ok - adding my 2 cents to the mix.
Been contemplating a 335is for a while.
Been out on a few test drives, and I love it.
Handles great, awesome exhaust sound, very comfortable, sort of plain interior but classy
well, stumbled upon an -'09 CPO S5 this week end and took it for about a 15 min test drive with out a salesperson.
- Driving Impressions: It's absolutely a fast car, but I think due to it's weight and isolation from road noise it doesn't feel as fast as the 335is. The exhaust note is nice but not the same as the 335is. The 335is is a more enjoyable car to drive if you are looking for a sports car type ride. The S5 still put a smile on my face and I like driving it, I just felt less involved then when driving the 335is
- Looks: Looks are 100% subjective, but to me Audi nailed this car both inside and out.
Something about sitting in the seats and putting your hands on the wheel put a smile on your face. I remember during the test drive just looking around and saying out loud "this is a nice car" Around my town 3 series are everywhere but you don't see a lot of A5/S5's at all. The avg joe can't tell the difference between a $35k 328 and a $75k M3 as it passes him on the highway. With the Audi, people stop and look.
- What to buy? - If I was going new on both cars, it's a no brainer, 335is all the way. It's a great car, comfortable, and a blast to drive and the big this is it's $10-15,000 less then a comparable S5.
The thing is I found this CPO S5 - with a year+ left on the warranty + another 2 year extended and it's $10,000 less then a new 335is - that turns the tables. I like the idea of a 2-3 year old cpo car and letting someone else take the depreciation hit. I was also a little leery of buying a $55,000 3 series
The S5 is not perfect, no car is. But, it's a really nice car for the CPO price.
I''m gonna take another look.