Audi gives its A5 a gentle facelift for 2013 that keeps it one of the more striking coupes on the road. The midsize A5 is more about style and personal luxury than performance, but that doesn't mean it suffers in the get-up-and-go department. Audi also makes a cabriolet, a convertible A5.
Appearance: Audi has remade the A5 with sleeker designs, with crisp body creases and yet more flowing lines than the previous model. The biggest change comes in the headlights that bookend the now single-frame grille. They are more angled and carry Audi's iconic light strips as daylight running lights. It's both an aggressive and elegant look — very R8. The taillights also now have LEDs.
Performance: The turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder produces 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which may not be performance-car numbers, but still makes for some fun acceleration. We noticed turbo lag only when really stepping on it. The electromechanical steering is responsive, with good feedback. The A5 has Audi's quattro all-wheel drive, which makes for a composed ride and handling. We think the 8-speed tiptronic automatic is one of the smoother transmissions on the market — its shifts are almost imperceptible — and it helps the A5 get decent fuel economy.
Interior: The A5 is more about personal luxury for the driver and front passenger. There's ample headroom and legroom, as well as power leather seats (12-way for driver and eight-way for the passenger). Its low roofline doesn't allow much headroom or legroom in the rear. Better leave the back seats for kids. Elsewhere, the cabin has Audi's usual fine fit and finish, even though there's a little more plastic than we'd like in a luxury model. Lyra found the front seats to be plush and comfortable, but Peter would have liked more lumbar support after taking the A5 on a jaunt to Orlando. Audi seems to be making its multimedia interface a bit more intuitive, but the A5's controller knob is far forward on the dash's console. We remain annoyed that Audi builds in an extra step to control the AC fan speed. Peter also found the placement of the button for the in-dash driver information display confusing. Why is it on the tip of the windshield washer stalk? Instead of a push button, you press the key fob into the dash to start the car. The panoramic sunroof brings in lots of light, but the shade screen is opened and closed manually.
Our 3 favorites
Sleek styling: A coupe should attract attention. It does.
Driving modes: You can choose from four settings.
Climate control: Three zones to make everyone happy.
Daylight running lights: The LED strips' effects are stunning.
Easy seats: The latch to release the seatbacks is easy to get to.
Quattro: All-wheel-drive for a stable, reliable ride.
The bottom line: The Audi A5 does a lot of things well and should be on the list of anyone who covets an upscale coupe with good road manners and plenty of style.