Audi A5 coupe (2007-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

Front-wheel-drive versions of the Audi A5 coupe are grippy and responsive in most conditions

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.8 out of 5

The Audi A5 coupe couldn't compete with the old BMW 3 Series Coupe for driving fun, and with the arrival of the BMW 4 Series, the gap between the two became even wider. The BMW's rear-wheel-drive layout is more entertaining and its steering has much more feel. Not that the A5 coupe is a massively inferior car, though. Front-wheel-drive versions are grippy and responsive in most conditions; the more expensive quattro system only proves its worth in extreme weather.

Body control is excellent. Black Edition Plus models have stiffer sports suspension and larger 19-inch wheels, which means the ride is pretty firm and on country roads you'll notice bumps and potholes send shudders through the steering wheel. We'd recommend the SE's softer suspension set-up, which you can 'downgrade' to at no extra cost.

Audi A5 diesel engines

The 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel Ultra model is our pick of the A5 coupe range if you're looking for maximum fuel economy, but it's an impressive performer, too. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 8.3 seconds and it doesn't run out of puff until 140mph. This model has also been lowered to reduce drag, but the suspension is no firmer and it glides over all but the harshest bumps.

Surprisingly, the slowest 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel A5 is the two-wheel-drive version with the Multitronic automatic gearbox. It does 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds, while the manual takes 7.7 and the S tronic 7.3 seconds. However, none can hold a candle to the 3.0-litre TDI quattro's 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds, which is quick for a petrol, never mind a diesel. Its top speed is limited to an autobahn-friendly 155mph.

Petrol engines

Smooth and refined as they are, there's little reason to choose a petrol A5 coupe over one of the diesels. Not only are these engines considerably less efficient, they also lack the diesels' muscular in-gear performance and capacity for relaxed high-speed cruising and heavy-duty towing. But if you must have a petrol, you’ll find them lively enough.

Even the basic 1.8-litre TFSI produces 175bhp and can do 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, while the 2.0-litre TFSI quattro uses its extra power (222bhp) and superior traction to complete the same sprint in a sports-car-rivalling 6.4 seconds.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    35 TFSI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,865

Most Economical

  • Name
    35 TDI Sport 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,105

Fastest

  • Name
    S5 TDI 341 Quattro 2dr Tiptronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £51,230

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