2008 Audi A5 Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Audi A5 was new.
Most auto journalists find that the A5 offers adequate levels of power and responsive handling, though it certainly isn't as sporty as it competitors. For a sportier ride, consider its performance-tuned trim, the S5.
- "If there is such a thing as the perfect driver's car, I thought, this is it -- so light, tight, responsive." -- Washington Post
- "The A5 and S5 involve the driver physically, audibly, and mentally though never to the point of making it a chore or less than inviting. -- New Car Test Drive
- "Bottom line: Driving enthusiasts should take a long, hard look at the A5 or S5 quattro, but if shifter and steering feel are your top purchase priorities, consider the BMW 3 Series. -- Motor Trend
Acceleration and Power
The A5 features a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produces 265 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 243 pound-feet of torque at 3,250-5,000 rpm. Both a six-speed manual and Tiptronic automatic transmission are available. According to the EPA, the manual has a city/highway fuel economy of 16/27 mph, while the automatic boasts 18/27 mpg. Audi reports a top speed of 130 mph and a 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 5.8 seconds (manual) or 5.9 seconds (automatic).
Test drivers consider the A5 powerful enough for daily driving, but concede that it's no sports coupe. What's more, some take issue with its manual transmission -- which is imprecise.
- "Whoooosssshhh! The extra o's, s's and h's are there to give you a better idea of the smooth power of the A5 3.2 Quattro's 3.2-liter, 265-horsepower V-6 engine. It's not "whoosh," which is too fast and jerky. It's "whoooosssshhh" -- smooth, gentle, yet powerful." -- Washington Post
- With the manual transmission, Audi says the A5 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 6 seconds, which is faster than most cars." -- Cars.com
- "Our A5 test vehicle had the six-speed manual. It felt imprecise moving the gears, especially compared to that of the BMW 3 Series." -- Forbes
- "There is plenty of power, but the manual transmission is less precise and the clutch is not quite as engaging as is typically associated with an Audi vehicle." -- Carseek
Handling and Braking
Auto writers find that the A5's handling dynamics satisfy. The A5 features rack-and-pinion Servotronic electric power assist steering, as well as a five-link front suspension and trapezoidal link independent rear suspension. It's halted by an anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution. What's more, the A5 features Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system and Electronic Stabilization Program -- which helps drivers navigate in poor driving conditions by employing traction control alongside its many brake systems.
- "These coupes will charge hard through corners (the S5 notably more so than the A5) while generating little or no tire noise and minimal perceived chassis slip angle. They're not cars to be hurled sideways through turns; they always feel confident and mature." -- Motor Trend
- "Steering is nicely weighted and doesn't lack feel or reaction to the slightest turn of the wheel. We classify the Audi's steering heavier than a BMW in standard mode, but lighter than a BMW in Sport mode, so it's a happy medium. At parking speeds, it is light and quick, with a respectable cut for maneuvering." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The A5 comes standard with quattro all-wheel drive, which makes the car safer and more drivable in everyday situations and can improve acceleration at the expense of added weight, complexity and gas mileage." -- Forbes
- "With a 40/60-percent front-to-rear power split, the Quattro system provides a rear-wheel-drive car's crisp handling dynamics along with the extra grip of all-wheel drive." -- Edmunds
- "Brakes, as expected in any car of this caliber, are entirely competent and exhibited not a trace of fade along northern Italy's twisty declines, where many an ancient Alfa (or lumbering livestock) might be asserting its God-given right to park itself in the middle of the road around any given bend." -- Car and Driver