Review: Audi A5 Coupe

Review: Audi A5 Coupe
Review: Audi A5 Coupe

Our recent Audi test car had a plethora of badges adorning its bodywork. There was the one identifying the manufacturer, one specifying the model and another detailing its engine credentials.
Most importantly, though, was the one declaring “quattro”.

Yes, you will find this badge on pretty much any of the firm’s output nowadays but here it was attached to a bone fide two-door coupe with a beefy petrol engine and sporty pretentions, evoking memories of the classic quattro coupes of the 80s and 90s.

The car in question is a A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro 252PS S line S tronic.Try saying that quickly. What it boils down to is a two-door, four-wheel-drive coupe with a 249bhp petrol engine, automatic gearbox and as much sporty trim as you can shake a stick at.

Audi A5 Coupe

The four-cylinder engine is the most powerful unit available in the A5 Coupe this side of the V6 in the RS5 and is perhaps the car’s strongest card. It’s silky smooth and most of the time virtually inaudible. Even at higher revs there’s not a lot of noise, unless you engage sport mode at which point it produces a nice sharp throaty note.

A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI quattro 252PS S line S tronic

Price: £48,365
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol
Power: 249bhp
Torque: 273lb/ft
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Economy: 47.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 144g/km

That smoothness and quietness mean that it’s also deceptively quick. Thanks to the quattro system you can stamp on the throttle and it will simple surge forward without any drama. In-gear acceleration is even more impressive – it’s very easy to overtake someone and very quickly be going much faster than you intended.

The complex four-wheel-drive setup and some seriously wide 19-inch alloys also help keep the A5 planted when you’re doing more than just going in a straight line. On any road and in any conditions it feels grippy, secure and capable, eating up miles of road effortlessly.

For all its power, pace and grip, though, the A5 isn’t the last word in driver involvement. The steering is accurate but a tad lifeless and the refinement that serves it so well on the daily slog sometimes feels like it’s isolating you too much from the drive. Make no mistake, you’ll make rapid cross-country progress in it but you might not feel like you are.

Such things are always a balance, though. For a lot less you could buy a Honda Civic Type R that would properly thrill and involve you. But after two hours at the wheel you’d feel like you needed the services of a chiropractor and a lie down. In the Audi you could cross a continent at pace and you’d still feel as fresh as a daisy at the other end.

Audi A5 Coupe

That’s helped by a cabin ambience that’s hard to rival. As with every Audi the materials, fit and finish are impeccable. The S line sports seats are grippy but comfortable and the raft of driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control and active lane assist make piloting the A5 almost effortless.

Despite being a top-spec car our test model came with a good dollop of options. I could live without the £50 ashtray and cigarette lighter but not without the excellent head-up display. It works brilliantly, projecting all the most important data – your speed, current speed limit, navigation instructions – onto the glass in front of you, reducing time spent glancing away from the road.

The test car also included the technology pack that includes the pioneering configurable virtual cockpit display, wireless phone charging, internet connectivity and wifi hotspot as well sat nav featuring Google Earth and Street View mapping and dynamic route guidance with traffic updates.

While the coupe name and quattro badge might bring up memories of the fierce cars of the 80s and 90s this current A5 is really a different prospect. It’s still quick and capable but with a thick veneer of comfort and refinement on top that make it an easy companion for day-to-day life.

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