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#10

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $39,000 - $77,900
Invoice: $36,270 - $72,448
MPG: 22 City / 32 Hwy
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Audi A5 Performance

Critics agree that the base A5 is fun to drive, with composed handling and a comfortable ride. Some critics think the base engine is powerful enough, while other wish it provided better acceleration. Critics say the A5 Cabriolet’s CVT isn’t as responsive as they would like, but they love the optional eight-speed automatic transmission’s smooth, well-timed shifts.

  • "Overall, the A5 is a pleasure to drive; it's only the power deficit that holds it back." -- AutoTrader
  • "The A5 Coupe offers terrific balance above all else, with excellent poise and a comfortable ride in just about any reasonable situation. The S5 Coupe, meanwhile, delivers blistering speed and over-the-road competence, courtesy of its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and the quattro all-wheel-drive system." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Though these cars are certainly more GTs than sports cars, they won't leave you wanting when driven simply for enjoyment." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Audi A5 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 220 horsepower. The A5 Coupe comes with a six-speed manual transmission, while the A5 Cabriolet comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). An eight-speed automatic transmission is optional. The EPA reports that the base A5 Coupe gets 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The base A5 Cabriolet gets 24/32 mpg city/highway. Audi drive select, which allows you to adjust throttle and transmission settings, is optional on the A5 and standard on the S5 and RS5.

The high-performance S5 features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates 333 horsepower. A six-speed manual is standard in the S5 Coupe. A seven-speed automated manual transmission is optional in the S5 Coupe and standard in the S5 Cabriolet. Audi says that the 2014 S5 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. The RS5 has a 450-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 engine and a seven-speed automated manual transmission. According to Audi, the 2014 RS5 Coupe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph.

Despite receiving a slight boost in horsepower this year, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the A5 underwhelms some critics who expect more power and refinement from cars in this class. Still, many critics think the turbo four model provides decent acceleration and very good fuel economy. Test drivers agree that the optional eight-speed automatic is excellent, shifting smoothly and at just the right moments. The base Cabriolet’s CVT, on the other hand, is criticized for further weakening an already underpowered engine.

  • "Equipped with front-wheel drive and the CVT, the A5 Cabriolet may be the least engaging premium convertible on the market. The transmission is neither responsive nor particularly refined, and it seems to sap some of the engine's power. Fortunately, Quattro brings a superior 8-speed automatic and an available 6-speed manual in the coupe. But no matter which configuration you choose, there's no getting around the engine's modest output. The A5 may look like it's got a nose for speed, but the turbo 4-cylinder simply runs out of breath at higher velocities." -- AutoTrader
  • "The A5's four-cylinder engine is a mixed bag. It gives this coupe and convertible respectable acceleration and great fuel economy, but it doesn't sound as refined as a six-cylinder at high revs and it transmits some off-putting vibrations through the steering wheel. But unless you're habitually flooring the accelerator, you probably won't find this too much of a drawback. If you want something faster, there's always the Audi S5 with its supercharged V6." -- Edmunds
  • "On top of that, this transmission is one of the best automatics used by the Volkswagen Group in terms of shift points and response, and for a sportier feel, it's easy enough to just knock the shift lever into Sport mode for a bit more excitement." -- Autoblog (2013 A5 Coupe)

Handling and Braking

The A5 Coupe comes standard with all-wheel drive, while the A5 Cabriolet comes with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Audi drive select, which allows you to adjust steering settings for increased performance, is optional on the A5, as is a sport-tuned suspension. Though they say it’s not a high-performance car, test drivers agree that the A5 provides a comfortable ride, well-controlled handling and good traction with the all-wheel drive system. Automotive journalists write that the base A5 has light, accurate steering and very good braking performance.

  • "Though it's not a sports car, the 2014 Audi A5 still has a taut, crisp feel on the road, combining impressive body control and a pleasant ride quality with tenacious traction from the available all-wheel-drive system. At the same time, it's important to remember that the A5 weighs more than its rear-wheel-drive rivals and consequently feels more like a grand touring coupe than a high-performance one." -- Edmunds
  • "Handling is good in standard form and excellent with the Sport package's sport-tuned suspension, while the ride remains supple unless you get the optional 19-in wheels, which we wouldn't advise. On the highway, the A5 feels invincible, tracking straight and true with nary a vibration at any speed." -- AutoTrader
  • "Braking is powerful and stable." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "While the A5's steering feels light, the S5's has a decent heft. Both electric racks are linear in their response." -- Motor Trend (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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