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Audi A5 engines, driving and performance

How does the Audi A5 drive?

The Audi A5 isn’t as sporty as the BMW 4 Series but it’s still very competent and unflustered. It’ll spear down a country road but it won’t excite you much. And, while a Mercedes C-Class Coupe is more comfortable, the A5 will still relax you on motorway journeys. There’s very little feel in the steering, although it is nicely weighted and doesn’t feel too light on a fast road.

The driving experience is almost forgettable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you just want to get to your destination easily and without any fuss.

That’s even the case with the 444hp RS5. Sure, it’s impressively quick and the four-wheel-drive system means you can use its power on any road, but it’s merely satisfying rather than exciting. The ride can get quite crashy in the RS5, too.

Is the Audi A5 comfortable?

The A5 is a little firmer than we’d like, and not always as comfortable as the A5’s long-distance cruiser vibes suggest. Large jolts are filtered out well, but smaller imperfections can make the ride feel a little busy and unsettled.

At high speeds there’s also a fair bit of tyre noise, although engine noise and wind noise are well suppressed.

What’s the best engine to get?

Diesel is still a big part of the A5 lineup, and there are two versions of a 2.0-litre engine for diesel buyers to pick from. The 163hp version, badged 35 TDI, is the most efficient of all, being capable of nearly 60mpg. Move up to the 40 TDI and you’ll still manage up to 50mpg, despite the substantial bump to 204hp and standard-fit four-wheel drive. Diesel A5s need long journeys every now and again to avoid DPF issues in the future, and you might need to top up the AdBlue tank every few thousand miles.

If you don’t fancy those, there are two 2.0-litre petrols with 150hp (35 TFSI) and 190hp (40 TFSI). These are still fairly economical for drivers covering average annual mileages.

All Audi A5s come with a slick-shifting automatic gearbox – the perfect match for the A5’s relaxed nature.

Audi A5 performance

On paper, the 40 TFSI petrol looks quite brisk, hitting 0-62mph in a nudge over seven seconds. It feels alert off the line but, at higher speeds, its acceleration tails off and it feels slightly lazy and laidback if you lean on the accelerator. The 35 TFSI, meanwhile, takes around nine seconds to hit that speed from a standstill, so can feel a little underwhelming when you floor it.

The 35 TDI and 40 TDI diesel engines are marginally quicker than the equivalent petrols, and feel more relaxed thanks to their extra low-down shove. Sporty Audi S5 diesel models have almost double the torque of the more sedate engines, cracking the 0-62mph sprint in under five seconds.

Amazingly, that’s still not the fastest A5. The RS5 does it in just 3.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 174mph (if you tick the box that raises the speed limiter from 155mph).

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