The Audi A5 coupe and convertible are sleek and supple, providing relaxed yet sporty dynamics in a tidy package.
There's an entirely new family of Audi A5 models on the way next year, for the 2018 model year. And while that means the 2017 Audi A5 lineup has lame-duck status, we certainly wouldn't discourage you from this year's model.
The current A5 (and S5) lineup is one of Audi's best-designed, best-conceived affordable luxury coupes ever-a car with styling that's been widely imitated and a cabin layout and overall ambience that's considered a benchmark by designers.
Although they're looking and feeling a little long in the tooth, these models earn a solid 7.4 out of 10 in our new ratings system. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The entire Audi A5 lineup of convertible (Cabriolet) and coupe models carries over to 2017 with zero changes. The convertible and coupe carry over in base and fast S5 and RS 5 models. All are built on the underpinnings of the previous-generation (pre-2017) A4. We review the sporty S5 and high-performance RS 5 separately.
It's clear why the A5 is imitated often. It's practical but still one of the best-looking 2-doors on the road. Audi designers clearly paid lots of attention to scraping away excess and surfacing the car's sheet metal. The big grille is a big lapse in judgement, but the A5 and S5 are the rare cars that look equally slinky in coupe and convertible form. The cockpit falls right in line, with beautiful fit and finish, and choices ranging from wood trim to steel to carbon-fiber.
In convertible or coupe form, the A5 moves quickly and responsively enough with its 2.0-liter turbo-4. It builds 220 hp. Coupes offer a choice of an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. Either extracts plenty from the inline-4's ample powerband; although if you want a convertible, it's automatic-only. All A5s have standard all-wheel drive.
Drive Select is an option. It lets owners change throttle, suspension, steering and transmission settings for more responsiveness. The system can be paired with variable-ratio steering. Skip 'em both and tick the box for the sport-suspension package that delivers somewhat more confident handling and a slightly firmer ride.
The A5 does its highest duty when delivering two passengers and their stuff on a long weekend trip, or when it's pressed into daily commuting. In front, the passengers get generous leg and shoulder room, and sit on well-bolstered and comfortably padded seats. Two more passengers would have to sit in that small back seat, which gets even smaller in Cabriolet models. The A5's cabin has clearly laid-out controls, and some very well-coordinated trim and colors.
Cabriolets are especially well designed, with weather-insulated tops that lowers quickly. The cloth top does blur some of the crisp roofline, but getting just the right amount (and no more) of wind in hair will convince many that it's worth the sacrifice.
No crash tests have been performed on the A5, but its airbags and stability control are joined by a standard rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and on the Cabrio, pop-up roll bars which deploy in case of a rollover.
Audi fits a laundry list of features in the A5, everything from power features to leather to Bluetooth and satellite radio. Options include USB connectivity, navigation, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Audi's infotainment system runs the audio and navigation from a joystick controller. Its Google Earth maps have some of the most beautifully rendered directions we've seen.