Audi A5 new car review
Refined high performance luxury coupés are a niche market and aimed at very discerning buyers who demand outstanding driving dynamics and cosseted comfort.
Brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Lexus occupy this territory and so too does Audi whose latest sleekly-styled A5 model offers plush techno-laden cabin and sharp performance and handling in an overall package very hard to resist.
The new A5 is slightly longer and a tad narrower than its predecessor, with subtle styling details giving it a potent yet classy image. Prices start at £32,140 and every A5 comes with xenon headlamps, cruise control, 17-inch alloys, climate control, LED running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and Audi’s MMI infotainment system.
There are various petrol and diesel engines in the line-up and my test model utilised the 2.0 litre 187 hp diesel mated to a 7-speed auto gearbox and in sporty S Line trim. This version is priced at £38,100 though several added options including larger alloys and enhanced technology and assistance packages took the price to £43,285. The 0-60 mph time is just 7.7 seconds, top speed 146 mph and the fuel economy 67.3 mpg combined.
Use of aluminium and other lightweight materials means the A5 is 60kg lighter, and with its revised sports chassis gives wonderfully assured handling. The engine is eager yet smooth and quiet and the power delivery through the auto gearshift feels immediate and effortless. Suspension is understandably firm but still provides excellent ride comfort and some versions have the option of adaptive damping.
Inside, the cabin has a premium look and feel, and the Audi virtual cockpit – a £250 option – replaces the analogue dials with a screen and adds a futuristic touch. Seating is exceptionally comfortable and the rear seats are roomy for two adults, with decent head room despite a sloping roofline. The boot space is wide and deep at 465 litres – the largest in the class.
Overall, the A5 S Line, with its purposeful looks and engaging driving dynamics, makes a strong statement and given that the Audi brand has cooler street credibilty than its main rivals, in latest form the A5 has a telling edge in a sector which is fiercely fought.
FOR: Audi brand status, superb driving dynamics.
AGAINST: Hard to fault!