Audi A5 Coupe review
The Audi A5 is a talented premium coupe that's well-built and comfortable, but it's beginning to feel its age
If you want a stylish and refined coupe with four seats, the Audi A5 has been one of the go-to options since its launch in the noughties. While it’s a handsome and desirable machine, it’s not one of the most thrilling to drive. Combine that with the less than dramatic design, and the A5 Coupe faces stiff competition from rivals such as the BMW 4 Series.
The cabin is beautifully fitted-out, however, using the finest materials, while the infotainment system and Audi's standard Virtual Cockpit set-up give the car an impressively technological feel. There’s a good range of trim levels that are all very well equipped and, with a bunch of petrol and diesel engines that are efficient as well as strong performers, the A5 is still worthy of consideration - despite its advancing years.
About the Audi A5
As the coupe spin-off of the A4 executive saloon, the Audi A5 is a spiritual successor to the Audi Coupe of the 1980s. It offers sporty looks, but unlike the smaller TT, there's usable space for four inside. The original two-door A5 Coupe was launched in 2007, and remained on sale for nine years, which is a remarkably long time for a modern production model. It was joined by the A5 Cabriolet in 2009, while the five-door A5 Sportback also arrived in the same year.
All three variants of the Mk1 were based on the same MLB platform as the A4 saloon, but the current generation of the A5 that arrived in 2016 used an updated version of the platform designed to offer a sportier driving experience. Like the Mk1, the second generation A5 is available in two-door coupe or cabriolet form, or as a five-door Sportback.
The A5 lineup was given a facelift in 2019. Among the upgrades was the introduction of mild-hybrid technology to the A5’s entire engine range. Standard A5 models are fitted with a 12V system that can also utilise regenerative braking to improve fuel economy. Audi’s 10.1-inch touchscreen MMI infotainment system was also introduced to the A5 for the first time, and the suspension was tweaked to improve ride comfort. Elsewhere, styling tweaks included tweaked headlamps and a refreshed grille.
Audi offers a range of petrol and diesel engines in the A5. All petrol engines in the standard range are turbocharged four-cylinder units, badged 35 TFSI, 40 TFSI and 45 TFSI, which produce 148bhp, 201bhp and 261bhp, respectively.
There are also two four-cylinder diesels: the 161bhp 35 TDI and the 201bhp 40 TDI. All models come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and quattro four-wheel drive is standard on 45 TFSI and 40 TDI models.
A sportier S5 model was available with a 2.9-litre, 342bhp S5 TDI V6 diesel, which was mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive. However the S5 is no longer available to order in the UK.
The flagship RS 5 remains on sale though, powered by a 444bhp 2.9 TFSI V6 petrol engine. The RS 5 is cloaked in a unique body to help mark the model out from the rest of the range, and is available in Coupe and Sportback body styles.
Audi A5 history
Audi A5 Mk2: 2017-
The current Audi A5 remains a strong option if you’re after a stylish and refined coupe with four seats. It’s been around for a while, so it’s beginning to look its age, although facelifts in 2019 and 2021 have helped to keep things fresh. Keen drivers will perhaps be better served by the BMW 4 Series, while the cachet of the Mercedes brand will be hard to resist for some.
Audi A5 Mk1: 2007-2017
When Audi launched its first coupe in 1969, it sold more than 30,000 examples during a seven-year run. The 100 Coupe S was stylish and expensive, despite having only a 115bhp 1.9-litre petrol engine. When the A5 arrived in 2007, Audi expected to achieve rather more in terms of sales success with a car that was offered with an array of excellent petrol and diesel engines, some superb transmissions and the sort of tech and build quality that Audi buyers have come to expect. Later, there would be a cabriolet as well as a five-door Sportback. Read our full Mk1 Audi A5 buyer’s guide here...
For an alternative review of the Audi A5, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Audi A5 is a talented premium coupe that's well-built and comfortable, but it's beginning to feel its age
- 2Engines, performance and driveSmooth and comfortable, but the A5 lacks the excitement you get from a BMW 4 Series
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe A5 diesel models deliver strong economy, although top-spec petrol cars offer poor residual values
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe A5 is not all that exciting from the outside, but a state-of-the-art cabin makes up for it
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceDespite the coupe body, the A5 is still reasonably practical with the biggest boot in its class
- 6Reliability and SafetyTop marks from Euro NCAP and a raft of kit makes the A5 a safe family car