- More muscular styling
- Powerful yet frugal diesels
- Comfortable ride
- Fantastic interior
- Rivals are better to drive
- Not much room in the back
- Expensive options
- No hybrid version yet
The original Audi A5 Coupe went down as something of a style icon among fans of the brand, but its subtle looks were at times hard to distinguish from the four-door A4 Saloon.
You can’t say the same for the more brutish second-generation model, though. With its lowered front grille, bulging bonnet and razor-sharp wave line along the side, it has gained an identity all of its own.
This is ramped-up further with the RS 5: it delves into Audi's geneaology to adopt the striking jawline and bulging flanks of ancestral Quattros.
Familiar engine range
Suiting the Audi A5’s more sporting nature, it eschews some of the lesser-powered engines from the A4 range and features power from 190hp to 354hp for the mainstream models in the range.
You get the same 2.0-litre units, plus the more potent 3.0-litre V6 diesel pair, and finally a 3.0-litre petrol engine in the S5 for serious performance.
Place an R in front of that S, and you find 450hp in the RS 5, though with a 2.9-litre V6 rather than the V8 of previous years.
Quattro all-wheel drive is of course available, and there’s a mix of six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and eight-speed traditional auto gearboxes on offer.
Improved handling in line with A4
While the A5’s driving dynamics still don’t match up with its coupe pretensions, the new model is a big improvement on the old one.
You still get the same car-on-rails traction levels with Quattro all-wheel drive but it’s married to more feelsome and well-weighted steering this time around. Adaptive and Dynamic suspension options add to an already capable design.
Pick one of the faster diesel engines and you’ve got a great balance of power, precision and economy.
New cockpit with plenty of tech
Step inside the A5 and you’ll instantly recognise the dashboard layout from the Audi Q7 and A4. This is a good thing, because the German manufacturer’s current interior styling is seriously on point.
As well as an elegant and simplistic layout, you get the same climate control buttons and MMI controller for the large LCD screen.
Spec the optional Virtual Cockpit digital instruments and you can flick between a sat-nav display, media information and trip computer data while leaving the main screen free for other functions.
The Parkers Verdict
Sensibly keeping many of the striking details of the original A5, the second generation model has evolved into a handsome coupe that turns heads on the road without being overwrought or garishly detailed.
Inside it sets new benchmarks for automotive interior design without losing core ergonomic requirements; the substance behind the style makes the A5 an accomplished long-distance companion regardless of engine choice.
Porsche input on the RS 5 contributes to the fastest model's astonishingly rapid pace and efficiency, though it's a little too capable to be truly fun on the road - at least in the UK. It is, however, a highly rational choice for supercar-style performance you can live with daily.
Read on for full Parkers Audi A5 Coupe review.