Audi A5 vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

When Audi replaced its gorgeous first-generation A5 Coupe, it had big shoes to fill. That car offered a fast, fun and luxurious car wrapped in a stylish package. Now in its second-gen, the Audi A5 is still good looking and fun to drive, but it may have lost some of that style. The new stylish coupe in the segment is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, with its new sleek design and stunning interior. So which is the best stylish sports coupe? Auto Express finds out.

Both cars AE tested were powered by small diesel engines and automatic transmissions, as these are the most common executive specs. The Audi A5’s 2.0 liter turbo-diesel makes 187 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while being paired to a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. Powering just the front wheels, which is silly on an Audi, this A5 is capable of 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. That’s not particularly quick, but this car isn’t about straight line speed.

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Audi A5 Coupé

The Audi A5 2.0 TDI is about being efficient, comfortable and fun to drive. In those respects, the Audi A5 excels. That 2.0 liter diesel engine is punchy, smooth and quiet, while the dual-clutch gearbox is snappy and smart with its shifts. But the important part is how it drives. With light but sharp steering, the A5 is quite enjoyable to drive. It isn’t a B6 Audi S4, but it’s no slouch.

On the flip-side, the Mercedes C-Class Coupe isn’t bad either. Its 2.1 liter turbocharged diesel engine makes 201 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to get from 0-60 mph faster than the A5, in 6.8 seconds. Its extra torque helps it get there faster but it’s also aided by its gearbox. It’s a nine-speed automatic with shorter gear ratios than Audi’s dual-clutch unit and that helps make most of the C-Class’ torque. But when it comes to actually driving, it starts to fall down a bit. Its ride is very comfortable, riding on optional air suspension, but can transmit some harsher bumps through the cabin. And the steering is rather heavy and vague, making it less enjoyable to actually drive.

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In the end, AE picked the Audi A5 over the Mercedes C-Class Coupe. Its broader breadth of abilities make it the better car to drive overall. However, it isn’t perfect and the Benz does have some merits over the Audi, such as more style and a more comfortable ride. But the Audi A5 is more dynamic, has better technology and more efficient.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.