Audi A5 (2016-2020) review
The Audi A5 is a stylish premium coupe that feels very well made and comes with a good selection of engines. Some alternatives look more exciting inside, though.
What's not so good
Audi A5 (2016-2020): what would you like to read next?
The Audi A5 is a stylish two-door coupe that looks great and feels very well built. 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.
You might prefer the Audi A5 to the Audi A4 for the same reasons you’d rather have a designer briefcase than an arguably more practical rucksack. It’s not quite as easy to live with, but it has an air of class that a humdrum saloon can’t quite muster. Unfortunately, while the Audi A5’s slinky bodywork comes with a few more aggressive creases than the comparatively boxy A4, its interior looks almost exactly the same.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. The Audi A5’s cabin comes 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 special if you fork out for the upgraded infotainment system with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system. 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.
The Audi A5 takes the A4’s smooth engines and solid-feeling cabin and wraps them up in a stylish coupe package. It’s not the sportiest of its kind, but it is one of the nicest inside.
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 cruising to and from the golf course, the Audi A5’s 2.0-litre diesel makes a smooth and economical choice. There’s also a more powerful 3.0-litre petrol V6 that’s thirstier but much more fun to drive, although 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.
All these features add a fair chunk to the price, but the Audi A5 is still a stylish premium coupe that’s well worth considering. Check out our Audi A5 deals to see how much you can save on one.
The Audi A5 has lots of room in the front and a decent boot, but – as you would only expect – the headroom is a little tighter for anyone in the rear seats
Although the new Audi A5’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.
The interior is very similar to the one in the A4, so the Audi A5 gets the same storage areas that are pretty good. A big glovebox and decently-sized door bins will swallow the bulk of small items you usually find in a car.
Sleek coupe or not, the Audi 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 Audi A5 is available with either front-wheel drive or Audi’s signature quattro four-wheel-drive system.
A very capable car that ultimately isn't as much fun as some rivals
The Audi A5 is 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 pumps out 443hp from a 2.9-litre V6.
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 the Audi A5 beats that slightly with an official figure of 50.4mpg.
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.
The smallest diesel offered in the Audi 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 and in the A5 it’s slightly behind at 68.9mpg.
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.
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 Audi 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 Audi 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 dashboard is beautifully built and easy to use, but it’s worth considering the optional Virtual Cockpit – an all-digital display that gives the car a really modern feel