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2011 Audi A5

Overview
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2011 Audi A5 Review

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These are interesting times for the luxury car market in North America, and it is made more interesting by the almost explosive growth of Audi in the U.S. The addition of the A5/S5 Coupe and Cabriolet to its mix only serves to raise that growth and awareness. And while there have been a host of competitors attempting to capture the allure of the BMW's 3 Series Coupe and Convertible, most make the attempt with a barely concealed clone of the original recipe. To Audi's credit, the A5 and its S5 performance derivative represent their own takes on a near-luxury sporting coupe and cabriolet. Not only does Audi's recipe constitute a viable option to the 3 Series, in an era of diminishing resources it could constitute a viable alternative to Bentley's Continental GT. And while we're not sure how that would work in or around Windsor Castle, we know it would play (and play...) on California's 101.

You'll Like This Car If...

In a word (or two), Audi's take on the near-luxury coupe and cab encloses a competent drivetrain and comfortable accommodation with what is generally accepted as drop-dead gorgeous sheetmetal. If you are at the life stage which puts a value on at least two of the above three, you'll love Audi's take on two-door transport.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite Audi's spectacular growth in recent years, it remains well outside the consideration curve for those solidly in the automotive mainstream. In the segment there are a number of no-brainers, including BMW's 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class/E-Class, and Infiniti's G37. If auto buying is little more than a reflexive exercise, you'll probably find yourself in someone else's showroom.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011, there are new wheel designs, tweaks in interior trim, and a new Titanium Sport Package available with Premium Plus and Prestige models.

Driving the A5

Driving Impressions The A5, sharing its basic platform with Audi's most recent A4, puts an emphasis on balance. With a new all-wheel drive gearbox, the engine can be placed further back in...

the chassis, creating a far better weight distribution than is typically found in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive chassis. The A5's base 2.0 liter four is responsive, although arguably works better in Audi's own TT or A3 than in the heavier A5. The Cabriolet's standard supercharged V6 is probably the sweet spot in the coupe/cab's drivetrain selection. The all-independent suspension is supple, the steering amazingly direct, and the overall comfort level high. That said, going to 19-inch rims will compromise the ride, and the S5's V8 will compromise your license.

quattro All-Wheel Drive
Standard on all but the A5 Cabriolet - which employs front-wheel drive - the Audi all-wheel-drive system is one for the ages. Impeccably balanced, with a 40 percent front/60 percent rear torque split in most driving situations, the A5 and S5 are revelations to those coming to all-wheel drive with '80s-era preconceptions.

S tronic Dual-Clutch Transmission
With the precision of a manual and convenience of an automatic, the dual-clutch transmission, which is made standard on the S5 Cabriolet, is a way significant moment in the annals of high-performance motoring, and embellishes the S5's capability as an uber-tourer. We look forward to its widening availability on other Audi models.

2011 Audi A5 Details
Interior

At a company known for its brilliant interiors - both in design and execution - the A5 and S5 don't disappoint. The leather-upholstered front buckets provide that often elusive combination of accessibility and lateral support, while the rear seating area serves as a comfortable enclave for two. And while the Coupe's greenhouse is visually airy, the EPA rates the interior environs as subcompact. Moderately sized adults will be comfortable; larger physical types should grab their own A5. The S5 moves the meter, with S-design leather sport seats, Silk Nappa leather and unique inlays (brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, stainless steel or gray birch) completing the high-performance impression.

Exterior

As the only enthusiast pub in the U.S. with a regular column (by Robert Cumberford) focusing on automotive design, Automobile Magazine knows of what it writes. In 2009 the magazine awarded its "Design of the Year" to Audi's A5 Coupe. One look confirms their selection. You're greeted by Audi's mono-form grille, drawn in by carefully sculpted side contours and delighted by a crisp character line which runs the length of the car. The A5/S5 mechanical layout sets the engine further back in the chassis than is the typical FWD/AWD norm, allowing for a shorter front overhang and more athletic stance. Finally, the A5/S5 Cabriolet's use of a cloth roof is an almost classic touch, and has the practical benefit of not impeding (significantly) available trunk space when dropped.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In examining the list of standard equipment, you'll ask the inevitable question: What more could anyone want? The A5 Coupe's Premium trim level includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, Audi concert radio (with 10 speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio and 180 watts), power front seats and a panorama sunroof. On the S5, standard trim is dubbed Premium Plus and includes19-inch alloys, Bluetooth touch-free interface, sport seats covered in Silk Nappa leather, sport suspension and three-zone automatic climate control. With the exception of the A5 Cabriolet, all include Audi's quattro all-wheel drive in the base MSRP.

Optional Equipment

With so much standard, those features customers might opt for are (typically) encompassed in one of two packages. Premium Plus includes its own 10-spoke alloy wheel, Audi Music interface with iPod cable, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, heated front seats, Xenon plus headlights and three-zone automatic climate control. On the S5 Coupe the upmarket trim is Prestige and includes DVD player, Bang & Olufsen premium sound, memory for driver seat and mirrors, navigation and voice control of nav/phone. Functionally, the biggest news is the availability of a sport rear differential on the S5, which varies the amount of torque delivered between the rear wheels.

Under the Hood

As a base powerplant, Audi's superb 2.0 liter TFSI turbocharged four is almost perfect for the application, with adequate (211) horsepower and prodigious (258 pound-feet) levels of torque. As noted, we think the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 may be the sweet spot (S5 Cab only), with horsepower - 333 - close to that of the Coupe's V8 in a lighter, more efficient package. The S5 Coupe's 4.2 liter V8 may - at this point - seem old school, but behind the wheel of 354 horsepower, who's gonna care?

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:
21/31 (quattro manual), 21/29 (quattro Tiptronic), 22/30 (FWD, Multitronic)

3.0 liter V6 Supercharged
333 horsepower @ 5500-7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2900-5300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (S tronic trans)

4.2 liter V8
354 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 (manual), 16/24 (Tiptronic)

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2011 Audi A5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 76 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Best car I ever owned.

By on Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome to drive hard, styling"

Cons: "Sunroof doesn't open!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The A5 is the best car I've ever owned. It's the perfect blend of luxury, awesome looks and performance. I've added 19" wheels with high performance rubber, lowered 1 1/2" and added sway bars front and rear and a cold air intake. It corners like it's on rails. The technology with the MMI and B&O sound system is top notch. the car has been very reliable with no major issues. The 3.2L V6 is a great engine with enough power, revs freely and sounds great with the cold air intake. I have Blizzak tires on the stock 18" wheels for winter and it goes and stops like a champ."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

great handling vehicle a blast to drive

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "a real driver enthusiast's vehicle"

Cons: "audio system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"i've owned some fabulous & fun cars over the past 60 years including 30 years of audis. my 2013 A 5 is the best. if your are car enthusiast , you have to drive one an A 5, S 5, or a R S 5."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Nicest Car I've Ever Owned

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "interior and exterior style, quality everything,"

Cons: "non yet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought the 2015 A5 convertible for my wife to offset my 2014 Corvette....and she's VERY happy with her choice. The design both interior and exterior is stunning. Top quality everything. We looked at the 4 series BMW and balked at the screen stuck in the middle of the dash as an afterthought and the clunky hardtop convertible. The A5 quattro drives incredibly smoothly. The twin clutch tiptronic transmission shifts as soon as you hit the gear. Amazing and FUN. The soft top is very quiet compared to our other convertibles in the past. We have the comfort package which has the neck heaters as well as heated seats. Neck warmers are great for chilly nights with top down and winter for a quick warmup. While my vette is fast and mean, this is very classy and stylish."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Superior driving machine

By on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Style, handling, comfort, safety, fun to drive"

Cons: "Expensive to repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I often stop to admire the beauty of this brilliant black Prestige model A5 with sport package and 19" wheels when I approach it in a parking lot. I have owned it 4 years. It has been very reliable with only relatively minor things fixed at the dealership, except for CD player replacement. Fortunately, everything has been covered under warranty very professionally. Though only 4 cylinders, I love the performance. It has more than enough power to get me in trouble if not careful. Thank you for the adjustable speed alert. I frequently use sport mode or paddles when I want quick acceleration in traffic. The car can carve tight curves without loss of control at higher speeds than my body can handle. Mileage is low 20's MPG around town but as high as 32 MPG on the road. My one complaint is the lag that can occur before turbo kicks in when depressing the gas pedal to accelerate, especially from a stop, unless in sport mode. The ride is quiet and comfortable even on long road trips. Driver visibility is pretty good. The stereo system is beautiful. One complaint here is the hard drive memory for music uploads is quite small so I end up using memory cards. The nav computer works well as is but is getting to be old technology as spinning the dial to enter numbers/letters is a pain. Touch screen and voice control would be a welcome improvement. Also, Audi nav software updates are prohibitively expensive. AC works quite well. The heated seats are also welcome in colder weather. I use the fold down rear seats to carry my road or mountain bike and the trunk is pretty roomy. Two people can ride in the back seats but this car is not really meant for more than two people. Getting in and out of the back takes some agility. All-in-all, a great car I would buy again."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I have driven

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "best for the price"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car! It is the perfect mix of luxury meets performance. It has a smooth drive and when you move the car to sports mode you can feel the difference in the drive. Amazing looks and I always get great complements on this car. The B&O sound system is amazing!"

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

I love this car except...

By on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Awesome car!!! Handles beautiful even in snow"

Cons: "Awful NAV system and control no touch!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. It is awesome to drive. The only issue I have is the navigation system. If you use it to take you from point A to point B fine but if you rely on the display maps forget it. It has barely any information at all. And it is not touch screen!!! My old Honda from 2002 had touch screen. That is inconvenient. Hope Audi will fix it. Especially as the convertible does not have voice control"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?