What is it?
It’s rare for the entry-level variant in a model range to be one of its brightest performers, but this revised Audi A5 coupé certainly hits the spot.
A mild facelift for the current model year adds reshaped bumpers, grilles, bonnets and front and rear light clusters. The already-appealing interior has gained some minor improvements too.
What’s it like?
More significantly, the four-cylinder 1.8-litre TFSI has been redesigned to incorporate a host of new technology. Although the changes are mainly focused on efficiency, compared to the previous 1.8, power is increased by 10bhp to 168bhp. Despite being the entry-level option, the 1.8 TFSI isn’t found wanting in any department; the 236lb ft of torque means there’s impressive low-end shove for a petrol unit and a 0-62mph sprint of 7.9sec means acceleration is perfectly adequate for most real-world driving situations.
The revised unit weighs 131.5kg, contributing to a kerb weight of 1425kg and giving this A5 Coupé a handling poise and deftness that some of its larger-engined, heavier relatives lack.
The A5’s ride, however, is less impressive, at least on the S-line version we tested. Although S-line trim includes some quality touches such as an exterior skirt package, upgraded, multi-function steering wheel and Nappa leather sports seats, it also includes sports suspension with stiffer spring settings and shock absorbers, as well as 18in tyres and wheels in place of the standard 17in ones.
On the UK’s roads the S-line set-up detracts from what is otherwise a calm, relaxing driving experience. There’s also new electromechanical steering that helps to improve fuel efficiency, although the system contributes to a sense of detachment at times when you’d like more driver involvement.
Audi reckons the revised engine offers fuel economy of 49.6mpg; our 500-mile test on a mixed selection of roads returned an average economy of 38.6mpg; some way short of the claimed figure, although it should be pointed out that our test car’s engine was still low on miles.