Audi A5 Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Sunday 10th December


What is it like to drive?

The standard A5 is not about involving handling – that’s meant to be the S5 and RS5’s job, and even they’re not very good at it. No, the regular A5 Coupe is at heart a GT with a comfy, high-quality interior and excellent rolling refinement. It won’t make you grin while you tackle your favourite B-road, but it will soothe the stresses of your daily commute. 

As is usually the way with Audis, S Line A5s and up get lower, stiffer suspension. It doesn’t totally knacker the ride, but you’ll either want a base Sport-spec A5 or a pricy Vorsprung with adaptive suspension for the best ride. 

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For its mainstream models (not S or RS), Audi’s naming structure assigns each engine variant a number based on how much power it produces, not how big the engine is. Said number is followed by an acronym that indicates whether the car in question is petrol or diesel (or with other Audis, plug-in hybrid or electric). For example 40 TFSI (a middling petrol) or 35 TDI (an entry-level diesel). 

The petrol line-up goes 35, 40 and 45 TFSI. Each has the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, but with 150, 204 and 245bhp respectively. The standard transmission is a seven-speed twin-clutch auto – there is no manual option – and the 45 comes with ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive. The others are front-wheel drive. 

You want our advice? Get the 40 – all are quiet, but the 35 is too gutless and the 45 too expensive. 


There’s a 35 TDI and a 40 TDI – the former has 163bhp and front-wheel drive, the latter 204bhp (same as the equivalent petrol) and all-wheel drive. Again there’s no manual option, so you’ll have to live with the seven-speed DCT. Which is no bad thing, it’s a decent transmission that shifts smoothly and behaves predictably. 

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The 35 TDI is particularly economical, with Audi claiming almost 60mpg, and both engines are smooth and quiet. 


… Are very fast, but neither is as engaging as the equivalent BMW. Click on these blue words to read our full review of the Audi RS5. 

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Audi A5 S5 TDI 341 Quattro Vorsprung 2dr Tiptronic
  • 0-624.6s
  • CO2
  • BHP341
  • MPG
  • Price£67,120

the cheapest

Audi A5 35 TFSI S Line 2dr S Tronic
  • 0-628.9s
  • CO2
  • BHP150
  • MPG
  • Price£40,110
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