A stylish, debonair machine, the kind of car that makes you want to dress smartly. The keyless entry and starting is seamless (not all of them are). The steering is a bit overboosted at parking speeds, but it’s fine once you’re moving along. Nice, light efforts in the shifter and clutch – too bad so many buyers are likely to bypass the manual. Their loss. Every generation of Audi’s MMI (multi media interface) is easier to use than the one before, but it’s still not quite perfect. Poised over-the-road handling, and plentiful thrust when you let the engine climb deep into the rev range. Overall, a classy coupe for those who don’t entertain boy-racer fantasies.
Joe Lorio, Senior Editor
I forgot that I wasn’t driving the sportier S5 version of this car, so impressed was I by the performance. The transmission refinement, engine power, ride, and handling are all superb. I picked up my friend Charley in Ypsilanti, and we took a back way to I-94 as we headed to downtown Detroit. This route is a series of two- and four-lane service roads surrounding the Willow Run Airport and leading to I-94, with a variety of surface qualities, radii, and camber. I hammered the A5 and it responded with all the alacrity one would expect of a premium German sport/luxury coupe. Grip, damping quality, and steering feel were all spot-on. And to top it all off, anytime you’re behind the wheel of this car, you feel like you’re in one of the most stylish machines on the road. And you are.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
The A5 is about as sexy as cars get these days. It’s not ostentatious in the least, but the Audi’s smooth lines hold onlookers’ gazes nonetheless. The interior ambiance is just as fabulous.
Like Joe D, I was also very impressed by the amount of shove provided by the 3.2-liter V-6. Just because it’s the base engine clearly doesn’t mean that you’ll be shackled to the slow lane. To me, the action of the stick shift is ever so slightly clunky when it slides into gear, but I’m very glad that Audi offers a manual in this car. It’s still a very smooth car to drive and one of the best grand touring cars on the market.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor
I’m not sure I’d describe the A5 as “sexy,” but it is certainly sleek and attractive. As with all Audis, the interior is first-rate, with the quality of materials and the fit and finish second to none. The MMI system is, for me, more user-friendly than either BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes’ Comand. This isn’t a sports car by any means, but it’s a car that would be exceedingly easy to live with as an every-day driver.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2008 Audi A5 Coupe
Base Price (with destination): $40,675
Price as tested: $51,340
- Deep Sea Blue Pearl Effect $475
- S Line Sport Package $2900
- Audi Navigation Plus $2390
- Premium Package $1850
- Technology Package 1700
- Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System $850
- Audi Side Assist $500
Fuel Economy: 16 / 27 / 20 (city/hwy/combined)
Size: 3.2L DOHC V-6
HP: 265 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3250-5000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
Weight: 3737 lb