavier, engine wasn’t sluggish but wouldn’t say it felt noticeably quick either. It didn’t sound bad but just not sporty in the slightest. Only thing going against the A5 was that it might’ve had the new petrol particulate filter whereas my S3 did not, so that effects the sound.

S5 side of things it feels just as fast as my S3 was, certainly whilst rolling it’s got far more torque. My S3 was probably quicker off the line but 0-62 times are very similar between the 2. I’d say the S5 is slightly quieter than the S3 but the V6 tone is much nicer.

My advice would be don’t rule out a used S5 Sportback you may be surprised at how little price difference there is between that and a A5. I noticed a A5 coupe only a year younger than my S5 up for more than I’d just paid! Insurance may be a little higher, but to be honest I didn’t notice a huge amount of MPG difference compared to when I had the A5 both around mid 20’s and I’ve had 40 out of my S5 on a long run. I dare say a S model will hold its value better too.
Thank you, that's very helpful!

I hadn't realised that particulate filters had already come to petrol cars too. My current car is an old diesel (pre-DPF) and one of the draws of petrol was lack of particulate filter - although I suppose they should have less issues in petrol cars.
The petrol particulate filter must be one of the reasons for the sound, I hadn't thought of that before. Are you aware of any legal exhaust modifications that allow it to sound more like the S3 (I'm guessing not as the post FL S3 is much quieter too).

I would love an S5, like you say it's only a few grand more used and the performance and sound is so much more appealing. The problem is, I think an S5 would really be pushing my budget, insurance quotes I've had have been £500 more and the maintenance costs of the V6 are probably going to be higher.
 

TonyF1

Registered User
Recent car history 2016 S3, 2019 A7 55 TFSi and now a 2021 A5 Cabriolet 40 TFSi. Thoughts

The S3 was a little quicker than the A7 and brilliant to drive but does feel really small compared to the other 2.
The A7 really luxurious and damn quick but dull to drive as it is so refined you get no feeling of speed at all.
The A5 although slowest of the 3 is a really fun with the top down and hands down the prettiest (Turbo Blue).

For me fast / fun / luxury - you can choose 2 out of the 3.

BTW I had a drive in the RS7 and it was just as dull as the 55.
 

jonstatt

Registered User
Recent car history 2016 S3, 2019 A7 55 TFSi and now a 2021 A5 Cabriolet 40 TFSi. Thoughts

The S3 was a little quicker than the A7 and brilliant to drive but does feel really small compared to the other 2.
The A7 really luxurious and damn quick but dull to drive as it is so refined you get no feeling of speed at all.
The A5 although slowest of the 3 is a really fun with the top down and hands down the prettiest (Turbo Blue).

For me fast / fun / luxury - you can choose 2 out of the 3.

BTW I had a drive in the RS7 and it was just as dull as the 55.

Why not the 45 TFSi A5? By the way I sent you a PM.
 

TonyF1

Registered User
It was a lease deal on a physical car that was incredible value Edition One in Turbo Blue 8000 mile 12 month down and £384 a month. My local dealer couldn’t get near at £515 with 12 month down. The 45 came in at £600 a month.
 

jonstatt

Registered User
It was a lease deal on a physical car that was incredible value Edition One in Turbo Blue 8000 mile 12 month down and £384 a month. My local dealer couldn’t get near at £515 with 12 month down. The 45 came in at £600 a month.
That sounds like an amazing deal! I'm paying 620 a month for a 45 Vorsprung with 4k down, so your numbers are in line
 
I’ve previously owned a S3 (310bhp) before moving to an S5 (V6 Petrol), but I have also driven a 45 TFSI while my S3 had some warranty work done for a few days, so I’m able to compare the 3 cars.

Power wise the A5 felt nothing like my S3 when I had it, it was Quattro and Auto like my S3 but engine tone was far quieter, idle was pretty much silent and there were no crackles / pops on the overrun, even downshifting in manual. A5 felt notably heavier, engine wasn’t sluggish but wouldn’t say it felt noticeably quick either. It didn’t sound bad but just not sporty in the slightest. Only thing going against the A5 was that it might’ve had the new petrol particulate filter whereas my S3 did not, so that effects the sound.

S5 side of things it feels just as fast as my S3 was, certainly whilst rolling it’s got far more torque. My S3 was probably quicker off the line but 0-62 times are very similar between the 2. I’d say the S5 is slightly quieter than the S3 but the V6 tone is much nicer.

My advice would be don’t rule out a used S5 Sportback you may be surprised at how little price difference there is between that and a A5. I noticed a A5 coupe only a year younger than my S5 up for more than I’d just paid! Insurance may be a little higher, but to be honest I didn’t notice a huge amount of MPG difference compared to when I had the A5 both around mid 20’s and I’ve had 40 out of my S5 on a long run. I dare say a S model will hold its value better too.

I had a spin in an A5 45 TFSI recently. It was nice, it looked amazing (personally prefer the look of a well specced A5 over the S5) but it didn't feel special. It was hands down the fastest car I've ever driven, but without looking at the speedo I wouldn't have known it. Maybe this is a by product of it being so smooth and refined. It also didn't feel particularly more comfortable than other cars I have driven. Don't get me wrong, it is the nicest car I've driven, but I came away feeling underwhelmed. From your experience does the S5 have the "special factor"? Or does it also feel fairly uneventful?
 

Bells

Registered User
I had a spin in an A5 45 TFSI recently. It was nice, it looked amazing (personally prefer the look of a well specced A5 over the S5) but it didn't feel special. It was hands down the fastest car I've ever driven, but without looking at the speedo I wouldn't have known it. Maybe this is a by product of it being so smooth and refined. It also didn't feel particularly more comfortable than other cars I have driven. Don't get me wrong, it is the nicest car I've driven, but I came away feeling underwhelmed. From your experience does the S5 have the "special factor"? Or does it also feel fairly uneventful?
I’d personally prefer a standard spec S5 with say just Virtual Cockpit rather than a high spec’d A5 but that’s just me, although to be fair the S5 probably comes with lots of standard fit equipment that the A5 doesn’t usually come with so I’d keep that in mind.

In terms of feeling special I’d say the S5 ticks that box (for me anyway), I like that I don’t see many on the road near me. I’ve had lots of compliments from friends and family but even just filling up with fuel people have commented. People seem to notice it even when I’m just cruising round. Arguably get more attention than I used to get in my bright blue S3 I had before and my S5 is grey :tearsofjoy:

The main thing is I enjoy and look forward to driving it, it’s never a chore - it cruises with comfort / ease and when pushing on the engine and exhaust has that sporty feel as you’d expect from a V6. The little touches like the massage Super Sport Seats with the bolsters that suck you in and the exhaust burble on start up adds to the occasion of driving it too.

Is it perfect no, every car has faults but overall as a all round fast ‘sporty’ car it ticks a lot of boxes.
 
I’d personally prefer a standard spec S5 with say just Virtual Cockpit rather than a high spec’d A5 but that’s just me, although to be fair the S5 probably comes with lots of standard fit equipment that the A5 doesn’t usually come with so I’d keep that in mind.

In terms of feeling special I’d say the S5 ticks that box (for me anyway), I like that I don’t see many on the road near me. I’ve had lots of compliments from friends and family but even just filling up with fuel people have commented. People seem to notice it even when I’m just cruising round. Arguably get more attention than I used to get in my bright blue S3 I had before and my S5 is grey :tearsofjoy:

The main thing is I enjoy and look forward to driving it, it’s never a chore - it cruises with comfort / ease and when pushing on the engine and exhaust has that sporty feel as you’d expect from a V6. The little touches like the massage Super Sport Seats with the bolsters that suck you in and the exhaust burble on start up adds to the occasion of driving it too.

Is it perfect no, every car has faults but overall as a all round fast ‘sporty’ car it ticks a lot of boxes.
Thank you, that's helpful. I don't really mind about other people noticing it. When I say "feel special" I mean more the way the car feels whilst driving it. Might have to start saving up and get a test drive in an S5 now!
 

aquazi

New Member
I had a MkII TTS (EA888 engine) with an APR remap that was over 300bhp - so comparable to the current S3.... then went BMW 435d (i know!) then M4 CP and now own both my M4 and an 18 plate S5 (as my daily)

The engine in the TTS didnt feel sporty - lacked the torque/ punch that my S5 has - and so unless i looked at the speedo didnt feel "fast"

In terms of feeling special its no comparison - the S5 is louder on startup than my M4! Put it in dynamic and sport and while its not an occasion like the M4 its a far better cruiser - absorts the bumps better and its easier to go faster on normal roads.

I test drove a new diesel S5 before getting my S5 - i was actually suprised at the engine note it made being a diesel (regardless of it being fake) and despite being more torquey the petrol V6 is a more lively engine - ironically the diesel probably suits the S5 chasis better.

I would certainly get a test drive in an S5 and see for youself - if coming from an S3 i just think the lesser engines will leave you disappointed.
 
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