In-depth reviews

Audi A5 Coupe review

Attractive to look at and pleasant to spend time in, the A5 is a tempting package

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£38,950 to £61,625

Driving Where Audi really needed to improve its game was in the driver involvement department. With the A5, it has just done that. The coupe features a wide track, its steering has been engineered from scratch, the quattro 4WD is biased towards the rear and the front axle has been moved forward 120mm to counteract understeer. All this work has had the desired effect. The A5 offers meaty steering, good turn-in and, impressively, a better sense of balance than the firm’s storing RS4. Thanks to its 4WD traction, the car is also very efficient through corners – especially slow ones. The trouble is, it doesn’t deliver the same feedback and sharpness as its arch-rival, the BMW 3-Series. Opting for the optional Sport pack would improve things – but would also hurt the ride quality. As standard, the Audi is comfortable, particularly on motorways where it has a quiet, forgiving ride. As for engines, the 3.0-litre TDI has been developed, and now delivers more power. It doesn’t feel like a normal diesel – it’s smoother, with good composure and minimal diesel-like rattles. It pulls cleanly from below 1,500rpm and revs to an impressive 5,200rpm. 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds is potent, though the gearbox is springy and transmits vibrations.

Marketplace The A5 is impressive in the metal. It’s best viewed from a distance, where you can appreciate the subtle line that forms the car’s shoulder, and the sweeping roof that flows down into the bootlid, ending in a tiny lip spooler. If anything, we thing the rear is more successful than the generic nose, and the front end is only distinguished from other Audis by the standard xenon headlamps with their dramatic LED running lights. Up close, the first thing you notice is how low the A5’s roof is. When you open one of the relatively short doors, you seem to have to dip much lower to get in. but inside, it’s a full four-seater – finally, it’s a return to a market Audi abandoned in 1996. Built on the Modular Longitudinal Platform that will underpin the next A4, the Audi offers a fairly extensive range of engines, including the 3.0-litre TDI we tested, plus a 2.7-litre TDI, a 3.2-litre V6 petrol and the superb 4.2-litre V8 S5. There’s just the single bodystyle. Its arch rival is the BMW 3-Series Coupe – this car is a competitor to that model in absolutely every respect, and you know Audi has benchmarked its Munich counterpart to the nth degree. The Mercedes CLK is an alternative, as is the leftfield Peugeot 407 Coupe.

Owning The interior is all-new for the A5. We expect elements of the design to appear on the next A4, but in the meantime the Audi’s cockpit looks and feels unique. But that’s not to say it’s perfect. The new key is rather clumsy, the switches for the electric windows click nastily and the heating controls are fiddly. Nevertheless, the cabin has a quality feel, while the dash’s wraparound effect enhances this and provides a sense of space. You won’t benefit if you’re sitting on the cramped rear bench, though, while you’ll struggle to get your feet under the front seats. But what’s been taken from rear legroom has been given to the load bay – the A5’s 455-litre boot is huge. It’s pretty economical too, while retained values look extremely glittering.

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

0

Interior, design and technology

0

Practicality, comfort and boot space

0

Reliability and Safety

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Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    35 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £38,950

Most Economical

  • Name
    35 TDI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £41,315

Fastest

  • Name
    S5 TDI 341 Quattro 2dr Tiptronic [Comfort+Sound]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £54,605

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