The Audi A5 is a talented premium coupe that's well-built and comfortable, but it's beginning to feel its age

With the latest A5 Coupe, Audi has developed a refined and luxurious four-seater coupe, although it's not one that's particularly exciting to drive. That lack of drama is also reflected in the car's design, which can look a little understated in some trims when compared to the sharp BMW 4 Series and curvy Mercedes C-Class Coupe.

However, the cabin is fabulously built and crammed with technology, while a wide range of efficient TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines and a wealth of standard kit makes the A5 a competent all-round coupe that offers a bit more style than the A4 saloon on which it's based.

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Audi A5 40 TDI S line

The Audi A5 is the coupe spin-off of the A4 executive saloon. It's a spiritual successor to the Audi Coupe of the 1980s, as it offers sporty looks, but unlike the smaller TT, there's usable space for four inside. The original two-door A5 Coupe was launched in 2007, and remained on sale for nine years, which is a remarkably long time for a modern production model. It was joined by the A5 Cabriolet in 2009, while the five-door A5 Sportback also arrived in the same year.

All three were based on the same MLB platform as the A4 saloon, while the Mk2 arrived in 2016, based on the latest variant of MLB, which is designed to offer a sportier drive than its predecessor. Like the Mk1, the second generation is offered in two-door coupe and cabriolet forms, as well as the five-door Sportback.

Audi S5 vs Kia Stinger

There are four trim levels to choose from: Sport, S line, Black Edition and top-spec Vorsprung. Equipment levels are good; Sport models get 18-inch alloys, sat-nav and leather upholstery, while top-flight Vorsprung models come fully loaded with 20-inch alloys, uprated infotainment with Virtual Cockpit digital dials, LED Matrix headlights, nappa leather and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Audi offers a range of petrol and diesel engines in the A5. All petrol engines in the standard range are turbocharged four-cylinder units, badged 35 TFSI, 40 TFSI and 45 TFSI and coming with 148bhp, 187bhp and 242bhp respectively. There’s just one diesel – the four-cylinder 187bhp 40 TDI – which comes with a choice of front or four-wheel drive. Most models come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, with a six-speed manual offered as an option on the 40 TFSI model. Quattro four-wheel drive can be specified on 45 TFSI and 40 TDI models.

Smooth and comfortable but lacks the excitement you get from a BMW 4 Series
Economical on paper but almost 70mpg is tough to match in the real world
The A5 is not all that exciting from the outside, but a state-of-the-art cabin makes up for it
Despite the coupe body, the A5 is still reasonably practical with the biggest boot in its class
Top marks from Euro NCAP and a raft of kit makes it a safe family car

The RS 5 has a smaller engine at 2.9-litres, but the 450PS unit has 444bhp and is cloaked in a unique body to help mark the RS model from the rest of the range. The biggest difference between the S and RS models is the fact the S5 can be had in coupe, cabrio and Sportback bodystyles, but at the moment the RS 5 is only offered as a coupe.

BMW 4 Series vs Audi A5

The main rivals for the Audi A5 are the BMW 4 Series in all its guises, the Mercedes  C-Class and the Lexus RC.

Last updated: 
7 Aug, 2019