Ahead of a major redesign next year, the 2017 Audi A5 remains a viable choice for shoppers in the market for a luxury coupe that capably manages to strike a balance between comfort and sportiness. With standard all-wheel drive, a well-appointed interior, nimble handling and decent fuel economy, the A5 proves it can still compete effectively with its class rivals.
The 2018 A5 is scheduled to arrive with a new exterior design, resculpted interior, new engine choices and updated technology, so changes for 2017 are minimal. The S line body kit and parking sensors are now standard for all models. A Convenience package includes heated seats and auto-dimming, heated side mirrors, and the Black Optic package adds 19-inch black wheels and high-gloss black exterior trim.
The only powerplant is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. An eight-speed automatic is available as an option. Buyers who choose the convertible version of the A5 get the automatic transmission as standard equipment.
Although it's aging, the interior of the A5 still stands out. The materials are first-class. Audi has laid out the controls logically and included such luxury touches as leather seats, three-zone automatic climate control and a premium sound system. There's plenty of room for two occupants and a reasonable amount of luggage, although rear seat passengers might find the accommodations a bit snug.
Since the A5's last significant update was in 2012, some shoppers may find technology to be a weakness in the current model. It lacks some of the latest active safety features, such as automatic braking, although it does have a standard rearview camera. Items such as blind-spot monitoring are available as part of the Technology package. Bluetooth smartphone connectivity is standard, but rather than a USB port, the A5 only provides an iPhone cable.
The A5's all-wheel-drive system and sophisticated four-link suspension contribute to a well-mannered, solid driving experience. The overall feel is weighted more toward comfort than outright cornering ability, but buyers can tick the Sport package box for a bit more firmness and choose the Drive Select system, which provides driver-adjustable suspension, transmission and throttle settings. Most buyers will find the standard engine adequate enough, but those in the market for more performance might want to check out the Audi S5 with its 333-horsepower supercharged V6.
Fuel economy for the A5 with the six-speed manual gearbox is 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway), and with the eight-speed automatic transmission, the rating drops just a bit to 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway).
Offered in only one trim level, the A5 comes quite well equipped in standard form, with features that include heated seats, a premium sound system, automatic headlights and alloy wheels. A variety of packages and standalone options allow buyers to personalize their vehicles with many comfort and convenience accessories. Let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Audi A5 that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.