The four-seat Audi A5 remains one of the most pleasant and practical two-doors available, even after 17 years and four generations on the market. Available as a hardtop coupe or droptop convertible, the A5’s design invites your eyes and its handling invites your enthusiasm. While we review the four-door A5 Sportback separately, all A5 models—regardless of door count—feature standard all-wheel-drive and share a 261-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that mates to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Keen balance throughout delivers an entertaining driving experience without the harsher ride of pricier, more powerful A5-based models like the 349-hp S5 and the 444-hp RS5. Beautiful everywhere, there are a few luxury shortcuts in the cabin such as inadequately padded armrests. Still, the A5’s ease-of-use and generous cargo space makes it a surprisingly practical and well-rounded choice.
What’s New for 2024?
New standard features join the lineup. All models now come with a heated steering wheel with hands-on detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and parking assist, which can park the car for you. Audi also enabled remote starting through the MyAudi app. The exterior color palette adds Progressive Red Metallic in place of Tango Red, and Arkona White in place of Ibis White. Cars equipped with Navigation Package—optional on Premium Plus, standard above that—gain traffic sign recognition and predictive adaptive cruise control. Navigation unlocks a six-month subscription to the more full-featured Audi Connect Plus and Audi app store, an Audi-specific software interface for everything from weather and news to gaming and parking.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We recommend the mid-range Premium Plus trim level as the best balance of features and price, and we would add the Navigation Package for even more relaxed driving. This trim comes with desirable touches like Audi’s digital gauge display, surround-view camera, wireless charging pad, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio, and the new tech features. We also prefer the coupe; the $7,000 premium for a Premium Cabriolet could buy a Prestige coupe with all the trimmings. On the other hand, if you must go topless, the A5 Cabriolet costs many thousands less than the BMW 4 Series Convertible.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
We’re still waiting to get the latest A5 with its 261-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the C/D garage. Our last outing was with the earlier 252-hp engine. Gaining nine horses doesn’t change the fundamental character of the A5, though—a mix of hardy acceleration and a fondness for curves. The A5 sprinted to 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds, two blinks quicker than the 255-hp BMW 430i xDrive. Accurate and nicely weighted steering, an agile suspension, communicative chassis, and confident braking make the A5 easy to hustle down back roads. The Audi prefers long sweepers to tight spaghetti corners, but in either case, the Quattro all-wheel-drive system helps put power down when exiting tight bends.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The A5 coupe is estimated to return 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, but the highway rating drops to 31 mpg for the droptop variant. Once we run the A5 models on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate their real-world mpg. For more information about the A5’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Audi has long set the standard for cabins as subtly beautiful as they are solidly built. The A5 does the family proud with quality everywhere you look, the coupe as stylish and modern today as it was in 2007. Perception runs slightly ahead of the user experience, however. The leather-wrapped steering wheel lacks power-adjustment, narrow seat bottoms are made comfortable by manually extending the leg bolsters, and thin padding in the armrests reminds buyers that more luxurious Audis are further up the food and financial chains. The usual caveat about coupes and tight back seats applies here—rear seats, adults, and long trips don’t go well together. Lose the extra adults and long trips are a treat, the A5 hiding a roomy trunk behind its fold-flat rear seats.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi loads the A5 with digital features, especially on the upper trims. The 10.1-inch touchscreen atop the dashboard covers all the basics such as Bluetooth connections, USB connectivity, and Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Navigation Package adds a trial period of new features like Amazon Alexa integration, traffic data, connection to the Audi app store, and a wi-fi hotspot.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control are standard, but the A5’s more desirable driver-assistance features remain options. For more information about the A5’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward collision warning with automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi’s warranty is average for the segment, matching many of its rivals in coverage but exceeding none.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs