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Audi A5 interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

The Audi A5’s interior is everything you’d want from a premium coupe. There’s a huge list of standard equipment – more on that in a sec – and the materials all feel great. A full-width slab of aluminium trim makes the interior feel low and wide, and the material itself is cool to the touch. There’s metal where there should be metal, leather on all the major touch points and even the plastic buttons operate with a satisfying solidity.

What’s more, the materials aren’t just slapped together. You get the impression that the dashboard pieces could well be in exactly the same place in 50 years’ time – the build quality is first-rate.

The perforated steering wheel is lovely to hold and offers plenty of adjustment, as does the driver’s seat. Once you’ve found the right position, you should find the seats comfortable – they’re nicely bolstered to keep you in place but not so much that you feel squeezed.

With its fairly chunky front pillars, the A5’s front visibility is good but could be better. In the coupe, over-the-shoulder visibility is hampered by the thickness of the other pillars and the shape of the windows, but this is less of an issue in the A5 Sportback. Both offer decent enough rear visibility, and a reversing camera as standard.

Standard equipment

A5 buyers aren’t exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to trim levels, but the three available should offer something for most buyers. Sport is first, and gets pretty much all the equipment you can think of. This includes LED headlights, keyless start, lane-departure warning, ambient lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats and multi-zone air conditioning. It’s the one with the most restrained, simple look.

S Line trim gives you 19-inch alloy wheels (an inch bigger than those fitted to Sport cars) and a sportier look. You might notice the silver air vent trim, the honeycomb grille and a diffuser panel on the rear bumper, plus the little S Line badges on the front wings. Besides lowered sports suspension, different seats and stainless steel pedals, this doesn’t offer much extra equipment above Sport trim.

The changes for Black Edition spec are largely cosmetic, too. All the S Line’s silver trim is replaced with moody black trim, and there are black interior trim pieces and 20-inch wheels. Oh, mustn’t forget the Audi logo puddle lights. The must-have item, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Infotainment and audio

Like most modern Audis, the A5’s infotainment system is fantastic. The 10.1-inch screen perched on top of the air vents is right in your eye line and within easy reach. Its graphics are as crisp as a packet of prawn cocktail, and the responses to your inputs are near-enough instant.

The main menu is really easy to navigate from, with tiled widgets for all the major functions like sat nav and audio. There’s also a configurable home screen that can show you your navigation directions and media playback at the same time. It’s worth noting that some of the submenus can be a bit tricky to work out while you’re driving, but no more so than its main rivals.

Buy a car with the Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and you’ll be able to see your sat nav directions and radio station right in front of you. Audi’s digital dials are nearly a decade old now, but the Virtual Cockpit is still one of the clearest and best systems we’ve used. You can set it up how you want, and it’s easy to scroll through its various functions with the buttons on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.

While the standard audio system is pretty good, keen music enthusiasts will want to spec the Comfort & Sound pack with its upgraded Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.

Rear seat space

As it’s a two-door, the Audi A5 coupe requires rear-seat passengers to have some of the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast. The sloping roof makes it tricky for adults to get in the back with any sort of dignity, and it’s similarly difficult to get out again. But, like any rival coupe, A5 buyers won’t be using the rear seats very often.

Legroom is perfectly decent, with no moans from your passengers there. Headroom, on the other hand, is a bit disappointing, and most adults will feel their hair brushing the headliner.

The five-door A5 Sportback is the answer to both those issues. Headroom is slightly better and it’s infinitely easier to get into the back seats. No somersaulting required. Additionally, the Sportback has five seatbelts to the coupe’s four, although whoever’s in the middle seat won’t have much legroom or kneeroom.

Both versions of the A5 have two easily accessible sets of Isofix points. Again, the A5 Sportback makes it much easier to get kids and their car seats in and out.

Boot space

With a 450-litre boot, the A5 coupe has more luggage space than some small SUVs. Of course, the A5’s litres are arranged horizontally – the boot itself is wide and long, but the saloon-style bootlid restricts the height of items you can fit in. It’s good for golf clubs and suitcases but not so good at bulkier items.

We found that the boot is so long that it can be tricky to reach items right at the back. Stretch too far and any dirt from the bumper will be rubbed onto your jeans.

There are a few hooks to tie luggage down and stop it flying around, as well as a small netted area. And long items are no issue, as the rear seats fold individually to free up lots more space.

A5 Sportbacks have 15 litres more space and, importantly, a hatchback tailgate. With a far bigger boot opening, it’s much easier to carry oversize and awkward items. Flip the seats down and you have 1,280 litres at your disposal.

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