The rear exterior of a green Audi A5

Audi A5 review

Sporty and elegant, the Audi A5 coupe has a beautiful interior with high-quality materials and a second to none finish. It also has plenty of kit and a state-of-the-art infotainment system.

Pros

  • Sporty and elegant styling across the range
  • Brilliant for longer journeys
  • Superb interiors

Cons

  • Coupe shape means less head space in the back
  • Higher than average running costs
  • Not the sportiest four-door coupe

Summary

“There’s a wide range of models, trims and engines to choose from.”

The Audi A5 coupe is beautifully designed with long elegant lines, a great range of engines and offers excellent comfort. Even the back seats provide reasonable space for a coupe. 

There are frugal diesel versions that can handle long journeys effortlessly, plenty of petrol models and performance models, such as the S5 and RS5.

The entry-level Sport is well equipped with sat nav and front and rear parking, while the top of the range Vorsprung comes with 19 Bang & Olufsen speakers. 

The second generation, which came out in 2016, has a dynamic looking exterior and lots of tech, such as the Virtual Cockpit, which is Audi’s digital speedometer that can be personalised to suit your preferences. The trim level options were also simplified. 

Many new owners will have fitted optional extras, like navigation and adaptive cruise control, which are good to look out for when buying used.

Gear stick shot of the Audi A5

What's the interior like?

“Audi interiors are near perfect while the Sportback gives you more practicality if you need it.”

Audi really does interiors well with superb materials, clean design and controls that are easy to use. Adjusting features such as audio or vehicle settings is easy, thanks to a simple dial on the infotainment system. 

The screen sits on top of the dashboard to avoid distractions and essential information is available in front of you in the digital speedometer. 

The 2016 models have a bigger dash-top infotainment screen, the option of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster and stylish trim inserts that enhance the executive look.

There’s a great amount of legroom for those in the front but the back seats can be a squash for teenagers and adults. The front doors are huge and can be an issue in busy car parks, although this is better with the Sportback, as its two rear doors make access easier.

The boot space is 465 litres, which is enough space for three large suitcases. Pre-2016 Sportbacks have a slightly bigger boot while the convertibles have boots which are 100 litres smaller.

The interior of an Audi A5 with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“What it lacks in dynamic character it makes up for in ride comfort.”

All models are great to drive. With the exception of the performance versions, they’re comfortable over long distances and more than capable of driving quickly on country roads. They’re also at home in the city.

Suspension can be a bit firm, particularly on models with sports suspension, and larger wheels can also make the drive less comfortable. Audi Drive Select allows you to change driving settings which means you can be set up for performance or comfort.

The steering isn't as precise as BMW’s but the A5 always feels sure-footed and capable of putting a smile on your face.

Diesel engines deliver excellent power and fuel economy but aren't as smooth as the petrol models. The manual gearbox is excellent but the A5 is generally a sports cruiser so the automatic versions suit it best.

The exterior of a green Audi A5

Is the Audi A5 cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Going sleek and sporty usually means having to pay more.”

All models offer great value but you’ll pay a bit more for S-Line equipped versions and the Sportback, while convertibles and those with manual gearboxes are generally a bit cheaper. Prices are similar to those of BMW and Mercedes. The diesels will give you up to 64 mpg with petrols delivering up to mid 40s for the 1.8 TFSi.

With the exception of the entry-level diesels, most models sit in higher insurance groups, but so does the BMW 4 Series, and road tax rates are also similar. Servicing is also not going to be cheap.

Fascia shot of the Audi A5

How reliable and safe is it?

“The A5 promises good reliability and excellent safety.”

Like most Audis, the A5 has a good reputation for reliability with only minor issues. If you’re buying an early model though, remember that any problems that do occur outside of warranty will be expensive to fix. 

Safety is excellent with a five-star Euro NCAP rating as well as a wide range of equipment and driver assistance systems, even more so in the latest generation.

Engine shot of the Audi A5

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.0 TDie

Best for family - 2.0 TFSI Sportback

Best for fun - RS5

The A5 Sportback is pretty practical with four passenger doors and a boot lid that opens to a decent amount of boot space. It’s no wonder it’s so popular.

If you’re looking for great economy then go the 2.0 TDi route, but if you want more power then the 3.0 TDi engine is superb. Mid-range petrols like the 180 hp 2.0 TFSI are smooth, delivering just the right amount of power to suit most. If it’s raw performance you're after, then the RS5 is a true driver's choice.

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