In-depth reviews

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£33,865 to £64,310
  • Great build
  • Long-distance comfort
  • Strong engines
  • Not engaging to drive
  • Feels dated next to rivals
  • Expensive to run

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. We’re now on the second generation which has been around since 2016. That means it does have rather a familiar look, but an minor facelift in 2019 brought mildly tweaked headlamps and grille to bring the A5 into line with the A4 family with which it shares its platform.

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 its two primary rivals the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes C-Class Coupe.

You might forget other limitations when you ease yourself behind the A5 Coupe’s wheel. The cabin is beautifully fitted-out using the finest materials and the latest infotainment installations give the car and 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 a force to be reckoned with.

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 were based on the same MLB platform as the A4 saloon, while the Mk2 arrived in 2016, based on the latest variant of MLB, which is designed to offer a sportier drive than its predecessor. Like the Mk1, the second generation is offered in two-door coupe and cabriolet forms, as well as the five-door Sportback. Sportier S5 and RS 5 models are also offered in both Coupe and Sportback body styles.

There are four trim levels to choose from: Sport, S line, Edition 1 and top-spec Vorsprung. Equipment levels are good; Sport models get 18-inch alloys, LED Matrix headlights, Virtual Cockpit digital dash, MMI Navigation Plus with 10.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen and leather upholstery. Top-flight Vorsprung models come fully loaded with 20-inch alloys, uprated infotainment, panoramic sunroof, nappa leather and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

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 and coming with 148bhp, 201bhp and 261bhp respectively. There are two diesels, each with four cylinders – the 161bhp 35 TDI and the 201bhp 40 TDI – which comes with a choice of front or four-wheel drive. All models come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and quattro four-wheel drive can be specified on the 45 TSI and 40 TDI models.

The sportier S5 model is powered by the 2.9-litre, 342bhp S5 TDI V6 diesel, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive, while the flagship RS 5 has a 444bhp 2.9 TFSI V6 petrol engine and is cloaked in a unique body to help mark the model out from the rest of the range. Both performance A5 models are currently offered in Coupe and Sportback body styles.

The main rivals for the Audi A5 are the BMW 4 Series in all its guises, the Mercedes  C-Class and the Lexus RC.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    35 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,865

Most Economical

  • Name
    35 TDI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,815

Fastest

  • Name
    S5 TDI 341 Quattro 2dr Tiptronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £51,710

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