There can be no arguing about how good the Audi A5 has always looked. Whether it's the Coupe or the Sportback that you're looking at, there's no denying the attractiveness of the vehicle. This is how it's been since the car was first launched back in 2007. In 2016, Audi released images of the second generation, 2017, Audi A5. When it comes to the looks of the vehicle, Audi took their typical stance of, “if it's not broke... don't fix it.”
So here it is, the second-generation Audi A5. You'd be forgiven for thinking that it doesn't look much different. I can remember when I saw the images for the first time, I thought "wow... how… eh… well... it looks the same". Here's the thing though, when I met the new A5, in both Coupe and Sportback form, I realised that the devil is in the detail. Up close, the new A5 is what I would consider to be a more defined and more refined vehicle. Yes, from thirty paces back, it looks the same. But step a little closer and you'll notice the bolder curves and the sleeker, more sculpted, “Tornado” line running along the side (what a great name for a line on a car - Tornado line). The bonnet looks better too, with two new lines in the centre, which give the car a downward and more aggressive stance.
The most noticeable changes to the new Audi A5 is the technology within. The car is now smarter and safe than ever. It helps that it comes with an entry-level 190bhp engine too! The new Audi A5 comes with an array of safety equipment as standard, including; Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Monitoring technologies.
If you do opt for an Audi A5 – ask for the tech pack!
As Audi are updating their cars, we notice that they are now becoming equipped with the latest Audi MMI equipment and the Audi Virtual Cockpit. I haven't done a review of an infotainment system recently without comparing it to what's now on offer from Audi. They are at the top of their game, and they are the guys to beat when it comes to in-car systems. The TFT display in the driver's cockpit is a pleasure to look at and browse as you drive along. Because everything you need can show up in the driver's instrument cluster, it means that there can be less time spent looking down to your left at the centre console and more time spent keeping your eyes on the road. Everything is digital in the display and you can even take-up the entire instrument binnacle with a 3D google map. It looks great. I've recently complimented Volvo on the appearance of their own infotainment system within the 90 Series - it looks great. However, it is nowhere near as easy to use as the Audi MMI system. The bad news is that the stunning TFT functionality is not a standard option. If you don’t go for the fancy google maps display, the standard display is still digital, but nowhere near as classy.
Our Audi MMI review
Whether you have the tech package or not, the car still benefits from some great technology. Special mention should go to the Irish-based (Sandyford, Co. Dublin) company, Cubic Telecom, who are supplying the embedded 4G SIM cars for Wi-Fi technology to Audi internationally. That’s a big gig! With this technology, your car benefits from in-car Wi-Fi connectivity. You can use this to tether to your phone. Having the 4G in your car also allows the car to connect to various in-car apps on the internet, including; internet apps that bring you news, weather information, Twitter, parking information for the area in which you are driving, entertainment information, petrol prices and much more. Watch our infotainment review above to see more of these features.
We've driven both the Coupe and the Sportback versions of this car, but for this review we look at the more practical Sportback. The front cabin is the same between the two cars. There is plenty of head, shoulder and leg space, and our test model offered plenty of seating and steering variations.
The rear of the five-door Sportback is obviously a lot more practical than the three-door coupe. Despite the sloping roof to the rear, head room is not bad back there (I’m just under 6-foot - taller passengers may complain), and the boot is competitive with the likes of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The only negative in the back-seating area is the transmission tunnel in the middle. This means that if you have three adult passengers to the rear, one of them will have to put their feet either side of it, which takes away from the leg comfort of the two side passengers.
On the road
Our test car came with Audi’s excellent 7-Speed S-Tronic gearbox. This is very easy to live with. The car feels low and close to the ground and you can feel it grip when you take corners. Cornering creates very little body roll, and the steering is precise. Our test vehicle was powered by a 2.0-litre TDI engine which offered 190bhp. The Audi A5 Sportback is at home on the motorway, and its sound insulation works well in keeping things hushed in the cabin. The 2.0 TDI engine can be heard when put under pressure, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. On-paper, we are told that both the manual and automatic versions of this car will bring you from 0-100km/h in just 7.9 seconds.
Entry level pricing for the A5 starts from €48,750 according to Audi Ireland’s website. For that cash, you will get the 2.0-litre TDI engine with a very nice six-speed gearbox. I say, “very nice”, because I’ve tried it in the Coupe version of the A5, and its short shifts added a bit of fun to the car. However, in a car like this, I would be more inclined to opt for the seven-speed auto option (which starts from €51,050). I’m yet to test the 3.0 TDI version which offers 218hp… so we’ll leave that story for another day!
View used Audi A5 cars for sale here.