Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Coupe
Uprated styling keeps the A5 Coupe fresh. But do tweaks under the skin take it to the top of the class?
The Audi A5 is all about style, and subtle changes to the exterior and interior design help ensure its continued desirability. Yet despite the revisions to the suspension, it still doesn’t set the standard in terms of ride comfort or driver involvement – BMW’s 3 Series Coupé is more fun and Mercedes’ C-Class Coupé more comfortable. Most buyers will be better off with the 2.0-litre diesel than the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol driven here, too. Although the TDI isn’t as fast, it looks just as good and is considerably cheaper to buy and to run.
Looks matter, especially when you’re talking about coupés. So although the A5 has aged well, Audi has given it a mid-life facelift to ensure it continues to turn heads.
Only Audi fans will spot the fresh bumpers and revised grille. But the new sculpted headlamps, complete with one-piece LED daytime running lights, are more obvious and help keep the A5 at the forefront of car fashion.
Video: wach CarBuyer's video review of the A5 Coupe
Updates inside include shiny black panels on the facia and a simplified MMI cabin control system. This now has fewer buttons, so is not only easier to use but means the centre console looks less cluttered than before. Under the skin, revisions to the suspension aim to improve ride quality, but you’ll be hard pushed to notice the difference as the Audi still doesn’t deal with bumps as well as a Mercedes C-Class Coupe.
Our test car was an S line model, and its lowered and stiffened suspension, plus optional 20-inch alloys, contributed to the choppy ride. But as the A5 is all about style, many people will want these extras, even though they affect the comfort, as they make the car even more eye-catching.
Another key update is the introduction of electromechanical power-steering. This alone helps cut emissions by seven per cent. But while it’s light and accurate, sadly it’s also so devoid of feel, you could be forgiven for thinking the steering is linked to a Sony PlayStation, not a set of wheels.
As a result, the A5 just isn’t as involving as BMW’s rear-wheel-drive 3 Series Coupé. But how much involvement do you want? The Audi is easier to drive quickly on an unfamiliar road or in poor conditions thanks to its unflappable chassis, excellent body control and tenacious grip, especially in the case of quattro all-wheel-drive models.
There’s plenty of performance, too: the 2.0-litre TFSI engine is punchy and revs freely. It works well with the seven-speed S tronic paddleshift box, although in auto mode this doesn’t change as smoothly as a traditional auto with a torque converter. Most people will be better saving £1,500 and going with the six-speed manual.
And that brings us on to price, because while the 2.0-litre TFSI quattro is compelling, the A5 is better in front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre TDI guise. After all, coupés are all about style, and the diesel looks the same, yet is cheaper to buy and run – so it makes the two-door Audi an even more attractive proposition.