Depending on which trim you choose, there are three suspension options. The adaptive set-up, which costs extra, is supple enough to take the sting out of smaller ripples and bigger bumps alike. Just bear in mind that the A5 doesn’t ride sharp-edged potholes quite as well as the A4, particularly with the suspension switched to its firmer Dynamic mode. We’ve also tried the stiffer S line suspension without adaptive dampers and it’s quite a bit firmer.
Audi says it has intentionally made the A5 'sportier' than the A4 because that’s what buyers will expect from a coupé. But the truth is if you were looking for driving thrills you’d be better off with a BMW 4 Series. The A5’s steering is precise, but it never really involves you in the process of going round corners, which is a pity given how much fun to drive Audi’s smaller TT coupé is. Mind you, the A5 grips the road well and, if you switch the optional adaptive suspension to the firmer of its two modes, there’s little body roll through bends.
The entry-point to the engine range is the 148bhp 1.4 TFSI. It delivers reasonable pace but needs working fairly hard. At least it's always smooth, though. We have yet to try the 2.0 TFSI 190, but the 2.0 TFSI 252 doesn't feel as quick as you might imagine because you need to rev it harder that the diesels.
The entry-level diesel (a 187bhp 2.0-litre) is nippy enough and sends its power to the front wheels. Meanwhile, the most potent diesels (216bhp and 282bhp 3.0-litres) get Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system and automatic gearboxes as standard.
Even the lesser 3.0-litre unit's outright power is impressive, but it’s how much low-down pulling power it produces that really takes your breath away; put your foot down hard away from some traffic lights and you’ll be doing 62mph in less than six seconds. If anything, this is the most rounded choice. It makes the higher-powered diesel and range-topping V6 petrol S5 seem altogether unnecessary.
The smooth engines combine with minimal wind noise to make the A5 a peaceful cruiser. Some road noise is noticeable over coarse surfaces, but if you stay away from the really big wheels this is kept to an acceptable level.