Expert Reviews

UK Drive: Audi A5

Thursday 01 December 2016

UK Drive: Audi A5
Summary

Ever since it was released back in 2007, the Audi A5 has been an incredibly popular car. It was perfect for those customers who were in the market for a handsome, economical coupe – and it sold in droves as a result. Nine years later, Audi has completely redesigned the desirable coupe.

The A5 is now lighter and sleeker-looking than ever before. The weight saving also mean it’s economy has improved. Audi has thrown plenty of new technology at it as well, finally putting it on par kit-wise with more recent models such as the A4.

Looks & Image

The first-generation A5 was a handsome looking thing, and the new model carries this trend on. The roofline is now lower, and while it does slightly affect headroom, it gives the A5 an imposing stance on the road. SE and Sport models come with 17-inch alloys as standard, while S Line cars gain 18-inch alloys.

As you would expect from the German manufacturer, build quality is sound, with everything feeling incredibly well put together.

Space & Practicality

Compromised practicality comes part in parcel with coupe ownership, so the A5 was never going to be a hugely practical thing. While there is plenty of space up front for two passengers, room in the back comes at a premium. Headroom is affected by the sloping roofline, and legroom can be hard to find – particularly if you’re sat behind a taller driver or front passenger.

The boot offers a pleasing 465 litres of storage space with the rear seats up. Thanks to a deep boot floor, it manages to carry larger objects with ease.

However, if you’re looking for a car that is capable of carrying a wide array of items, the A5 likely won’t be the vehicle for you.

Behind the Wheel

Our test car was fitted with the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which will likely prove to be the most popular in the UK. It offered good throttle response, with plenty of pulling power in all gears. The seven-speed automatic transmission was smooth and responsive – even more so in sport mode.

While the A5’s ride was rather firm – amplified even further by the Sport specification of our test car – on flatter surfaces it wasn’t too noticeable. Rutted country lanes unsettled the A5 a fair amount though, and we felt quite a few bangs and jolts in the cabin. Tyre roar can be intrusive as well.

While the steering is more than capable, it doesn’t provide the driver with much in the way of feedback. The flat-bottomed steering wheel fitted to our car looked great, and the paddle shifters were well-weighted.

If you’re after a long-distance cruiser, the A5 would make for an ideal machine. While the ride can be a bit hard at times, this can be avoided somewhat by opting for smaller wheel options.

Value for Money

Due to the premium badge that adorns the A5, expect a higher asking price. Entry-level models start at £30,700, increasing to £41,375 for the 3.0-litre diesel with Quattro four-wheel drive. The flagship S5 tops the range, and starts at £47,000.

A5s in Sport specification come with a generous amount of standard kit, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and three-zone climate control. Cruise control, sat nav and a multi-function three-spoke steering wheel are also included.

As with all Audis, the options list is extensive, and can add a huge amount of money onto the base price of the A5 if you aren’t careful.

Who would buy one ?

Anyone in the market for a coupe that carries a premium image, strong residual values and an economical range of engines will find the A5 a tempting option. With the right engine, it won’t be too costly to keep the car topped up with fuel, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the odd B-road blast when the mood takes you.

Thanks to a healthy amount of standard kit, you won’t find the need to look at the options list too overpowering. All-up, this is a smart, well-built, premium coupe that drives well and won’t cost the earth to run – provided you pick one of the more economical engines.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Audi A5 2.0 TDI (£39,680 as tested)

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Performance: 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds, top speed 146mph

Power: 189bhp, 400Nm

Economy: 19.3mpg (combined)

Emissions: 111g/km CO2

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