Audi A5

A well-sorted executive coupe with a range of good engines

8.0
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 4 reviews
  • Smart new look
  • Efficient engines
  • Bigger boot than rivals
  • Interior could be more exciting
  • Lacks rear-wheel drive fun
  • No RS5, yet
 

£30,700 - £41,375 Price range

 

4 Seats

 

45 - 70 MPG

Review

The Audi A5 is a stylish executive coupe that rivals the likes of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, BMW 4 Series and Lexus RC. This new model gets subtle new styling, plus a selection of efficient engines and a class-leading interior both shared with the new A4 saloon.

Its chassis is also shared with the A4 and is 60kg lighter than the old model – impressive considering it offers a more spacious cabin and a larger boot.

On average fuel economy has improved by 22 per cent (thank the weight saving for that) and power rises by 17 per cent. From launch, the A5 is available with two petrol engines – a 187hp 2.0-litre unit and a sporty 349hp 3.0-litre V6 in S5 trim. Three diesels are also offered, including a torquey 282hp 3.0-litre V6, but the best-selling option, and in the view of some reviewers the best value, is likely to be the 187hp 2.0-litre model.

Audi interiors rarely fail to top their respective classes, and the new A5 is no exception. A blend of leather upholstery, aluminium trim pieces and excellent build-quality ensures this coupe’s cabin is a luxurious place to spend time. The intuitive MMI system should prove easy to use, although BMW’s iDrive interface still leads the way in terms of usability.

Sat nav is fitted as standard to all models, as is a seven-inch infotainment display and Audi’s excellent 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display is now an option. .

To compare the new A5 to the old car, read our dedicated Audi A5 old vs new article or check out the new sportier S5 model by reading our price, specs and release date article.

The A5 sports an exquisite cabin with swathes of leather and aluminium trim and a pared-back layout that looks, and feels, like a luxury product.

The standard seven-inch infotainment display controls a number of in-car features and, as a result, removes the need for numerous conventional buttons on the centre console – mounting it above the dashboard also helps gives the cabin a clean and minimalist look.

Audi’s MMI system uses a scroll wheel and touchpad to control many sat nav and stereo functions – it might not be quite as user-friendly as BMW’s class-leading iDrive system, but it’s well thought out and simple to operate.

If you’re looking for a cabin with a more futuristic feel, it’s worth paying extra for Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. This option replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch digital screen that can display anything from your speed to sat nav directions in glorious widescreen.

Audi A5 passenger space

Although the new model’s longer wheelbase means there’s sufficient legroom for two six-foot adults in the rear, taller passengers may be disappointed by a lack of headroom. Space upfront is suitably plentiful with tall adults being well catered for with ample amounts of head, leg and elbowroom.

Audi A5 boot space

Sleek coupe or not, the A5 can swallow an impressive 465-litres of luggage, more than the BMW 4 Series (445-litres), Mercedes C-Class Coupe (400-litres) or Lexus RC (366 litres) can manage. One reviewer noted its boot is noticeably squarer than rivals. Fold the rear seats down and you’re presented with a near-flat load bay, useful for carrying long or bulky items. Split-folding rear seats are, however, an optional extra.

While rivals such as BMW and Mercedes focus on building rear-wheel-drive cars, the A5 is available with either front-wheel drive or Audi’s signature quattro four-wheel-drive system. Depending on your choice of engine, both manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

As is the case with the A4 sibling, the steering is precise, if a little uninvolving, and its chassis offers good levels of grip. A firmer ride than the A4 helps the A5 to feel slightly sportier, but it certainly can’t match the BMW 4 Series for outright driving fun.

Optional adaptive dampers allow you to alter the ride from comfortable to dynamic depending on your preference. Some testers have noted that sportier setups, especially when combined with optional 19-inch alloy wheels, offer a harsh ride over bumpy or poorly maintained road surfaces. By sounds of it, if you’re after comfy suspension the C-Class Coupe remains the go-to choice.

The A5 seems most at home being treated as a long distance cruiser, thanks in part to its refined cabin that minimises the intrusion of unpleasant wind noise.

The A5 will be available with two petrol and three diesel engines, ranging from an efficient 2.0-litre diesel to a high-performance 349hp V6 petrol. The latter comes fitted to the range-topping S5, although an even more extreme RS5 model is due in the near future.

Audi A5 petrol engines

The lesser powered of the two petrol engines is a 2.0-litre unit, capable of producing 187hp. This engine is also offered in the A4 saloon, where it can return 49.6mpg and costs £20 to tax – we expect it to be capable of similar figures in the A5.

The second petrol engine, a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6, comes fitted to the potent S5 where it produces 349hp – 21hp more than the old model. It’s capable of rocketing the S5 from 0-62mph in a seriously quick 4.7 seconds thanks, in part, to the grip afforded by its quattro four-wheel drive system. If you’re after a seriously fast coupe, with subtle styling and a great interior, the S5 is hard to ignore.

When the RS5 is launched, we expect it to come with a 480hp version of the S5’s V6 equipped with electric turbocharging technology, similar to that fitted to the SQ7 SUV. This helps reduce turbo lag and quicken throttle response. We expect the RS5 to be capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in close to four seconds flat.

Audi A5 diesel engines

The smallest diesel offered in the A5 is a 2.0-litre unit that produces 187hp. When fitted to the A4, this compact engine is capable of fuel economy of 70.6mpg, while emitting just 99g/km of CO2. Should this engine return similar figures in the A5, fuel economy should be high and road tax free – this makes it a good choice for those who regularly travel many motorway miles.

The larger 3.0-litre V6 diesel is offered with two power outputs, 215hp and 282hp. The former comes with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed automatic, while the latter comes with an eight-speed automatic unit as standard. Both 3.0-litre diesel models are fitted with quattro four-wheel drive, are extremely refined and offer stonking real-world performance

The Audi A5 hasn’t yet been tested by Euro NCAP but we expect it to score highly indeed. Its A4 sibling comes as standard with many safety features including stability control, active cruise control, lane assist and numerous airbags, helping it to achieve a full five-star rating from Euro NCAP. We’d be surprised if the A5 failed to replicate this impressive result.

Audi hasn’t announced how much the new A5 will cost when it goes on sale in late summer, but we expect it to cost approximately £2,000 more than a comparable A4 saloon.

Trim levels will likely follow the same pattern as the A4 range and include SE, Sport and S-Line models. SE models come fitted with a seven-inch infotainment display, sat nav, heated seats and three-zone climate control – an unusual standard feature, even in this high-end segment.

Sport models will likely be fitted with larger 17-inch alloy wheels, a subtle body kit, sports front seats and revised interior trim including a new steering wheel. Top of the range S-Line versions will boast new alloy wheels, lowered suspension, new LED headlights, and upgraded leather upholstery. It is likely to be the most popular trim level.

Conclusion

The A5 might not handle as well as the BMW 4 Series, nor boast an interior as charismatic as the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, but in terms of fit and finish, Audi still leads the way. Not only is it well equipped and lavished with high-quality materials, but the A5 is more practical and slightly more spacious than its main rivals.

The competition may, for now, offer a broader selection of engines, but an efficient 2.0-litre diesel model will cater for drivers looking for a frugal motorway cruiser, while the S5 with a 3.0-litre petrol V6 could be ideal for enthusiasts after a stylish and surprisingly pokey four-seater coupe.

It might bring fewer technological leaps to the executive coupe segment than some may have hoped, and It isn’t as fun to drive as either a 4 Series or C-Class coupe, but it could certainly be considered a more complete package than any one of its main rivals.

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