2017 Audi A5 Driving Impressions

The A5 delivers a splendid balance of poise and power, along with welcome comfort. Though not a high-performance car, nothing is lacking because the strong torque of the A5’s turbo-four engine delivers more vigor than expected, responding crisply to the accelerator pedal.

Quiet and smooth most of the time, the engine gets buzzy at high velocities but on par with other luxury-brand powertrains. Not only does the 8-speed automatic deliver quick shifts, it provides strong bursts of energy for passing. Acceleration to 60 mph is achieved in 6.6 seconds.

Comfort, rather than performance, is the primary goal in A5 ride and handling. Steering responds well, and the base suspension is suitably capable. Ride quality is sufficiently responsive and well-composed, without evident harshness. For sharper handling, albeit a bit more ride stiffness, a sports suspension package is available.

Visibility is unobstructed in the coupe, but the Cabriolet’s soft top can restrict the rearward view. Adding the available rearview camera, as well as reverse parking sensors, should ease low-speed maneuverability.

Each A5 is surprisingly fuel-efficient for its class. The manual-shift coupe is EPA-rated at 22/32 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined. Automatic drops the estimate to 21/30 mpg City/Highway. The Cabriolet, which comes only with automatic, is EPA-rated at 21/29 mpg City/Highway.

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