For years, Audi has been on the receiving end of criticism about its cars’ dynamics, and it’s no different with the A5 Mk2. These coupes and cabriolets make great cruisers with their refinement, power and comfort, but you’re not likely to rise up just to cruise down the B road in one. It may lack the brilliance of the 4 Series, but the A5 is hardly a protective gear in this regard. Driving is easy and fun, if not rewarding, but it’s easy to live with. As with most German cars, it comes at a high cost, but we think it’s a price worth paying.
Back in the 1960s, when Volkswagen bought Audi from Mercedes-Benz, few people expected what this all-around luxury brand would become. The seeds were planted in the 1970s, and then in the 1980s, Audi gained momentum thanks to its reputation as an innovator, with aerodynamic luxury cars often providing the safety of all-wheel drive.
From being a small player, Audi’s UK presence is now a heavyweight, though the brand still outsolds both BMW and Mercedes. But this does not matter to buyers of used cars; What matters is that Audi makes some of the most desirable cars on the road, including the A5 in both its coupe and cabriolet.
Car group tests
- Audi A5 MK2 (2016 – date) – High quality and high grade are worth paying for.
The second generation Audi A5 Coupe arrived in UK showrooms in September 2016. A single 2.0 TFSI petrol engine was offered in 187 hp or 248 hp variants, the latter featuring the standard quattro all-wheel drive system.
Diesel enthusiasts can choose from the 187 hp 2.0 TDI and 215 hp 3.0 TDI engines, the latter in quattro form only. All engines were available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission, although only the 349bhp 3.0 TFSI S5 came with an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
The A5 Cabriolet was launched in April 2017, with identical engine, parts and transmission combinations. The 444bhp RS 5 Coupé and Cabriolet joined the group in August 2017, with the 3.0 V6 TFSI engine. A 148-horsepower 1.4 TFSI engine was introduced in November 2017, then in April 2020 the modified A5 arrived. That led to styling changes, mild hybrid technology for most engines, a 342-horsepower 3.0 TDI for the S5, LED headlights and an upgraded infotainment system.
Which one should I buy?
A few years later, Audi stopped offering a manual gearbox for the A5, because so few people chose it. The automatic transmission is great to use, as are all engines.
All A5s are well-equipped, even the entry-level SE model featuring 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, heated front seats, leather trim, three-zone climate control, 7-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker hi-fi and radio DAB, Bluetooth, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking.
The Sport has the same equipment as the SE, but sporty styling details inside and out, as well as interior LED ambient lighting. The S line model gets 18-inch wheels, stiffer suspension, LED headlights, and sport seats wrapped in leather and Alcantara.
Alternatives to the Audi A5
Just like the A5, the BMW 4 Series is built to great standards, and comes with some efficient, human-savvy engines. BMW is more attractive to drive than Audi and also offers a choice between a coupe or a convertible.
Mercedes offers the C-Class, E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, all of which offer excellent build quality, as well as good engines, refinement and reliability. Four-seat coupes have lost their popularity in recent years, so other options are few and far between. If you want a stylish coupe, and two seats will suffice, then the Porsche Cayman is aerodynamically great, while the Toyota Supra and Alpine A110 are also great fun. If you need a little more practicality, don’t forget the five-door A5 Sportback, with its huge boot hatch.
What are you looking for
The A5 doesn’t come with a full-size spare wheel, but at least Audi offers a space-saving wheel, rather than a tire travel kit.
The A5 Coupé achieved a five-star rating in Euro NCAP, thanks to its robust chassis and comprehensive safety kit. Cabriolet has never been tested.
The A5 2.0 TDI was available in Standard and Ultra formats. The Ultra is marginally more economical, and has a top speed of 130 mph instead of 149 mph.
Audi offered buyers of the A5 2.0 TDI the option to upgrade from a 40-liter fuel tank to a 54-liter tank, and then from a 12-liter AdBlue tank to a 24-liter tank.
Common Audi A5 Errors
The most common problems that A5 owners encounter are related to electrical faults; We’ve seen reports of infotainment systems failing, the windows themselves opening when the indicator is activated, and even the electronic parking brake not engaging.
Audi offers some of the most attractive cabins around, with plush materials, great design and an impressive level of ease of use. The A5 also offers excellent seating and a dashing design that exemplifies clarity.
Back seat space is tight for adults, unless it’s very small. All A5 Coupes come with a foldable rear seat. With their presence, the coupe can store 465 liters in the trunk, while the cabriolet can accommodate 380 liters.
Buyers may also want to look to models with the optional Comfort and Sound package, which includes a 360-degree camera, hands-free tailgate, upgraded stereo, and additional ambient lighting.
You can buy the Audi A5 starting at £6,950 on our sister site BuyaCar.
Audi A5 owners can choose between fixed and flexible service systems, with the former set every 12 months or 9,000 miles, whichever comes first. Services alternating between small and large; The former is simply an oil change. Choose the flex system and your Audi will need servicing every two years or 18,600 miles; At the same time, the inspection service appointment (oil change).
An oil service costs £270, an oil service and inspection with a fresh pollen filter costs £350. On top of that, new brake fluid is required every two years, priced at £65, and the 2.0 TDI has a cam belt, which must be replaced every 140,000 miles or five years, at a cost of £476, or £807 with pump installed Fresh water at the same time.
Audi has recalled the A5 Mk2 11 times so far. The first was in February 2017 due to a malfunction of the airbags and the tightening of the seat belts; Three months later, overheating cooling pumps led to a second recall, then another in June 2018. Overheating air conditioning units led to recalls in both January and February 2018, and in December 2018 Audi launched a campaign due to an airbag malfunction.
A fuel leak led to the next recall, in March of 2019, with the next recall to come two months later due to poor quality front suspension moldings. A5s with a factory-installed towbar were recalled in June 2019 thanks to faulty locking mechanisms; A year later, the ingress of water into the electronics of the light hybrid models led to the tenth recall. The latest event was launched in October 2020, due to seat frames running loose.
Satisfy the owner of the driver’s strength
The second-generation A5 in driver power made its debut in our survey of new cars for 2019, in 50th place; It took 73rd place in 2020, but did not appear in the 2021 New Cars survey. In last year’s survey, owners of the A5 gave the A5 performance, refinement and transmissions, combined with interior and exterior styling, as well as the car’s dynamic capabilities. The worst results were for reliability, legroom in the back seat, and running costs.