Audi A5 review - sharply-styled coupe is a big upgrade from old model

Correctly specced, the A5 is a decent package for keen drivers and a genuine rival to the BMW 4-series

The Audi A5 has been tidied up since the first-generation model launched, and it’s now much more palatable as a standalone model – rather than simply feeling like a less practical A4. It’s a handsome and beautifully finished car, incorporating the best features of any Audi – including an interior which is built as well as any top-end luxury model.

The standard A5 makes a lot of sense as a practical daily runabout, too. With space in the rear for adults (at a push) and a decent-sized boot, it makes a compelling case as a more stylish alternative to a standard saloon. Add to that a range of efficient and powerful petrol and diesel engines and you may be able to persuade your fleet manager to let you have one over an ordinary saloon.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

> Audi RS5 review - Audi's most entertaining coupe yet?

If you want more performance and driving thrills, you can step up to the S5 or even the halo RS5 – while those after five-door hatchback practicality can plump for the A5 Sportback.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

> Performance and 0-60 time: No A5 is particularly slow, and the entry-level diesel can sprint to 60 in under eight seconds

> Engine and gearbox: Two petrol and two diesel options are mated to manual or auto gearboxes, with optional quattro all-wheel drive

> Ride and handling: Active chassis is really necessary for any meaningful feedback or engagement

> MPG and running costs: The A5 is more efficient than ever before – choose the Ultra diesel to really cut costs

> Interior and tech: Audi’s legendary build quality mates with the same upmarket design as the A4 saloon, while tech and equipment levels are strong

> Design: Though it looks very similar to the outgoing model, that’s no bad thing, and the A5’s sleek silhouette is appealing

Prices, specs and rivals

The A5 range kicks off at just over £30,000, which nets you a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, offering 187bhp and mated to a six-speed manual.  The range moves up through a higher-powered 2.0-litre petrol with 249bhp, a 2.0-litre ‘Ultra’ diesel with 187bhp and a 3.0-litre TDI diesel at the top of the range, with 215bhp.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The higher-powered petrol and 3.0-litre diesel are available exclusively with Audi’s s tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while the Ultra diesel and lower-powered petrol come with a choice of automatic or six-speed manual gearboxes.

Trims run entry-level SE through Sport and finally range-topping S line. This purports to offer some of the spirit found in the S5 and halo RS5, with a bodykit, sports suspension and larger, 18-inch wheels, but other than that it’s purely a styling exercise. All cars come with LED daytime running lights, heated front seats, Audi’s MMI infotainment system and keyless start, but you might want to step up the trim levels or scour the options list for full LED headlights, sat-nav and electrically adjustable seats.

The A5 has several key rivals in the mid-sized coupe market, going head-to-head with cars like the Mercedes C-class Coupe, Lexus RC and BMW 4-series. Of these, it’s the 4-series that’s likely to nab sales from keen drivers, thanks to its rear-drive powertrain. It’s priced similarly, too, starting from £30,260 for a 420i petrol model. The Mercedes kicks off at £31,585 while the Lexus – which will appeal to those who want something a little different – is more expensive, at £36,495.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More on A5 hatchback

Visit/audi/a5/18489/audi-a5-and-s5-cabriolet-up-to-349bhp-from-new-drop-top
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet - up to 349bhp from new drop-top

Latest addition to the A5 and S5 ranges revealed, with UK launch in March 2017
4 Nov 2016
Visit/audi/a5/17804/new-audi-a5-and-s5-debut-lighter-leaner-extra-tech
Audi A5 hatchback

New Audi A5 and S5 debut - lighter, leaner, extra tech

You'll have to squint to see the visual changes, but the lighter new A5 should drive better than its predecessor
2 Jun 2016
Visit/audi/a5/15797/audi-a5-review-handsome-coupe-may-be-old-but-still-holds-appeal
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 review - handsome coupe may be old, but still holds appeal

Audi’s big A5 coupé is more genteel GT than hard-charging driver’s choice
4 Jan 2016
Visit/news/evonews/292648/le_mans_24_hours_2014_report.html
Audi A5 hatchback

Le Mans 24 Hours 2014 report

Audi stole a one-two finish with its dominant R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 at this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours, combating an early charge from Toyota and Po…
17 Jun 2014
Advertisement
Visit/audi/a5/7109/audi-a5-30-tdi-quattro-s-line-review-price-specs-and-0-60-time
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 3.0 TDI Quattro S-Line review - price, specs and 0-60 time

We drive the Audi A5 Coupe 3-litre TDI that sits at the top of the range
7 Feb 2012
Visit/audi/a5/11843/new-audi-a5-and-s5-news-and-pictures
Audi A5 hatchback

New Audi A5 and S5 news and pictures

Audi unveils updated versions of its A5 and S5 coupe, cabriolet and Sportback. News and pictures here
13 Jul 2011
Visit/audi/a5/10982/audi-rs5-official-pictures-audi-rs5-official-pictures
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi RS5 official pictures: Audi RS5 official pictures

Official images and details of the Audi RS5 4.2-litre V8 power, Quattro all wheel drive
22 Feb 2010
Visit/audi/a5/10976/audi-rs5-pictures-leaked-audi-rs5-pictures-leaked
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi RS5 pictures leaked: Audi RS5 pictures leaked

Images of the Audi RS5 performance car leak. 4.2-litre V8 power, Quattro all wheel drive
22 Feb 2010
Visit/audi/a5/6767/audi-a5-sportback-review-price-specs-and-0-60-time
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 Sportback review - price, specs and 0-60 time

Saloon rear meets coupe front meets dull dynamics. Good buy or goodbye?
12 Oct 2009
Visit/audi/a5/10346/audi-a5-sportback
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 Sportback

Audi reveals its segment straddling A5 Sportback in production form
16 Jul 2009
Advertisement
Visit/audi/a5/10257/audi-a5-sportback
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 Sportback

Audi creates yet another new niche with the five-door coupe A5 Sportback
17 Jun 2009
Visit/audi/a5/10079/audi-a5-sportback
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 sportback

We've scooped Audi's A5 Sportback, after a dramatic chase in East Germany
23 Apr 2009
Advertisement
Visit/audi/a5/9615/audi-a5-cabriolet-unveiled-audi-a5-cabriolet
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 cabriolet unveiled: Audi A5 cabriolet

Topless A5 here in spring 2009; S5 version gets a new engine
9 Dec 2008
Visit/audi/a5/6521/audi-a5-review-price-specs-and-0-60-time
Audi A5 hatchback

Audi A5 review - price, specs and 0-60 time

'Fast', 'agile' and 'diesel' in same sentence shocker - the Audi A5 springs a surprise
12 Jul 2007