Sleek new Audi A5 dazzles in the premium Coupe sector
The previous-generation A5 was hugely popular. Will the all-new version do as well and live up to its predecessor's success? Jack Evans finds out...
What is it?
The Audi A5 enjoyed a huge amount of popularity following its release in 2007. Ideal for those looking for a smartly designed, but economical coupe, it dominated the market segment. Now, nine years on, it's been completely redesigned - a simple refresh this isn't.
Now, it's sleeker than ever before and also lighter, making for a far more economical vehicle. It also features some of Audi's most up-to-date technology, bringing it in line with some of the German car maker's more recent models, like the popular A4.
Looks and image
The original A5 was a sleek machine, and the latest edition isn't any different. It's got a lower roofline than the outgoing model and although this does affect interior headroom, it gives the A5 a purposeful look on the road. As standard, SE and Sport models come fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, while S Line models get larger 18-inch versions. Both sizes suit the car well, and manage to fill the arches nicely.
Audi is still keeping its reputation for creating premium cars firmly intact, and thankfully the new A5 is an extension of this. Everything is put together beautifully, while the cabin's design is up-to-date without being too over laden with technology.
Space and practicality
Of course, being a coupe means the A5 is never going to be able to offer the very best in terms of practicality. That said, up front there's plenty of space for passengers with a decent amount of storage areas swallowing up items such as water bottles and sunglasses. The rear of the car, however, is a slightly different story. That sloping roofline really hampers headroom, and there's not a huge amount of leg room either. With a six-foot driver in front, rear passengers will struggle to fit. It's best for smaller children really.
Boot space is respectable, at 465 litres with the seats up. It's quite deep too, which allows it to swallow up larger items with ease. This can be increased thanks to rear seats that split 40:20:40, giving greater storage flexibility.
The Audi A5 isn't the best option if you're looking to transport a wide variety of items, but for the most part it does well and will easily cope with day-to-day demands.
Behind the wheel
The original A5 offered a relatively involving drive, no matter which engine was under the bonnet. We tested the 2.0-litre diesel, which will no doubt be the most popular. Throttle response is good, and it pulls well in any gear. Speaking of cogs, the seven-speed automatic gearbox fitted to our test car shifted nicely, and was even more responsive in sport mode.
The car's ride sat very much on the firm side of things, especially in the Sport specification car that we tested. On flatter surfaces, the ride wasn't too noticeable, but on bumpier country lanes it became quite unsettled, and would transfer a fair few jolts to the cabin. There was quite a lot of tyre roar, too.
The steering is pleasant enough, though it doesn't give much feedback. The flat-bottomed steering wheel in our test car was of a nice design, while the paddles mounted to either side of it have a good amount of weight to them.
The Audi A5 is a very good car for those looking to go long distances in comfort. The ride is a little bit on the harsh side, but you could combat this by choosing the smaller wheel options.
Value for money
The Audi A5 is a premium car, and as such commands a slightly raised asking price. Base spec cars start at £30,700, rising to £41,375 for the 3.0-litre diesel with Quattro four-wheel-drive technology. Of course, at the top of the range sits the S5, though this comes with a £47,000 base price.
Sport model cars get a good amount of standard equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights and three-zone climate control. You'll also find cruise control, satellite navigation and a three-spoke leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel. In short, there's more than enough equipment on board to keep most people happy.
Of course, being an Audi means there's a very long options list - but go easy with these and the Audi A5 can represent pretty good value for money.
Who would buy one?
The Audi A5 is ideal for someone looking for a car with a premium image, good residuals and low running costs. With some fuel-efficient engines on offer, it won't cost the earth to run, but will still be exciting when the roads get twisty. It's not the most spacious, that's for sure, but with a decent-sized boot it isn't as impractical as you might think a coupe would be.
With plenty of standard equipment there's no need to look at the options list too much, which is one less thing to think about for people who are considering purchasing a smart, well-finished premium coupe.