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.
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.
A very capable car that ultimately isn't as much fun as some rivals
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.