2009 Audi A5 Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Though the A5 isn't as sporty as competitors like the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche Boxter, it's balance of power and responsive handling still pleases test drivers. For a sportier ride, consider its performance-tuned trim, the S5.
- "Straddles the line between sportiness and refinement with class and style. Standard all-wheel drive makes this a nice year-round choice." -- Car and Driver
- "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
Acceleration and Power
The 2009 Audi A5 is equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 engine that generates 265 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 243 pound-feet of torque at 3,250-5,000 rpm. In addition to a six-speed manual transmission, a Tiptronic automatic is also available. According to the EPA, the manual has a city/highway fuel economy of 16/27 mpg, while the automatic boasts 17/26 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).
Though test drivers report that the A5 is powerful enough for daily commutes, many 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
The '09 A5 features rack-and-pinion Servotronic electric power assist steering, as well as a five-link front suspension and trapezoidal link independent rear suspension. What's more, an anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution are standard -- as is Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system and Electronic Stabilization Program. Together, these systems aid drivers in navigating through poor driving conditions by employing traction control alongside its many brake systems. Not surprisingly, auto writers are universally satisfied by the A5's handling dynamics.
- "Fortified with Audi's legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system, it's no surprise that the 2009 Audi A5 is an exceptionally confident handler, but equal credit for that prowess is due to a ultra-rigid platform design that features additional mass-reducing aluminum-intensive suspension components and a more pronounced engine setback that creates better overall balance." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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
- "At low speeds, it feels too light -- almost feminine. As speeds ramp up, so does steering effort -- but it gets too heavy too quickly; by 40 mph, it feels like the power steering died. At cruising speed, this heft feels most balanced, but then chassis tuning goes away. Quick inputs send the A5 rolling more than expected." -- Motor Trend
- "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