Carzone drives the newly-revised 2017 Audi A5 Coupe on Irish roads
Pros: More road presence, impressive interior, comfortable drive
Cons: Rear seat room, rivals more engaging to drive
Audi has introduced a new second generation A5 for 2017, encompassing updated Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet models, which are based on the same platform as the brand’s best-selling A4. This review will focus on the A5 Coupe, which offers style and sophistication in a sporty two door package. With more distinct muscular looks, the new A5 Coupe certainly has road presence, and it makes for an enticing alternative to the BMW 4 Series the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. We spent a week with the new Audi A5 Coupe shortly after its Irish launch, to see how well it is suited to Irish roads and how it has evolved for 2017.
What is it like?
The styling of the new Audi A5 Coupe hasn’t changed hugely from its predecessor, but that’s a good thing, as it has always been a good looking car. Eagle-eyed enthusiasts will notice a flatter and wider front grille along with a new swooping line which runs along the car’s side, while there are newly-shaped LED lights at the rear which look especially good at night time. Our test car is a high specification ‘S-Line’ model and it is kitted out with lots of sporty styling features, including 18-inch five arm alloy wheels and full LED headlights up front, while the body is finished in a neutral Manhattan Grey colour scheme.
Inside, the new Audi A5 Coupe has taken a real step forward with higher quality materials throughout and a 7-inch TFT display screen in the dashboard, which lends the cabin a cleaner-cut feel. The seats are supportive and comfortable for front seat passengers with plenty of room, though seat space in the rear is restricted to two passengers only and legroom isn’t its strongest asset. Audi’s MMI user interface is presented clearly on the display screen and it’s easy to use from the main dial located in front of the gear lever. Our test car also has Audi’s vibrant Virtual Cockpit Display which is an optional accessory and a real talking point, but lower specification models make do with a smaller display between the speed dials.
Audi will offer the new A5 Coupe with a new range of different petrol and diesel engines, and our test car is fitted with the one that is most likely to appeal to Irish buyers; the 190bhp 2.0-litre TDI. With front wheel drive, the A5 Coupe can cover 0-100km/h in under eight seconds and it will go on to an eventual top speed of 238km/h. While some of its rivals are faster and more powerful, that is good performance and it feels perfectly suited to higher motorway speeds. Those seeking more power can opt for a larger 3.0-litre TDI six cylinder diesel unit that produces 286hp. There is also choice of a six speed manual gearbox or Audi’s seven-speed dual clutch S Tronic automatic transmission, our test car using the latter. Fuel economy was good during our test and annual road tax for this engine comes in at €200.
The A5 Coupe offers an engaging drive and handles well out on the road, with S-Line models getting sports suspension as standard. It’s not quite as responsive in tight turns as BMW’s rear wheel-driven 4 Series, but it feels surefooted and planted nonetheless, especially on wet roads. Those seeking improved comfort can opt for optional adaptive dampers at an extra cost, which helps the A5 Coupe to electronically soak up road imperfections, but it does this very well in standard trim. Drive select modes include comfort, auto and dynamic, which alters the A5 Coupe’s throttle response, steering and the adaptive damper settings (if fitted).
Prices for the new Audi A5 Coupe start from €46,660 or from €509 per month with PCP finance for the entry level SE model. Specification is good with Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, Audi’s MMI navigation system, front and rear parking sensors, Audi’s drive select and 18-inch alloy wheels all featured as standard. Opting for the higher specification S Line model gets you full LED headlights with dynamic rear indicators, and S Line interior and exterior styling pack and sportier five spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. Our test car had some really interesting additional features in Audi’s virtual cockpit display, and safety features including Pre sense collision warning, parking aid and a reversing camera.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
With more muscular styling and a significantly -improved interior, the new A5 Coupe has now gained its own identity and stands out from the rest of Audi’s range for all of the right reasons. It isn’t quite as engaging to drive as BMW 4 Series, nor as eye catching as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, however the majority of buyers will be impressed with the A5 Coupe’s all-rounding capabilities and how reassuring it is to drive on Irish roads. The cabin is superb, and we would encourage the addition of Audi’s optional virtual cockpit display system if budget allows.