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2017 Audi A5: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Audi A5, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Audi A5 Review

The 2017 Audi A5 premium compact coupe or cabriolet comes out for one last lap before the all-new 2018 version replaces it. This A5 is based on the older A4, which was superseded in the 2017 model year. So a new A5 based on the fresh A4 platform is coming down the line.

This 2017 A5 is still well-put together and styled with elegance. The way in which this generation shows its age is more in terms of equipment. There’s no USB port, for example. And the only advanced safety feature on offer is blind spot monitoring. Everyone else has moved on.

Its 2.0T turbocharged inline 4-cylinder is still a decent engine, but 220 horsepower isn’t that much these days. In the classy world of luxury 2-doors, most motors offer considerably more. Audi also has the performance-oriented S5 (reviewed separately) with a supercharged V6, but that doesn’t come cheap.

What’s New for 2017?

The A5 comes solely in the Sport trim for 2017. See the 2017 Audi A5 models for sale near you

What We Like

Beautiful styling; top-class interior; refined driving dynamics; standard all-wheel drive for the coupe

What We Don’t

Engine lacking in power and efficiency; cabriolet has a soft top rather than a retractable hard top; no USB port

How Much?

$42,150-$49,550

Fuel Economy

All A5 models feature Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system and a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The coupe has a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and offers an optional 8-speed automatic, while the cabriolet comes only with the 8-speed automatic.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy for the coupe with the manual transmission is 23 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. The automatic version returns 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined. The cabriolet achieves 21 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 4-seater 2017 Audi A5 coupe and convertible (cabriolet) comes in one trim level: Sport.

The A5 Sport coupe ($42,150) and A5 Sport cabriolet ($49,550) have 18-in alloy wheels, xenon headlights with headlight washers, sporty S Line exterior trim, LED running lights and taillights, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof (coupe only), a power-operated vinyl roof (cabriolet only), leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control (rear passengers get their own controls), 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side lumbar adjustment, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, parking sensors front and rear, Bluetooth (phone only), iPod integration, Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) system with a dash-mounted control knob, a 6.5-in display and a 10-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input, SD card reader and satellite radio.

A Technology package supplies a rearview camera, navigation with Google maps, blind spot monitoring (especially useful in the cabriolet when the roof is up), a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system (14 speakers in the coupe; 12 speakers in the cabriolet), adaptive headlights and an upgraded infotainment system with Wi-Fi. A sportier suspension, sport front seats, selectable driving modes (which gives the driver electronic adjustments for steering effort, automatic transmission programming and throttle response) and some cosmetic additions are in the Sport package. And a Convenience package brings self-dimming mirrors, keyless entry/start and heated front seats.

Safety

The Audi A5 comes with standard stability control and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The coupe has six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain), while the cabriolet has four airbags (front and front-side).

The A5 has not been crash-tested in the United States.

Behind the Wheel

The driving position is decidedly low-slung, but the standard front seats are unexpectedly plain, offering little in the way of lateral support. We expect more in a European sport/luxury coupe. The Sport package’s upgraded front seats are a big improvement, though, providing side support along with excellent long-distance comfort.

Unlike in the (older) A4, the door-mounted armrests in the A5 curve back far enough to support the elbows of taller drivers.

The cabriolet might well be the slowest premium convertible on the market, providing only adequate power for passing and merging maneuvers. Not that the coupe is super-swift, though it does offer a 6-speed manual transmission that provides greater driver involvement. Ultimately, there’s no getting around the engine’s modest output. The A5 looks as if it has a talent for speed, but the turbo 4-cylinder runs out of puff too soon.

Handling is perfectly fine in standard form and excellent with the Sport package’s sport-tuned suspension, while the ride remains supple, unless you have the optional 19-in wheels (which we wouldn’t advise). On the highway, the A5 feels completely stable, tracking straight with no vibration at any speed. Road and wind noises are more noticeable in the cabriolet, but it remains peaceful by soft-top standards. Overall, the A5 is a pleasure to drive. Only the power deficit holds it back.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 BMW 4 Series — Available as a coupe or a convertible with a retractable hard top, the 4 is really the one.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class — Both coupe and cabriolet variants of the new-generation C-Class are excellent.

2017 Lexus RC — Only available as a coupe right now, but comes with plenty of standard equipment and top-notch build quality.

Used BMW M3 (2008-2013) — A lightly used, V8-powered, 414-hp M3 may be acquired for the price of a new A5.

Autotrader’s Advice

With the all-new 2018 version approaching fast, this could be the chance to negotiate a great deal on an outgoing 2017 version. At least you’ll get timeless styling and excellent construction. Find an Audi A5 for sale

 

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