No big changes here: the Audi A5 is still an elegant two-door capable of smooth driving and impressive frugality
Here’s Audi’s A5 Coupe, which receives the expected mid-life facelift. As facelifts go it’s very standard, there’s cosmetic and tech updates but the essential character of the two-door remains very much the same as the pre-facelift 190hp 2.0 we tested in 2017.
That’s in contrast to the also-facelifted A4 sedan, which looks and feels quite different now. With the A5, Audi didn’t mess with what it already got right. There are new lights, reshaped grille and lower section, the three ‘original Quattro coupe’ vents just between the grille and bonnet. In fact the easiest way to spot the new car is the rear, which replaces the round tailpipes with trapezoidal ones. But the car remains a coupe with elegant proportions and just the right amount of detail – full-width bonnet, flowing shoulder lines, a pert tail.
Inside and under the bonnet reveal more significant changes. Like the A4, the A5 ditches the Audi MMI rotary controller for a larger 10.1-inch screen that’s totally touch-driven, which comes with pros and cons we’ve already mentioned many times elsewhere. One of the pros is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, so you plug your smartphone in and rest it in the little nook where MMI used to reside, fittingly.
Otherwise it remains the same minimalist, easy-to-use cabin as before, and with a surprising amount of practicality: Space to stash your things, a seatbelt server, room for four adults (plus rear air vents, even), a 450-litre trunk with seats you can fold down when standing at the boot.
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More changes come under the bonnet, not that you can see them. Like the A4 and the rest of the ‘non-S’ A5 family, the A5 2.0 now have a 12V mild hybrid system. As mild hybrid systems go, this is the mildest of the mild, more like lemon and herb. Like other mild hybrid systems, the electric motor can’t move the car on its own, in fact it’s purely for clawing back energy rather than allowing for more forward oomph.
From behind the wheel, you really don’t feel much of a difference at all – the start-stop engagement isn’t seamless, nor is it particularly bothersome. We’ve no doubt the new car can match the 7.5L/100km we scored on the previous drive of the 190hp pre-facelift model. Our drive showed closer to 8.0L/100km, but that was probably because we shutoff the start-stop due to the absolutely sweltering afternoon weather Singapore’s been having.
More importantly, the A5 drives like a civilised two-door should. Ironically mainstream body types like sedans and SUVs could learn a lot from the A5, as it’s almost entirely smooth going, being a refined car with an excellent suspension setup. Included in the price is the standard option, though there’s the options of a sport suspension (S$1,452) and sport suspension with adaptive dampers (S$4,401).
150hp presages the fact that it is more stately than sporty, but that doesn’t mean it’s not up to the challenge of a fast run of corner carving, up to a point, and the engine’s 270Nm of grunt allows for relatively sprightly acceleration below highway speeds.
With only three percent of cars sold here being coupes, it’s safe to say a coupe buyer is very sure they want a two-door. But the A5 Coupe is only sold here as the 150hp 2.0 or the 450hp RS 5 – if you like the styling but want more power A5 Sportback has the full range – 2.0 with 150hp or 190hp, 2.0 quattro with 249hp, the S5 with a 340hp 3.0, and the RS 5 Sportback with 450hp.
But as coupes go, the A5 is almost entirely free of sin, and sits in the same position as before: It’s more comfy and capable than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe (though that’s due for an all-new generation soon), less capable at dynamic driving (but more comfy) than the new BMW 420i.
|Engine||1,984cc inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||150hp at 5200-6400rpm|
|Torque||270Nm at 1300-3850rpm|
|VES Band||B / Neutral|
|Price||S$214,200 with COE|
|Verdict||Mild updates keep the A5 at the status quo – a refined, coupe with good handling and balance|