Review

Audi A5 coupe

£29,190 - £44,865

The Audi A5 is a good-looking, mid-size, two-door coupe that goes head-to-head with models such as the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes C-Class coupe. From launch, Audi got the model's design right, which explains why it's changed very little in the seven years the car has been on sale. Of course, that's a long time for a modern car and if you're tempted to buy an A5 coupe, you should know that it's likely to be replaced in 2016 by an all-new model with an updated range of engines plus all the latest technology.

Despite its strong image, the current model depreciates relatively quickly and the prospect of an all-new model won't help in this respect. The flipside is that you should be able to negotiate a good deal on this current version. It'll certainly be time well spent, as the A5 coupe is a comfortable and well equipped coupe, powered by a choice of lively yet extremely economical engines. Easily the most impressive in this respect is the 2.0-litre TDI Ultra. It's capable of 67.3mpg and costs only £20 to tax, yet can launch the A5 from 0-62mph in just 8.3 seconds. At the other extreme is the S5, equipped with a 3.0-litre petrol engine and four-wheel drive (called quattro by Audi). It can do 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, but can manage only 36.6mpg for a road tax bill of £225. The even faster RS5 is reviewed separately.

Fortunately, you don't have to buy the expensive S5 to experience the benefits of four-wheel drive (such as better traction and more secure handling in poor conditions) as most versions of the A5 coupe are available with quattro. Otherwise, the model's standard set-up is safe and predictable front-wheel drive, whereas its Mercedes and BMW rivals use sportier rear-wheel drive. In addition, there's a choice of manual or automatic transmission. For this class of car, the latter is the more desirable and often the more economical, too.

There are three core trim levels: SE, S line and Black Edition Plus. Even the 'basic' SE has lots of kit, including alloy wheels, a 10-speaker stereo including DAB digital radio and heated leather seats. Our pick, however, is S line, with its sportier looks and additional equipment, all for a modest additional cost.

The A5 isn't the roomiest coupe in its class and the rear is particularly cramped. Neither, is it the smoothest-riding executive coupe you can but – unless it's in SE trim. Fortunately, this model's softer suspension is a no-cost option on sportier versions. Regardless of the trim level, the interior appears to be well screwed together and the whole car exudes an air of quality.

That said, the A5's reliability and build quality ratings in our Driver Power 2015 owner satisfaction survey aren't wildly impressive. Fortunately, six airbags, front and rear parking sensors and electronic stability control mean its safety credentials are.