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Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro 2017 review

How sweeter it is: The new A5 improves on itself.
EXPERT RATING
8
The first generation Audi A5 Coupe set a new standard for understated refinement in a mid-size premium coupe. Does the new version, launched in March this year, crash and burn or soar even higher?

The 'dreaded second album'; a musical tripwire that's sent many promising acts tumbling off their newly ascended pedestal into a struggle for credibility, or even survival.

The Who, Guns N' Roses and even Jay Z have all suffered the crushing ignominy of crashing back to Earth with a lacklustre record following a spectacular debut success.

In automotive terms, Audi has regularly managed to escape the feared syndrome when it's been asked to follow up breakthrough releases nobody thought could be outdone.

The original TT dropped jaws and widened eyes around the world, and many felt sure it would be a one-hit wonder. How could it possibly evolve into something better, or more attractive? Yet, it did.

The R8 repositioned the mid-engined supercar, with unique looks and spectacular performance for a price certain Italian brands would consider downmarket. Where do you go after those game-changing side blades? You make your V10 missile even more compelling.

Which brings us to the A5 Coupe, and in particular the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel quattro. The first generation set a new standard for understated refinement in a mid-size premium coupe. Does the new version, launched in March this year, crash and burn like the Wu-Tang Clan, or follow Drake and soar even higher? 

Audi A5 2017: 2.0 TDI QUATTRO S TRONIC SPORT
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency4.6L/100km
Seating4 seats
Price from$53,350

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

The A5 Coupe is like an expensive German tailored suit – impeccable in its design and execution.

Broad surfaces and long, gentle curves are managed with complete authority to create a distinctive, precisely proportioned two-door coupe.

The signature, single-frame grille sits between aggressively tapered, raked headlights with bulging front guards embracing the standard 18-inch five-spoke alloy rims. 

The A5 is a precisely proportioned two-door coupe. The A5 is a precisely proportioned two-door coupe.

Smooth integration of the turret's long arc with the sharper, more angular rear three quarter panels delivers a confident, muscular stance, with the blunt rear end, complete with boot lid lip spoiler, reminiscent of the first-gen version.

Panel gaps and shut lines are laser straight and even, and the impossibly accurate side closure of the large, neatly chiselled bonnet is a particular stand-out.

An air of cool and calm authority permeates the cabin, with the dash treatment focused on a long sweep of ventilation louvers above a coolly classic brushed-metal panel.

The 7.0-inch 'MMI' colour touchscreen stands proud of the dash in typical Audi fashion, and the wide centre console, also accented with metal inserts, accommodates a variety of controls, arranged with characteristic Teutonic efficiency.

The wide centre console, accommodates a variety of controls, arranged with characteristic Teutonic efficiency. The wide centre console, accommodates a variety of controls, arranged with characteristic Teutonic efficiency.

Other touchpoints are trimmed with agreeably soft materials, and the market-leading 'Virtual Cockpit' display is housed within a simple, hooded binnacle.

As per the exterior, the standard of fit and finish inside the A5 is flawless, with the beautifully sculpted, leather-trimmed seats as good to sit in as they are to look at.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

The A5 lives in the space between a 2+2 and a full four-seat coupe, with its close to 2.8-metre wheelbase offering enough length between the axles for proper, adult accommodation, offset by the sloping roofline compromising rear headroom.

Front-seat occupants are provided with plenty of head, leg and shoulder room, as well as heaps of storage including two cupholders, a lidded centre box (containing two USB ports and an auxiliary line-in socket), a medium-sized glove box and door bins able to hold bottles. There's also a 12-volt outlet at the front of the centre console.

Despite decently sized door apertures and a simple electric tilt and slide function for the front seats, rear entry/egress is more Pauline Hanson awkward than Julie Bishop effortless.

Sitting behind the driver's seat, the legroom is good. Sitting behind the driver's seat, the legroom is good.

Once in, though, sitting behind the driver's seat (set to my 183cm position), legroom is good, and while headroom is tight, comfort and support from the deeply sculpted individual chairs is great.
  
Back seaters are provided with a temperature-controlled air con set-up, a 12 volt outlet, nets in the back of the front seats, oddments trays in the centre and sides of the seats, a pair of cupholders in the fold-down centre armrest (which also incorporates a storage box), and generous wells for bottles on each side.

Back seaters are provided with a temperature-controlled air con setup. Back seaters are provided with a temperature-controlled air con setup.

Luggage capacity is 465 litres with the rear seats upright, which allowed the CarsGuide pram to slot in, with some room for the nappy bag alongside. Alternately, our three-piece hard suitcase set (35, 68 and 105 litres) was swallowed comfortably. Fold the 40/20/40 split fold rear seat forward (via well located handles at the top of the boot opening), and it will cope with all that, and more.

Thoughtful touches include a first-aid kit, four cargo tie-down shackles, a luggage net, netted spaces behind the wheel tubs to keep smaller items under control, as well as a light and yet another 12-volt socket.

Luggage capacity is 465 litres with the rear seats upright. Luggage capacity is 465 litres with the rear seats upright.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

At $73,900, the A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI splits its German arch rivals, BMW's 420d Sport Line ($71,200), and the Mercedes-Benz C250d Coupe ($75,400).

At that price point it's no surprise the Audi boasts a solid array of standard tech and safety features.

We'll deal with the latter in the safety section below, while the included features list runs to front and rear  parking sensors with rear view camera, 18-inch alloys, active cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, keyless entry and start, heated/folding exterior mirrors, LED headlights (including LED DRLs), four-way electric sport front seats, 'leather appointed' upholstery (which according to Audi means, “Certain sections of the leather appointed seat upholstery contain man-made material”), electrically extending and retracting front seatbelt feeders, three-zone climate control air, ambient interior lighting, a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, 'Audi Connect' (including an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, 10-speaker/180 watt audio (including Bluetooth connectivity and DAB+ digital radio), and 'MMI navigation plus'. Not a bad batch of swag, and solid value in this part of the market.

The Audi boasts a solid array of standard tech and safety features. The Audi boasts a solid array of standard tech and safety features.

There are multiple option packs to choose from, bundling assistance, technical and sport features together, with prices ranging from $950 (Parking Assistance), to $7400 (S line sport package).

If you're up for 'Brilliant black' or 'Ibis white', good news, those paint finishes won't cost you an extra cent. But opt for any of 13 metallic or pearl effect colours and you're looking at $1420. 

It's worth noting those option and paint prices may jump roughly 25 per cent depending on whether the total price of your car sits above or below the current LCT threshold ($75,526 for 'fuel-efficient' vehicles).

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

The A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro is powered by an in-line, 16-valve, four-cylinder diesel engine, using common rail direct-injection and a single VTG (Variable Turbine Geometry) turbo to produce 140kW at 3800-4200rpm, and a solid 400Nm across a flat plateau from just 1750 to 3000rpm.

It's matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission, driving all four wheels through Audi's 'quattro' permanent all-wheel drive system, using a self-locking centre differential and torque vectoring to optimise power distribution to the wheels that can use it most.

Power comes from an in-line, 16-valve, four-cylinder diesel engine. Power comes from an in-line, 16-valve, four-cylinder diesel engine.

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

Audi claims the A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro will consume 4.6L/100km on the combined (urban/extra urban) cycle, emitting 121g/km of CO2 in the process.

Over close to 300km of city, suburban and freeway running we recorded a figure of 5.8L/100km (courtesy of the on-board computer), which is still an impressive number for a close to 1.6-tonne car.

Fill the 58-litre tank with diesel and you're looking at a real-world range of around 1000km.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

This A5 Coupe is quick and capable, but not 'fast'. If rapid, relaxed, point-to-point cruising is your thing, look no further. 

If you want extra oomph to go with the sleek looks, it's time to step up to the 260kW/500Nm turbo-petrol V6 S5 (and tip over the six-figure price point in the process).

That said, Audi claims 7.2sec for the sprint from 0-100km/h for the TDI, which isn't exactly sluggish, and with maximum torque available from just 1750 through to 3000rpm it feels sharp and willing.

With seven ratios in the 'S tronic' dual-clutch keeping things on the boil in that torque band, the A5 is a quiet, stress-free pleasure to steer around town.

The balance between ride comfort and dynamic ability is impressive. The balance between ride comfort and dynamic ability is impressive.

That mid-range urge makes for easy open-road cruising, too, and if you really want to get going, keep the right foot pinned and peak power will take over from 3800-4200rpm for safe overtaking or lengthy hill climbs.

Suspension is independent via a five-link set-up front and rear, and the balance between ride comfort and dynamic ability is impressive.

The standard 18-inch rims are shod with 245/40 Pirelli P7 rubber, which offer enough compliance to help the suspension soak up the greater part of most imperfections, and the speed-sensitive electromechanical steering matches good (but not great) road feel with linear response.

The bulging front guards embrace the standard 18-inch five-spoke alloy rims. The bulging front guards embrace the standard 18-inch five-spoke alloy rims.

If the red mist descends and you're up for a blast on your favourite B-road, the A5 is ready. The standard torque split between the front and rear axles is 40/60, with up to 70 per cent able to be to be sent to the front, and 85 per cent to the rear.

A press of the steering wheel-mounted 'View' button also flicks the digital 'Virtual Cockpit' into a racier mode, with a large tachometer moving to the centre, with speed and gear read-outs in support. It is superb and makes you feel like you're already living in the future. 

During 'enthusiastic' cornering, the transition of drive from front to rear, and across each axle (thanks to standard torque vectoring), is seamless, with the car remaining buttoned-down, balanced and predictable, while manual gearshifts via wheel-mounted paddles are satisfyingly swift.

Braking by big discs all around (ventilated front) is progressive and consistent.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

Tested in March this year, the A5 (Coupe and Sportback variants) scored a maximum five star ANCAP rating, picking up 34 from a possible 38 points for adult occupant protection, and 43 out of 49 for child occupant protection.

No shock then that the active side of the safety ledger is full to overflowing, with the following included as standard - 'Attention assist' (alert tone and signal if system senses the driver's attention is lapsing), 'Audi pre-sense city' with AEB and pedestrian detection (detects impending collisions at up to 85km/h and can reduce speed by up to 40km/h), 'Audi pre-sense rear' (flashes hazard lights at high frequency in an emergency), ESC (with electronic wheel-selective torque control), ABS, ASR, EDL, Brake Assist, and a tyre pressure loss indicator.

But wait, there's more. Also standard are 'Audi side assist', 'Exit warning system' (detects cars and cyclists when opening doors and provides a visual warning to occupants), and 'Cross traffic assist rear'.

If all else fails and metal meets an immovable object passive safety tech includes an active bonnet for pedestrian impact protection and six airbags (front and side for driver and passenger, and head level curtain front and rear). There are also ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and top tethers for each rear seat position.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   9/10

Audi offers a three-year/unlimited km warranty across its range, as well as three-year paint warranty, and 12 years cover for rust perforation. Plus complimentary 24-hour roadside assist for three years.

Scheduled service is recommended every 12 months/15,000km, and the 'Audi Genuine Care Service Plan' covers scheduled servicing for three years/45,000km (whichever comes first) at a cost of $1670.

Verdict

At this point it's worth pointing out that Morning Glory was Oasis' second album. And the A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro is Audi at its cool, calm and collected best. Handsome, beautifully built, and well equipped for the dollars, it manages to combine miserly economy with a great dynamic/comfort balance, outstanding safety and generous ownership extras. Syndrome avoided (again). 

Is this A5 Coupe diesel your choice, or is petrol power more appealing? Tell us what you think in the comments below. 

Pricing Guides

$54,990
Based on 11 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$44,988
Highest Price
$74,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.8 TFSI 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $50,270 – 57,750 2017 AUDI A5 2017 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI Quattro 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $56,320 – 64,680 2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S TRONIC SPRT 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $44,988 – 74,900 2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S TRONIC SPRT Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI S TRONIC SPORT 2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $62,040 – 71,280 2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI S TRONIC SPORT Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Design8
Practicality7
Price and features8
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption8
Driving8
Safety9
Ownership9
James Cleary
Deputy Editor

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Pricing Guide

$53,350

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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