The Audi A5 is a classy coupé, hatchback and cabriolet, but are there talents beneath the pretty bodywork?
First DriveAudi replaces the oldest model in its line-up – and not before time. We drive the all-new A5 coupé in V6 diesel form
First DriveLow-CO2 fleet special brings new appeal to already-appealing Audi coupe. Not much fun, but plenty going for it otherwise
What is it?
The Audi A5 2.0 TSI, which features a 2.0-litre blown motor featuring Audi’s more sophisticated ‘Valvelift’ induction technology.
The engine is available in two states of tune – 178bhp and 208bhp – and with either front- or Quattro four-wheel drive; it’s the more powerful Quattro we’re testing here.
What’s it like?
We thought the 1.8-litre turbo version of this car was good; the 2.0-litre’s even better, and makes the A5 fast, refined and economical too.
Its 208bhp may not sound like a lot, but it’s torque that provides this car’s zealous performance. There’s 258lb ft of the stuff available from 1500- to 4200rpm, and in addition to making this car capable of scrambling to 62mph in 6.5sec and hitting 153mph flat out it gives prodigious mid-range urge.
Quite why you’d ever buy a 3.2-litre petrol V6 in the light of that, which is thirstier, slower, higher on CO2, and only has 243lb ft of twist, seems mysterious to put it mildly.
Point it down your nearest interesting road and you’ll find this car feels planted and precise to drive. The Quattro permanent four-wheel drive gives it an aura of invincible sure-footedness, and though it’s clearly not quite as agile as a 3-series coupe, the A5 generates real satisfaction for the driver in its own way.
The engine feels a little reluctant at high revs, but only because it generates so much torque lower in the range.
You’ll need to be on a long and conservative run to get anywhere near Audi’s claim of 38.2mpg for fuel economy; our test route, which took in a mix of urban roads and motorways, showed that 32mpg will be closer to your everyday return. But for such a big-performing car, that’s not to be sniffed at.
Should I buy one?
If you want the A5 with the broadest catalogue of talents (we’d count refinement, decent economy, handsome looks, a spectacularly turned-out cabin, pace and sporting appeal among them), and you want it at the right price, look no further.
The same caveats apply here as they do throughout the A5 range; sport suspension compromises the car’s ride quality too much to be worth the outlay, but if you go for standard springs you’ll end up with a car that’s comfortable to ride in as well as being enjoyable to drive.
A 3.0-litre TDi has marginally better economy, but on a like-for-like specification basis, the six-pot diesel will cost you over £3000 more and it’s not quite as hushed. And though it’s slightly faster, the TDi doesn’t feel as athletic to drive.