New Audi A5 unveiled
Full details of the new Audi A5, which will go on sale early next year and rival the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes C-Class Coupé...
What is it?
The current A5 has been on sale in the UK since 2007, so it has been long due for replacement. Like that car, we expect this new one to come in three-door coupé, five-door Sportback and Cabriolet forms, although at first only this coupé version will be available.
Our verdict on the previous Audi A5 was mixed; while it felt like a premium product inside and was powered by some potent engines, it didn’t match up to its rivals in terms of driving enjoyment.
Audi has given this new A5 a more muscular, aggressive appearance than that of its predecessor, while keeping the new car in line with the more mass-market models, in particular the Audi A4 – the 2016 What Car? Car of the Year.
This new A5 is also slightly larger than the old model, which translates to more room inside and a bigger boot. That’s a good thing, because while we were impressed with the amount of space on offer for front-seat passengers in the previous A5; the rear seats felt uncomfortable and even claustrophobic.
Weight on the new car has been cut compared with the previous A5 – by as much as 60kg in some cases. On the road, that should mean this new car is more agile and therefore more exciting to drive.
What engines can I choose from?
When the new Audi A5 goes on sale early next year, it will be offered with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines. The two petrol options, both 2.0-litre units, will come in either 187bhp or 248bhp forms, while the diesel offerings start with a 2.0-litre unit that produces 187bhp.
Also available will be the same 215bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine we recommend in the smaller A4. If our experience of that engine is anything to go by, this will be the one to go for in the new A5. A higher-powered, 268bhp version of the same engine will also be offered.
As before, drivers should be able to choose from either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic, and most versions will be offered with the option of Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system.
Topping the new A5 range will be the performance-orientated S5. It’s powered by a turbocharged V6 petrol engine with 359bhp, and also receives subtle exterior and interior styling details to mark it out from other models.
What equipment does it come with?
It’s no surprise that the new A5 is almost identical to the smaller A4 on the inside. There’s the same 8.3in central infotainment screen, controlled via a rotary dial on the center console, and the same basic layout.
Options such as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display – which replaces traditional analogue dials with a 12.3in customisable screen – are available. As we’ve found in other Audi models, including the A4, Q7 and TT, it’s an option worth having.
Other connectivity options now include the chance to pair your smartphone to the car and control it using the car’s own infotainment screen, via the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications. There’s also a wireless charging matt for supported mobile phones.
Elsewhere, buyers hoping for more practicality from the A5 will be thankful for new levers in the boot that can drop the rear seats to increase storage space.
How much does it cost?
Official pricing for the new Audi A5 has yet to be announced, but the current car is priced from £29,190, rising to £43,790 for the range-topping S5 version. By comparison, the BMW 4 Series starts from £30,260, while the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is priced from £31,585.
Given the new A5’s increased technology and its new range of engines, we’d expect a small price rise compared with today’s car, but Audi will need to keep any increase to a minimum in order to remain competitive. Our Target Price data shows you can achieve discounts of around £2000 on the current A5, so wait a few months following the new car’s launch and deals should be available.
How good are its rivals?
The BMW 4 Series is one of our favourite coupés and the Audi A5's chief rival. It's classy and fun to drive and also offers genuine room for four inside. The latest Mercedes C-Class Coupé has been well received too, offering a comfortable driving experience and a luxurious interior. To compete here, the new A5 will have to keep its entry-level price low, while also majoring on the dynamic ability and practicality that made the latest A4 our Car of the Year.