Beautiful inside and out, Audi’s luxurious, turbocharged A5 provides an excellent balance of pulse-racing excitement and gas station-passing economy.

Pricing and Equipment

Fully understanding Audi’s current line up is no small task. Many of the body styles are available as three separately marketed models. Each of those models is offered in a variety of trims. The different letters and numbers used in the naming structure are significant.

In the case of Audi’s 2016 A5, consumers can choose either the A5 Coupe or the soft top A5 Cabriolet. Both the coupe and cabriolet are available in three significant trim levels. All A5 models share an efficient turbocharged 2-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard in all coupe variants; an eight-speed Triptronic automatic handles gear changes in the Cabriolet, or as an option on the A5 coupe.

Available Trims:

  • Premium: $40,000 Coupe; $47,600 Cabriolet
  • Premium Plus: $42,300 Coupe; $49,900
  • Prestige: $48,000 Coupe; $56,000 Cabriolet

Performance Pros

Audi A5 White

Little matches the joy of tossing one of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive coupes along a twisty rural road. The well-balanced nature of the German-built sports coupe boosts the confidence of novice drivers and emboldens experienced drivers to find new boundaries.

  • The 2016 Audi A5’s 2-liter turbocharged engine provides a wide power band, producing maximum torque at 1,500 rpms. That low number means that full accelerating power is almost always available in normal day-to-day driving situations. Accelerating onto highway entrance ramps is drama-free and highway passing is a breeze. While not the most potent weapon in the Audi stable, the A5 is a capable grand tourer that rarely gets in the way of itself.
  • Enthusiasts will applaud Audi’s decision to keep the six-speed manual as the standard transmission for coupe versions of the A5. While the optional eight-speed Triptronic automatic is an excellent choice -- both in regards to performance and convenience -- the rewarding connection between driver and machine that a manual transmission offers makes you wonder why anyone would pay more for less.

Performance Cons

  • The power from the 220-horsepower 2-liter inline-four feels decent for the A5, especially considering the incredible fuel efficiency of 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. That said, enthusiasts will want to opt for the supercharged 333-horsepower 3-liter V6 S5 or the 450-hp V8 RS 5. The extra ponies really bring the sport coupe to life and the launch mode of either the S5 or RS 5 is nothing short of exhilarating.
  • Unfortunately, Cabriolet owners gain the open air and sunshine, but lose the manual transmission.

Interior Pros

Audi A5 Interior

Though sparse by today's luxury coupe standards, the A5’s interior exudes European quality and employs racing-inspired ergonomics.

  • The standard seats are comfortable and supportive, but the optional S-line heated leather and Alcantara 12-way power sport seats with four-way lumbar and driver memory are, in my opinion, among the most sporty and best looking seats available from any manufacturer.
  • Audi's infotainment system sounds fantastic, especially in the Prestige trim that features a 505-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Using the navigation system is fairly intuitive, and once you are up and running the visual display on the navigation screen is clear and well thought out.

Interior Cons

  • Like the vast majority of sport coupes on the market, rear seating is tight especially for taller adults.
  • Audi’s choice not to include the now ubiquitous USB connectivity as a standard feature is a puzzle, but certainly not as difficult to work around as the sunroofs inability to slide open. Perhaps in an effort to bolster Cabriolet sales, the A5 Coupe’s sunroof only serves as a vent.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Audi A5 Rear

The Audi A5's trunk offers 12.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is excellent for a sport coupe. Even more impressive is that top-down motoring in the A5 cabriolet only costs you 2 cubic feet of lost cargo space. Matter of fact, the trunk of the A5 Cabriolet offers as much cargo space with the top down as many competitors do with it up.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

While the A5's powertrain, with its amazing power-to-mileage ratio, would have seemed like science fiction a couple decades ago, the 220-horsepower turbo feels a little anemic by today's luxury sport coupe standards. That isn't to say the A5 won't satisfy most drivers, but I found myself wanting the raw driving excitement offered by the S5 and RS5 derivatives of the vehicle.

The Bottom Line

Audi has built a beautiful coupe that looks equally stunning with the top down. The 2-liter turbo engine and six-speed manual or eight-speed Triptronic automatic are incredibly efficient, but still offer enough power for occasional spirited driving. Owners looking for a nice balance between power and fuel efficiency in a vehicle that grabs a lot of attention should give Audi's 2016 A5 a look.