They used to be called Grand Touring cars—stylish, swift, luxurious machines designed to carry two people and their Louis Vuitton luggage from one upscale locale to another. The term may have faded behind any number of of misguided "GT" trim packages over the years, but the Audi A5 is the authentic item: a smooth and very capable two-plus-two dressed in a design which still draws approving nods after nearly a decade in production.
What's New for 2017
A revised (though visually near-identical) A5 is due next year, so updates are minimal. S-line trim features which were previously optional are promoted to standard-equipment status. Front and rear parking sensors are also now standard and flat-bottom steering wheel adds a touch of high-performance style.
Choosing Your Audi A5
The A5 is in most ways the two-door version of Audi's much-heralded A4 sedan, available as either a coupe or a convertible. Power is provided by Audi's familiar turbocharged 2-liter inline-four, which makes 220 horsepower and a very usable 258 pound-feet of torque. The coupe is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic; the Cabriolet is Tiptronic-only. Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system delivers power to all four wheels and constantly adjusts to make the most of available traction.
If you favor classic grace over boy-racer attitude, the Cabriolet remains one of the most civilized and stylish cars on the road; that said, the Convenience package should be considered mandatory equipment for the heated seats alone. If your idea of classicism is more about a gear lever and three pedals, get the manual A5 coupe while you can—it looks like the traditional gearbox will be retired as the current model ends production.