KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The recent 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 it shares with the 2010 A4 line, the 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 new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe. With its potent powertrain choices, 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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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 2010 Audi A5.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2010
The 2.0T model is introduced for 2010 and replaces the 3.2-liter V6 quattro with the manual transmission. The newest coupe drops the price of the manual quattro A5 by $4,700. Other enhancements for 2010 include LED tail lamps on Premium Plus and Prestige models, new wheel designs for the 2.0T Premium and improved navigation with SIRIUS Traffic.
Fortified with Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system, it's no surprise that the 2010 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. 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.
The 2010 Audi 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 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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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, 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 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.
Notable Optional Equipment
Extras for the A5 mainly fall into in three key groups: The Premium Plus Package adds bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, heated front seats, iPod interface, rain and light sensors and tri-zone air conditioning; the Prestige Package includes the Premium Plus Package and adds Advanced Keyless Entry, Bang and Olufsen audio, voice activated navigation, auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors and memory feature for mirrors and driver's seat. The Sport Package includes a sport suspension, wheels and tires, sport seats, steering-wheel-mounted shifter paddles on automatic models and special exterior and interior trims, while the S-Line package includes much of the Sport Package equipment plus unique front and rear bumpers, leather and alcantara sport seats and brushed aluminum interior trim. Stand alone options include Adaptive Speed Control, Milano leather seating and a choice of three interior wood trims.
Under the Hood
The A5 uses Audi's superb 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four cylinder engine as its base powerplant. The peppy and fuel efficient 2.0-liter turbo may surprise many enthusiasts who think only a V6 or V8 can deliver the kind of performance the A5's sleek body promises; it's also the only choice for those who prefer a manual transmission. The 3.2-liter FSI V6 features 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.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 4300-6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 21/27 (automatic)
265 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
243 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3250-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (automatic)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2010 Audi A5 with a six-speed manual transmission opens around $37,000. Order one with the tiptronic automatic and that figure jumps another grand. The 3.2 V6 model starts around $45,000. Given the A5's many standard features, those are pretty solid numbers compared to similarly-equipped versions of its prime rivals. However, adding certain options and packages requires pairing them with other options and packages, and that can ultimately bump the bottom line on an A5 by nearly $10,000. The long-term valuation outlook on this slick Audi coupe is strong, with five-year residual percentages projected to be marginally higher than those of the all-wheel-drive BMW 328xi and 335xi Coupes, as well as the all-wheel-drive Infiniti G37x. The AWD A5 is expected to fare slightly better than the Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe as well.