The revised Audi A5 is a hugely accomplished all-rounder. It combines effortless pace with a quiet and comfortable cabin, all wrapped up in a smartly styled body. The neater design inside and superior economy are also welcome upgrades, and the 3.0-litre diesel in our test car is an incredible engine. The A5 Coupe may not be as involving to drive as a BMW 3 Series Coupe, but it’s no less desirable for it.
It's update time for the Audi A5
, with the entire range getting more equipment, minor styling tweaks and some efficiency gains.
Heading the diesel line-up is this new, higher-power 242bhp 3.0-litre V6 engine, mated to Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Like lesser models, this S line version of the A5 gets new front and rear bumpers, plus a new bonnet, while changes to the rear lights bring the tail into line with the rest of the Audi range. There are also LED running lamps framing the headlights.
The engine is the big news, though. It blends excellent fuel economy with a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds. And it’s strong in the mid range – simply press the accelerator in any of the smooth auto’s seven gears and the diesel delivers rapid yet effortless pace.
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It produces its peak torque of 498Nm from 1,400 to 3,250rpm, yet it doesn’t run out of puff further up the rev range. It’s quiet, too – strong acceleration doesn’t come at the expense of refinement. Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system offers plenty of traction, while the optional Sports Differential (£620) helps agility.
Even so, the A5 still doesn’t have the precision and balance that makes a BMW 335d coupé more fun. The steering lacks feel and the ride becomes unsettled whenever you up the pace.
While it can’t match the BMW’s poise, the Audi retains its character as a big GT, making it a great choice for tackling long-distance drives in quiet comfort.
It’s a more economical choice than before, too, as Audi has improved efficiency across the A5 line-up. Even this performance diesel claims 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of only 149g/km.
Matching those figures in the real world might prove tricky, but Audi’s Drive Select system allows you to configure the A5 for the maximum efficiency by fine-tuning the steering assistance, throttle response, gearshift points and air-conditioning.
With interior enhancements like new column stalks, a new steering wheel design and revised instruments, the A5 is as polished as ever. Now it’s faster and more economical, too, making it a more appealing all-round buy.