Audi A5 review - sharply-styled coupe is a big upgrade from old model - Page 4: Ride and handling

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

Evo rating
Price
from £30,700
  • Looks, interior, decent everyday usability
  • Requires active chassis to make the most of ride and handling

Ride and handling

The A5 is equipped with passive dampers as standard with active systems optional with both engines. Having tried both, the active dampers get the best from the A5’s chassis.

With the passive setup it’s a little two-dimensional, and the benefits of the weight Audi has chased out of the car’s MLB Evo platform are hard to find. While body control is measured and precise and grip plentiful, it’s a little flat when it comes to using the available performance. The steering is precise and alert, but lacks feedback and any useful chat from the front wheels.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

However, Audi’s active chassis heightens the damping, feedback and engagement levels. The rewards of the car’s weight loss are a lot easier to explore. In Dynamic mode, the dampers are too firm for UK roads, but leave it in Auto and the A5 feels natural and within its limits when being hustled along. It’s no S5, which has a greater level of feedback and interaction, but for what will be considered a ‘regular’ car the A5 offers a genuine alternative to a 4-series, so long as you pick your spec wisely.

On more mundane journeys and with the dampers in comfort mode the ride is pliant and controlled without constantly fidgeting and struggling to settle. It’s the same if the S Line suspension and 19-inch wheels are fitted. In short, spend your money on the active dampers and forgo the virtual cockpit.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The quattro system is unobtrusive and you need to be on a loose surface doing your best Walter Rohrl impression if you’re to notice the speed of the torque split between front and rear axles. What this means on the road is a good balance and an almost complete eradication of understeer.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019