Audi A5 Review & Prices
The Audi A5 is a classy-looking coupe with a well-made cabin and decent infotainment. That cabin is also a bit sensible, mind, and a BMW 4 Series is more fun to drive
Find out more about the Audi A5
If you want a coupe that looks chic, classy and feels like a real cut above, the Audi A5 is a good place to start. You’ll find it’s slightly roomier than the likes of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe inside, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want all its high-tech bells and whistles.
Coupes are cars for people who reshuffle their priorities to have style and performance above space and economy. The sort who enjoy being looked at, or looking at themselves reflected in windows: ‘Yup, still got it’. Unfortunately, while the Audi A5’s slinky bodywork comes with a few more aggressive creases than the comparatively boxy A4, its sensible interior looks almost exactly the same.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to quality, though. The Audi A5’s cabin is adorned with plenty of soft-touch plastics and brushed-metal surfaces so it feels lovely and posh. It doesn’t quite have the wow factor of the C-Class’ interior, but it’s still a lovely place to sit.
It feels especially so, given Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system is standard. This replaces old-fashioned analogue dials with a super-sharp screen that looks great and is easily customisable.
The Audi’s central screen takes a little longer to get to grips with than the one in a BMW 4 Series, but the rest of the A5’s cabin is sensibly laid out and easy to use.
Audi makes some very high-quality interiors, but if you want some pizzazz, then go for a C-Class Coupe instead
You’ll have no trouble getting comfy either because the A5’s seats are nice and supportive and come with plenty of adjustment. Things aren’t quite so good in the back, though. For a start, your passengers have to squeeze through a gap behind the front seats and they’ll struggle for space if they’re anything close to six-feet tall. There’s enough room for a couple of kids to stretch out, though.
Things are equally tight if you need to pack loads of large luggage in the boot – but that’s to be expected in a stylish coupe. You’ll find more space in the BMW and Mercedes, but at least the Audi has room for an all-important set of golf clubs.
If you’ll be mostly schlepping up and down the motorway the Audi A5’s 40 TDI 2.0-litre diesel makes a smooth and economical choice. That said, it won’t put nearly as big a smile on your face as the BMW 4 Series on a twisty country road.
If it’s safety rather than sportiness you’re more interested in, the Audi A5’s got you covered. It comes with automatic emergency braking and cruise control as standard, and you can fork out for some more advanced driver assistance systems that’ll even steer for you in heavy traffic.
The Audi A5 has a RRP range of £41,870 to £59,375. However, with carwow you can save on average £4,351. Prices start at £38,189 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £449. The price of a used Audi A5 on carwow starts at £24,490.
Our most popular versions of the Audi A5 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|35 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic||£38,189||Compare offers|
Audi A5 alternatives include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, which starts from over £42,500, and the BMW 4 Series at almost £42,000.
The entry-level Audi A5 comes with a 150hp petrol engine which is down on power compared to the 184hp petrol engines fitted to basic versions of the C-Class Coupe and 4 Series. It’s also worth noting that the BMW 4 Series is a relatively new car with a fresher design than alternatives.
The Audi A5 offers a sporty drive and a responsive gearbox, although it’s not as comfortable as the A4 saloon it is based upon or as fun to drive as BMW 4 Series
The Audi A5 is based on the A4, only it’s sportier and you do feel bumps more than in the saloon model, although it’s by no means bone-shaking. Even with the firmer suspension, the quiet cabin and smooth-shifting standard automatic gearbox mean you get an overriding feeling of comfort when you drive the A5 in town.
There are plenty of other things to like, such as a seat and steering wheel that offer a good amount of adjustment so whether you’re tiny or tall, you’ll have no trouble getting a comfortable driving position. Visibility is also good for a coupe which makes life easier when you’re pulling out of junctions and parking.
And parking the A5 is straightforward. All models come with front and rear parking sensors as well as a reversing camera as standard, and the Audi’s well-weighted controls make it easy to smoothly slip it into position. The wing mirrors also fold away neatly when you’re parked so they're less likely to get damaged by passing cars.
Want to make inching into tight spaces even easier? Then consider the Comfort Pack which adds a 360-degree camera that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the car on the road so you’re less likely to scuff your wheels on kerbs. It’s also handy when negotiating width restrictors.
On the motorway
The Audi A5 feels at home on the motorway where it’s a quiet and relaxing car to cover ground in, and the diesel models have plenty of overtaking punch. Conversely, the basic 150hp 35 TFSI needs to be worked hard to make swift progress, although the automatic gearbox does at least shift down through its gears quickly.
Cruise control comes fitted as standard so the A5 can hold a set speed without you having to keep your foot on the accelerator. Go for the £2700 Driver Assistance Pack – Tour and your A5 can accelerate, brake and steer itself on the motorway and in queues of traffic.
On a twisty road
The Audi A5 grips twisty roads and the body doesn’t lean even when you’re cornering quickly, its engines and gearboxes are responsive and it goes as quickly as you ever really need a car to go, although front-wheel-drive versions spin their wheels easily in the wet. If you’ll find that annoying, you can always opt for quattro four-wheel-drive which gives you lots of grip even on slippery roads.
Whichever version you go for, the A5 doesn’t feel as darty and agile to drive as the BMW 4 Series and it’s not quite as comfortable, either. Both the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes C-Class Coupe are rear-wheel drive, and therefore feel more engaging.
The Audi A5 has an interior that is practical for a coupe, and while the design is a little boring for a sporty car, it’s functional, easy to use and very solidly built
Getting comfortable in the Audi A5 is easy because it has a steering wheel that moves for height and reach, and a driver’s seat that can be set high or low and slid far back on its runners for tall drivers. You also get four-way electric lumbar adjustment as standard so you can beef up back support on long journeys. The seats themselves are made from a combination of real and synthetic leather – you’ll struggle to tell which is which – and they’re easier to keep clean than the fabric you’ll find in cheaper alternatives.
And the good news keeps on coming when you start looking into smaller storage spaces. The A5 has decent-sized door bins, a cubby under the centre armrest with wireless charging for your phone, a large glovebox and a couple of cup holders set into the centre console.
Meanwhile, the departure of Audi’s infotainment scroll wheel (more on that in a minute) means you now get a bonus lidded storage space where it used to be – it’s an ideal place to keep loose change.
Space in the back seats
The Audi A5 feels tight in the back for adults. You get less knee room when compared to a BMW 4 Series, although headroom is about the same and the Audi’s larger back windows make it feel a little airier.
That said, the Audi’s doors don’t open as wide as the BMW’s so it’s trickier to fit a child seat in the back, there’s less room to manoeuvre and you’ll need to slide the front passenger seat forward to fit a big child seat. Oh, and good luck not losing the removable plastic covers for the Isofix mounts.
The Audi A5 has a 455-litre boot meaning it’s a touch larger than the BMW 4 Series and significantly bigger than the boot in the Mercedes C-Class Coupe – it means the Audi can swallow seven carry-on bags with room left over for soft bags.
Okay, so you do have to lift luggage over a significant load lip but the same is true of the A5's alternatives and the Audi’s large boot opening does make up for the lip. You also get handy features like luggage tethers, two netted cubbies in the sides of the boot and a couple of hooks for shopping bags.
The back seats, meanwhile, drop flat by yanking a couple of levers in the boot to reveal a total capacity of 980 litres.
It’s all nicely put together inside, although some of the tech is showing the A5’s age against newer Audi models
As previously noted, when Audi updated the A5, it dropped the old model’s swivel-wheel control in favour of a centre touchscreen infotainment system.
It’s relatively simple to control because its menus are organised into tiles that are easy to press when you’re driving, although you don’t get the same haptic feedback that you get in the newer Audi A6 – its screen vibrates when you hit a button so you know you’ve pressed it.
The A5’s centre display has a high resolution that makes Google Maps satellite images really pop and you can zoom in and out by pinching like the screen on your smartphone, although it’s not quite as responsive as the best smartphones’ screen.
Audi’s own voice commands aren’t as good as you get on your phone either, but it doesn’t really matter because you can always use your phone’s voice activation via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They mirror your phone’s display on the car’s big screen so you can use apps like Waze and Spotify seamlessly, although unlike the built-in satnav, you can’t beam your app’s maps onto the brilliant Virtual Cockpit screen found behind the steering wheel in place of analogue dials.
‘Seamless’ is a good way to describe the consistency of Audi’s cabin quality – it’s very good with soft-touch plastics used all over the place and areas like the centre console feeling very solid. It makes up for the fact that the Audi isn’t as stylish inside as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Trouble is, the BMW 4 Series feels more solid than both of them.
In terms of connectivity, as well as the wireless charger under the front centre armrest you’ll find a USB-C charging socket, while the centre console has a standard USB plug and a 12V socket.
You can have your Audi A5 with a choice of three petrol engines and two diesels, all of which come in tandem with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. All models are subject to the £335 annual premium tax for cars costing more than £40,000.
Naturally, the diesels are the most efficient. The entry-level 163hp 35 TDI will return fuel economy of 50mpg, but the 204hp 40 TDI is almost as good on fuel, comes with quattro four-wheel drive fitted as standard and is significantly quicker with 0-60mph coming up in 6.9 seconds.
Having said all that, the engine that suits the A5 best is the 40 TFSI 204hp petrol. It’s smoother than the diesels, sounds nicer and has a sparkling revy nature more in keeping with a sporty car like this. It gets from 0-62mph in 7.1 seconds but can still return up to 41.5mpg.
The top-of-the-range 265hp 45 TFSI comes with quattro four-wheel drive fitted giving it excellent grip off the line to get from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds. By contrast, the 163hp 35 TFSI petrol is too slow to be genuinely sporty.
Year-one road tax costs for the A5 range from £190 for the 35 TDI model to a hefty £585 for the 40 TFSI petrol – oddly, it sits one band above the more powerful 45 TFSI, which costs £230.
The Audi A5 was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2015, however, this rating has since expired. As a result, you can expect the BMW 4 Series, which scored five stars under 2019’s tougher testing regime, to be significantly safer.
Having said that, the Audi comes with standard safety kit that includes automatic emergency braking and a bonnet that pops up to protect pedestrians from the hard engine below in a collision. All A5s come with an anti-theft alarm system fitted as standard.
Audi doesn’t have the reputation for reliability you might expect of a premium German brand and the A5 has been subject to six recalls. These cover issues like leaking fuel rails, airbags and seat belt tensioners that don’t trigger in an accident, overheating coolant pumps and folding tow hooks that don’t lock in position. If you were buying used, it would make sense to double-check all these problems have been resolved at the dealer.
All Audis come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, which can be extended to a five-year/90,000-mile warranty for £1390.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.