By KBB.com Editors
Last year's addition of the sleek A5 all-wheel drive coupe to Audi's ever-broadening model lineup has been met with praise from both critics and devotees alike. Based on the newest platform architecture, which will be shared with other Audis including the all-new 2009 A4 line, the V6-powered A5 gives the German automaker a serious competitor to several premium-grade, enthusiast-oriented two-door models, including the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37 and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class. With its potent powertrain, head-turning looks, comprehensive features, seating for four and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, the A5 definitely raises Audi's overall image and style rating – and most likely will do the same for its sales numbers, as well.
Coupe fans shopping for a well-rounded package with high-profile looks, impressive performance and plenty of practicality are going to find a lot to like in the 2009 Audi A5.
Although far more accommodating than a traditional 2+2 design, the A5's subcompact-scaled rear seats won't win many raves from taller passengers. Some owners may find the multi-layer menu system on Audi's Multimedia Interface to be overly and unnecessarily complex.
Most of the changes for 2009 consist of repackaging options and features. All A5's now come standard with an auxiliary audio input jack and offer adaptive cruise control as an option. The Technology Package now contains Audi Side Assist and a new Drive Select Package adds adaptive suspension and dynamic steering.
Driving Impressions Fortified with Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system, it's no surprise that the 2009 Audi A5 is an exceptionally confident handler, but equal credit for that prowess is due to a...ultra-rigid platform design that features additional mass-reducing aluminum-intensive suspension components and a more pronounced engine setback that creates better overall balance. The net result is that the A5 feels impressively neutral when being hustled through corners, turning in crisply and tracking cleanly. Although the stability and traction control remains vigilant, it's far from intrusive and can be switched off. Overall, the A5's ride falls on the firm side of comfortable and it does get noticeably stiffer when the car is fitted with the optional S line Sport Package – or even just the optional 19-inch wheels on lower-profile tires. Regardless of which transmission it's teamed with, the punchy 3.2-liter V6 deals equally well with city commutes and cross-country cruising, and the A5's anti-lock disc brakes provide plenty of consistent stopping power.
Quattro All-wheel Drive
The A5's standard full-time quattro system is designed to optimize the power balance to all four tires all of the time. While normally apportioning motive force in a 40/60 percent front-to-rear split via a Torsen locking center differential, it can vary those percentages between 65/35 and 15/85 as traction conditions warrant.
Optional LED Daytime Running Lights
Included as part of the Premium Package, these high-tech dazzlers underscore the halogen and bi-xenon headlights in a sensual string of bright-white bullet points that add even more future-tech character to the A5's face.
In keeping with Audi's well-established tradition, the A5's cabin design reflects a masterful blend of contemporary style and impressive functionality. The impeccable melding of leather upholstery and wood and aluminum accents with an abundance of soft-touch surfaces and finger-friendly switchgear sets a welcoming tone for up to four people. Primary control layouts prioritize the driver's needs, but the front power seats provide equal-opportunity comfort and support for the front passenger as well. Rear seating is a bit less accommodating, although the "bucketed" bench can carry two average-sized adults and its 60/40 split-folding back opens up a huge pass-through to the A5's unexpectedly large 16.1 cubic-foot trunk.Exterior
The A5 makes a dramatic visual statement that starts with Audi's prominent mono-form grille and large air intakes. From there, its well-sculpted side contours are punctuated by a crisp character line that sweeps back from the headlights to the taillights in a manner that accentuates both the A5's shoulders and its aggressively flared wheelwells. Short overhangs, a steeply raked windshield and an equally sleek trapezoidal C-pillar treatment further reinforce the car's low, wide stance, which is complemented by 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels wrapped in 245/40 all-season tires. The optional S line Sport Package cranks that intensity up a notch, netting more aggressive fascia treatments, a lower ride height and 255/35 performance tires on 19-inch wheels.
To put it mildly, the A5 is an exceptionally well-appointed vehicle. Beyond leather and wood, its passenger compartment boasts a full array of power assists, tri-zone automatic climate control, multifunction steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column, a driver information system, comprehensive Audi Multimedia Interface controller, 180-watt/10-speaker sound system with six-disc CD changer and MP3 capability, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers and cruise control. Dynamic aids include the quattro all-wheel-drive system, stability control and anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution. All A5s are fitted with front, front-side, side-curtain and knee airbags.
Extras for the A5 mainly fall into in three key groups: The Premium Package (bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, heated front seats, auto-dimming and folding exterior mirrors, auto-dimming inside mirror, driver's seat and mirror memory and Homelink), the Technology Package (corner-following adaptive headlights, Side Assist, Advanced key keyless starting system and rear park assist with rearview camera – requires the navigation system) and S line Sport Package (sport suspension, wheels and tires, sport seats, steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles on automatic models and special exterior and interior trims). Other upgrades include a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, Audi Navigation system with Audi Music Interface (deletes auxiliary input jack), Milano leather upholstery and unique 19-inch alloy wheels with 255/35 summer performance tires.
The A5 uses Audi's superb 3.2-liter FSI V6, an aluminum engine with direct injection, a dual-stage intake manifold and Audi's variable valve-lift system that helps optimize its overall efficiency and responsiveness. While this technology-rich engine produces 265 horsepower at a fairly high 6,500 rpm, it develops a solid 243 pound-feet of torque from 3,250-5,000 rpm – and makes over 90 percent of that critical torque from 2,000-6,500 rpm. Backed with the standard six-speed manual transmission, the 3.2 FSI can send the A5 sprinting from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 5.8 seconds. Pairing it with the optional six-speed automatic adds slightly to that elapsed time, but actually yields EPA mileage numbers that are better than those of the standard gearbox on the city cycle.
265 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
243 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3250-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/27 (manual), 17/26 (automatic)
By Badlander on Sunday, February 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks great, drives great, fun to drive."
Cons: "Makes BMWs look bad..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Love pretty much everything about my 2010 A5 Cabriolet. One of the most beautiful cars on the road, great handling, gas mileage. For me, perfect mix of sports car and luxury car. Not the fastest car in its class, but I am not looking for a race car. I just want to have fun when I am behind the wheel, be comfortable, and have the chicks dig me. All of these and more are accomplished with the A5!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Gyro guy on Thursday, February 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Absolutely fun to drive, looks great."
Cons: "Poor Audi support, dealers very inconsistent."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Bought this car with 52,000 miles on it. In 11,000 miles of driving, oil usage went from 1qt./1800 miles to 1 qt./650 miles!! Audi stonewalled us until the usage hit 650 miles. Replaced pistons and rings under warranty. Discovered that the water pump was leaking during rebuild. Based on sludge buildup, had been leaking since we purchased, and this was a fully certified Audi! Cost us $85 deductible. Five days after getting the car back from rebuild, it sat out overnight in an all night rain. The next morning, the driver's seat was soaked, door pocket full of water, floor soaked. While driving, a pencil sized stream of water was running onto my left leg. Back in the shop, top adjusted and re-insulated. Three days after top adjustment, started losing coolant. Took car in, new water pump gasket had a low spot, had to be replaced. In less than six months of ownership, this car was in the shop 15% of the time we owned it. Our only salvation was that the 3rd Audi dealer we went to fixed everything, and treated us like their own customer. If they were located where we lived, might buy another Audi. Otherwise, wouldn't touch one again."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Inny on Saturday, December 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My 2011 Audi A-5 Cabriolet. After owning several BMW's I gave Audi a try 3 years ago. My original choice was based strictly on looks. Now after driving the Audi for 3 years not only is it the best looking car I have owned, but also the performance and handling are spectacular!"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Dee on Saturday, September 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "F U N to drive and a real head turner"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. I am constantly receiving compliments on it. I drove from Calif to NY and back last summer. The car was a pleasure to drive. I would keep it a lot longer except for needing a back seat with leg room...the only thing lacking in this car. The trunk is amazingly large...I can fit 12 grocery bags in it with no problem."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Audi Banker on Friday, July 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride, comfort, beauty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This car is amazing to drive, the B&O audio is wonderful but the Nav system is terrible. It has been in three times and it is yet to be fixed. The latest is a new software fix is coming but who knows when. They know about this issue as it happens in A4, A5 and Q5 because they have the same Nav system in them."
9 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By dc on Saturday, April 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "beautiful styling, great acceleration, great mpg"
Cons: "factory tires and back seat ingress and egress"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Every now and then a truly beautiful car is produced by someone.... The Jaguar XKE comes closest to this car...(I have owned 4 of them..) This is my second A5, it is a 2013. Last was a 2012. I buy a new car every year and put about $20,000 miles per year on them. It's a FABULOUS CAR! It exceeded my expectations for handling and acceleration and has averaged around 25mpg even though I red line it daily with a manual transmission! I do recommend the heated seats and I recommend you change the factory tires to a high speed tire with thicker side walls.. I bought Kumho tires and the handling is now UNREAL!"
10 people out of 11 found this review helpful