Depending on which trim you choose, there are four suspension options. SE and Sport have the softest springs called Comfort Dynamic, while S line gets a stiffer set-up (which you can add as an option on Sport). Then there’s the even stiffer S Sport suspension that comes as standard on the S5, while optional adaptive dampers can be added for an extra cost to any trim.
We’ve tried the S line suspension, which is a bit harsh over rougher urban roads and thumps heavily over potholes and the like. The same is true of S Sport suspension. So we’d recommend going for the adaptive set-up for its greater compliance if you value good ride comfort.
Audi says that it has intentionally made the A5 'sportier' than the A4 because that’s what buyers will expect from a four-door coupé. But the truth is if you were looking for driving thrills, you’d be better off with rear-wheel-drive offerings such as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé or Kia Stinger. Yet there’s no doubt that the A5 is extremely sure-footed and able to cover ground rapidly without drama. The steering is precise, the body resists lean and there are vast reserves of grip and traction, pretty much regardless of the weather.
The diesel engines start with a 148bhp unit that manages a respectable 0-62mph sprint time of 9.0sec but doesn’t feel particularly quick flat out. The punchier 187bhp version of the 2.0-litre TDI engine feels more than muscular enough to live up to the A5’s executive sporting image, but still manages some impressive fuel economy and emissions figures. This is even more so if you go for the Ultra model, which would be our choice since the efficiency gains come with virtually no loss in performance.
Next up are the 3.0 V6 TDI quattro diesels, which are unbelievably smooth and deliver seriously impressive low-down pulling power that takes your breath away – especially the top-spec 282bhp version.
Of the petrols, the 148bhp 1.4 TFSI needs to be worked pretty hard to extract its performance. The 2.0 TFSI with 178bhp still needs revving harder than a diesel, but it offers more readily accessed poke, while the 249bhp 2.0 TFSI is properly brisk. Both of those engines sound a tad gruff. That cannot be said about the S5, which uses a smooth turbocharged 3.0 V6 petrol with 349bhp. Helped off the line by its four-wheel drive system, we tested this on track and managed the 0-60mph sprint in a scarcely believable 4.4sec. However, once it’s moving, a Kia Stinger GT S matches it for pace.