2020 Audi A5 review
2020 Audi A4 and A4 Allroad review in Australia, including price, specs, interior, ride and handling, safety and score.
Because of all the pandemic-generated free time, you’re sure to have built a system for communicating with your past self. An app, say. They’re always telling us to learn to code, so I’m sure you’ve taken the opportunity. Using your app, give yourself a call in 2007 (this will rather depend on you being aware of cars and having strong opinions about them) and tell yourself that in 2020, the A5 Sportback will outsell the A4 sedan.
Once you’ve recovered from the effects of time travelling and your younger self hurling all kinds of abuse about crank-callers making outlandish claims, you can cast your eye over the mildly face-lifted A5 released alongside the A4. When the first A5 dropped, way back before any of us cared about quantitative easing or alternative facts.
With some new tech, tweaks to spec and a slightly simpler range, the new A5 seems like a steady-as-you-go proposition.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Price rises for the new model are reasonably restrained and Audi was at great pains to remind us of the stack of new standard features tossed at the A5 last year, a claimed $9000 of gear for no extra cost.
As ever, the A5 is available in five-door Sportback (the biggest seller by far), Coupe and Cabriolet.
The 40 TFSI has 19-inch alloys, matrix LED headlights, front and rear dynamic indicators, S Line exterior package, keyless entry and start, electric tailgate (Sportback), Audi Virtual Cockpit plus, wireless phone charging, ten-speaker 180W sound system, three-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, sport front seats, leather seats, electric front seats with driver memory, active cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane assist, park assist, 360-degree cameras. For all of this you will $71,900 for the Sportback and Coupe and $85,400 for the Cabriolet.
For the 45 TFSI quattro you can add a head up display, heated font seats and a sport steering wheel. The Sportback and Coupe will both cost you $79,900 while the Cabriolet jumps to $93,400.
You can choose from three packages for Coupe and Sportback. If you want a 19-speaker 755-watt B&O system, colour interior lighting, Matrix LEDs with laser light, head-up display (40 TFSI, it’s standard in the 45), panoramic sunroof, the Premium Plus package is for you. You’ll pay $4679 if you have a Coupe or $6200 for the Sportback. If you’ve gone for the 45 TFSI, the price for this package is $4900.
If you pay for the S-Line package, you’ll get Nappa leather, brushed aluminium trim, stainless steel pedals, various other bits and bobs including a flat-bottomed steering wheel and 20-inch alloys. You can have all that for $4808 in the 40 Coupe, $6250 in the 40 Sportback and $6050 in either of the 45s.
If you have a 45 TFSI you can add the Carbon and Black package for $3500, with black exterior bits, carbon spoiler, mirror caps and interior inlays.
WHAT’S THE INTERIOR LIKE?
As the A5 shares an enormous amount with the A4, it’s a familiar sight. In line with the sedan sibling’s update, the A5 picks up the new 10.1-inch MMI screen, loses the old rotary-dial MMI controller and in its place is a new lidded bin.
Wireless charging is good and there are plenty of USB ports for your Apple CarPlay/Android Auto needs.
Being the stylish version, both the Coupe and Sportback feature a lower roof, so headroom is slightly abbreviated compared to the A4 and that’s more pronounced in the back. It’s a cool place to be, though, with a high-tech look and feel no matter which variant you choose.
Obviously the Cabriolet is quite different with the three-layer cloth roof, but it’s really quiet when it’s in place and, if you would like to inspire white-hot hate, quiet enough with the roof down and windows up to conduct a phone call at city speeds. And in winter – which if you’re me, it’s the only time you’ll have the roof down – heated seats and an effective neck-level heater means it’s really nice in the cooler months.
The rear seats are even usable, but make sure you’re really good friends first as legroom and shoulder room are at a premium, even more so than the Coupe.
The boot sizes are respectable. The Sportback has 465 litres, the Coupe 450 and with the roof in place, the Cabriolet has 370.
WHAT ENGINES ARE AVAILABLE?
Two engines grace the A5 range and they’re both 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrols. The 40 TFSI delivers 140kW and 320Nm to the front wheels via a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, which is the only transmission available. It’ll whisk you to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds and use fuel at the rate of 7.3L/100km (Sportback and Coupe) or 7.5L/100km (Cabriolet).
Moving on to the 45 TFSI, you get quattro all-wheel drive and 183kW and 370Nm to shift it to 100km/h in a swift 5.8 or six seconds dead for the Cabriolet. Fuel use for the more powerful 45 comes in at 7.1L/100km.
Both engines feature a 12-volt mild hybrid system with a lithium-ion battery under the boot floor somewhere to power everything when the engine shuts off. The A5 will coast 55km/h and the stop-start system cuts in as you fall below 22km/h. Audi reckons the system is worth 0.3L/100km.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO TO DRIVE?
I’ll cheerfully admit to being a fan of the Sportback from way back. It’s the best looking and I reckon the nicest to drive even though the Coupe is fundamentally the same. With the 45 TFSI engine – the one most customers buy – the A5 is a fine thing. The 2.0-litre TFSI is very quiet but super-punchy. With barely any lag, it means you’re moving with either serenity on the torque curve or quickly as the engine quickly spins to the redline, the twin-clutch whipping through the gears.
The steering is light in town but switch up to Sport and you get a little bit of weight to make you feel a bit racier. Audis have never been huge on steering feel, but the electric steering does a pretty good job of letting you know what’s going underneath you.
It’s always quiet in the cabin, though, with almost no wind noise until the legal freeway limit, tyre noise easily drowning out what little comes out of the engine bay.
The Cabriolet is a different proposition. It’s definitely more of a cruiser, but will humour you if you want to attack some corners. It’s a bit heavier to take into account the motorised roof gear and extra bracing.
With the roof down, everything holds together quite nicely, so the bracing is certainly doing its job. It still turns into corners crisply and with the added wind over your sunsafe-hat – and the already-mentioned heated seats and neck heater to keep the winter chills at bay.
HOW SAFE IS THE A5?
As you’re paying a bit more for the A5 over the A4, you get a lot more safety gear. You get eight airbags, pre-sense city (which means forward AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection), turn assist, swerve assistant, lane assist, parking system plus, collision avoidance assistant, parking assist, around view cameras, pre sense rear, rear cross traffic alert and exit warning.
The A5 scored 5 ANCAP stars in 2017 for the Coupe and Sportback versions.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
The A5 Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet are mirrored by BMW – or at least used to be – in the form of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, 4 Series and Convertible respectively. There are new 4 Series cars on the way, but they’re at least a year away. It’s a bit more complicated at Mercedes and Lexus doesn’t have anything other than the RC Coupe.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The new A5s are three damn fine cars to look at and the 45 TFSI Sportback and Cabriolets are nice to drive. With the extra tech, more aggressive (but still elegant) looks and reasonable pricing (hey, it’s relative), this mid-life update has been worth the wait.
2020 AUDI A5 40 TFSI
Price From $$71,900-$85,430 (plus on-roads) Warranty 3 years/100,000km Engine 2.0L petrol four-cylinder Power 140kW Torque 320Nm Transmission 7-speed twin-clutch Drive front-wheel drive Body (Sportback) 4757mm (l); 2029mm (w); 1386mm (h) Kerb weight 1515kg Seats 5 Spare space-saver spare Kerb weight 1620kg/1665kg Seats 5 Spare space-saver spare
2020 AUDI A5 45 TFSI quattro
Price From $68,900 (plus on-roads) Warranty 3 years/100,000km Engine 2.0L petrol four-cylinder Power 183kW Torque 370Nm Transmission 7-speed twin-clutch Drive all-wheel drive Body (Sportback) 4757mm (l); 2029mm (w); 1386mm (h)) Kerb weight 1515kg Seats 5 Spare space-saver spare Kerb weight 1570kgkg Seats 5 Spare space-saver spare