Trying to build on the success of the new Audi A4, the folks in Ingolstadt are hoping that the new A5 is everything its fans want it to be. The first-gen Audi A5 was a very popular car, especially being the first of its kind. Its Walter de Silva-penned design was stunning and its handling and performance were right up there with the top of the class, even if it started to lose its luster toward the end of its life. So this new car has a lot to live up to. Does it? Car and Driver finds out.
Their test car was a 2018 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe with the seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. This will be the volume model in America, so it’s refreshing to hear that it’s a very good car, maybe even the best in its class. Which is very high praise, as the class is loaded with great executive sport coupes.
According to C&D, the new Audi A5 exhibits class-leading acceleration, handling and braking. Considering that it has to go up against the BMW 430i and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, that’s impressive. In terms of acceleration, the A5 2.0T S-Tronic is capable of 0-60 mph in 5 seconds flat. That’s quicker than every single four-cylinder coupe in its class and quicker than even some of the six-cylinder cars. Credit its impressive performance to the 252 hp and 273 lb-ft 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the rapid shifts from its dual-clutch gearbox and tenacious Quattro all-wheel drive grip.
But it isn’t just fast in a straight line. Apparently, it handles well too and C&D considers it to be at least up there with the best in the segment but possibly the best. The steering is nicely weighted and very sharp and accurate. This makes turn-in crisp and the Quattro system will even send more power to the rear wheels through corners which will actually allow the back end to step out a bit, something Audi’s aren’t typically known for. But its grip is still incredible, leading to 0.93 g of lateral grip on a skid pad, while wearingContinental ContiSportContact 5P summer tires.
Combine its impressive performance and handling with a class-leading cabin and handsome, if understated, good looks and the Audi A5 is possibly the best car in the segment. That’s shocking because the BMW 4 Series has long been considered the best overall car in the segment and the Audi A5 is usually just considered to be the safe choice. Now, though, it’s the desirable choice.