The Audi A5 is a classy coupé, hatchback and cabriolet, but are there talents beneath the pretty bodywork?
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What is it?
This is the Audi A5 2.0 TFSI 180, a detuned version of the 208bhp A5 2.0 TFSI. This A5 is 31bhp down on its more powerful sibling, but that brings the cheapest Audi A5 under the 160g/km CO2 threshold that lets companies write off twice the cost of its depreciation against tax.
That’s not a very exciting way of starting a first drive, but that’s why the Audi A5 2.0 TFSI 180 exists.
Other than that it’s all standard-issue A5, although there’s no quattro version of this car.
What’s it like?
The engine in the Audi A5 2.0 TFSI 180 is a nice piece of work – smooth and quiet with a satisfying amount of kick once it gets going.
You could do a lot worse than have one of VW Group’s turbocharged four-cylinder engines in your cheapest model. These motors have an uncanny amount of torque (236lb ft) from low revs. They’re quiet, smooth and refined at speed, with decent in-gear punch; you can feel the turbo working, which I rather like.
The only problem is that the torque easily overwhelms the A5 2.0 TFSI 180’s front wheels. Poke the throttle hard in first and second and it’s all over the place. The full 236lb ft piles in from 1500rpm, which makes this A5 feel a little like a well-sorted turbodiesel, until the torque steer kicks in. You can drive round it, and then it’s fast and refined, but it gets a bit uncoordinated in the wet.
The A5 2.0 TFSI 180 doesn’t ride too well though. Even in Comfort mode the A5 jiggles about too much and becomes almost unbearable in its Dynamic setting, especially in the city.
Should I buy one?
There’s a lot to like about the A5 2.0 TFSI 180: it looks great, the cabin’s beautifully made and you can just about fit an adult in the rear. The 2.0 TFSI 180 is also a great engine, but this A5 could do with four-wheel drive to smooth out the effect it has on the front wheels.
If you’re bothered by that sort of thing, buy the 208bhp 2.0 TFSI quattro instead. The TFSI 180 isn’t a bad choice though, and if it’s a company car your fleet manager will no doubt be very pleased.