Used Audi A5 (Mk1, 2007-2016) review - How practical is it?
Accommodation is fine up front and there’s a decent boot, but headroom is limited in the rear
The driving position is highly adjustable for all shapes and sizes of driver, and the front seats are very comfortable – although the tallest drivers may feel uncomfortably close to the headlining. With the added benefit of a very well-built and premium-feeling interior, the Audi A5 is a relaxing car to drive. There are excellent levels of refinement when cruising.
The electric handbrake frees up space for stowage (but its grabby operation won’t be to all tastes), and there is plenty of space for oddments – from mobile phones to large water bottles. Visibility is fine over the bonnet, but the thick pillars and sloping back window limit rearwards vision, so you’ll be glad of the parking sensors.
Dimensions and cabin design
The Audi A5 is pretty close in size to its German coupe rivals. At 4,625mm long it’s marginally shorter than the 4,633mm Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, and the 4,638mm BMW 4 Series. However, the A5 is wider than both – 1,854mm versus 1,770mm and 1,825mm. At 1,372mm the A5 is taller than the 1,362mm BMW but shorter than the 1,391mm Mercedes.
The rear of the A5 doesn't feel massively spacious due to the sloping roofline, and in models with tinted windows it’s a bit dark in the back, which could make passengers feel hemmed in. It’s not too tricky to squeeze into the back though, because the doors are long and open wide.
Legroom isn't too bad unless there’s a tall driver up front, but the design of the roof means that rear seat headroom isn’t really ideal for adults on long journeys. There’s a similar amount of legroom in the rear of the BMW 4 Series, but extra headroom means adults can be accommodated much more comfortably.
Isofix points are standard-fit in the front of the A5 (with airbag deactivation), and on the outer two rear seats.
The Audi A5 coupe has a decent 455-litre boot, which is 10 litres bigger than the one in the BMW 4 Series. You also get a space-saver spare wheel, which is stored below the boot floor. The standard folding rear seats mean total space can be increased to 829 litres. If you opt for the convertible A5 the fabric roof takes up less space than the folding metal roof of the BMW 4 Series drop-top, so you get 380 litres or 750 litres with the seats folded.
Thanks to its A4 saloon underpinnings, the Audi A5 makes a surprisingly good tow car, especially in quattro guise. Towing capacity ranges from 1,300kg to 2,100kg for the bigger diesel models.
Equipment and technology
In 2012 the A5 received a facelift to keep the styling looking fresh. The results worked well and the sharp design of the Audi helps it to stand out from the crowd (if not from the rest of the Audi range), with a crease running down the side of the car into the sleek headlights at the front.
How good the car looks can vary a lot depending on the trim level you go for, however. The standard 17-inch wheels look a bit too small, but move up to the S line model and the bigger rims, lower suspension and bold bodykit help things along.
Black Edition models add some extra visual appeal with huge 19-inch wheels, matt black exterior detailing and tinted windows, too. Inside, piano black trim, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a Bang & Olufsen stereo mean it's a luxurious place to be.
By comparison, the efficient Ultra model flies under the radar with 17-inch wheels as standard and only a discreet Ultra badge on the boot to mark it out as the eco-focused model in the A5 line-up.
Across the range the materials used are all top-notch and feel solid, while the build quality is definitely up to the standards of the A5's premium rivals. Standard equipment from SE upwards includes climate control, Bluetooth, heated leather seats, cruise control, an auto-opening boot, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, parking sensors and a DAB radio.
All trim levels come with Audi’s Concert audio system as standard, which includes a colour display screen on the centre console, single CD and MP3 compatibility, SD card reader and aux-in socket. There are 10 speakers around the cabin, and the system connects to your Bluetooth phone and – on S Line models and above – includes HDD navigation and a music hard drive. Black Edition models include an uprated Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Everything is controlled by Audi’s familiar MMI interface, operated by a wheel controller behind the gear lever.
With MMI Navigation Plus you can also have internet connectivity via your smartphone, but the Audi Connect system in the A5 won’t let you use email or social media apps as you can in newer Audi models – and the A5’s main rivals.
The Audi A5 wasn’t crash tested, but the car it's based on, an earlier Audi A4, was awarded the full five stars from Euro NCAP when it was tested back in 2009. Standard safety features on the coupe include front, passenger and curtain airbags, as well as stability control. There’s also the option to add active safety kit such as lane-departure warning, blind spot warning and adaptive cruise control.
In this review
- 1VerdictWith efficient engines and attractive design, the Audi A5 is a stylish two-door coupe to rival the new BMW 4 Series
- 2How much will it cost?You’ll pay a premium for the A5, even on the used car market; an A4 of the same vintage might make more sense
- 3How practical is it? - currently readingAccommodation is fine up front and there’s a decent boot, but headroom is limited in the rear
- 4What’s it like to drive?Strong performance, terrific grip and still fun to drive, but BMW and Mercedes have moved the goalposts
- 5What should you look out for?Excellent build quality means a used Audi A5 should feel as classy as a new model, but there are problems to look out for
- 6What do owners think?Strong scores across the board for the Audi A5 in 2017's Driver Power Used Car Survey