by Belinda Anderson
For 2020, Audi designers have spiced up the Audi A5 Coupe with a much more distinctive and assertive aesthetic. With a fresh new profile, and some cool on-board updates, the A5 Coupe takes on stalwarts like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and BMW's 4 Series Coupe with much more confidence than before. And, with an efficient and capable 2.0-liter turbo powertrain developing 248 horsepower, superb handling dynamics, and a beautiful cabin, there seem to be fewer reasons why buyers should consider these rivals instead. Still, the A5 doesn't have the most practical cargo space, nor does it offer any options in terms of engine, drivetrain or transmission. But with Audi hard at work to keep the line between sporty and sublime in check, the A5 Coupe is more appealing than ever.
2020 brings with it many changes for the second generation A5 model lineup as a whole, with a fresher, sportier look on the outside, and a brand-new MIB 3 infotainment system on the inside. The exterior gets a much more assertive nose, a sleeker profile, and larger air inlets that create a sense of aggression. The exterior color palette has also been pruned and refined. Inside the cabin, the updated infotainment setup includes a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a lot more tech wizardry behind it than before - the system is said to operate ten times faster than MIB 2.
The front end of this striking German has received some attention, with the Singleframe grille featuring a honeycomb motif that is larger overall than the previous generation. There are sassy ventilation slots above the grille too, that throwback to old-school Sport Quattro stylings from the mid 80s. Large air inlets and an assertive blade on the lower bumper lip are eye-catching, and the rear features a diffuser insert with trapezoidal tailpipes and a wider behind. All models come with LED head- and taillights, with Audi laser lights and animation featuring on the Prestige trim. 18-inch wheels are standard across the range, with an upgrade to 19s available, and a panoramic sunroof is installed from the base model.
The A5 Coupe has a total length of 184.9 inches, with a 108.8-inch wheelbase and a width of 79.8 inches with the mirrors included. Standing proudly at 53.9 inches tall, the A5 Coupe is slightly smaller and sleeker than its A4 sedan stablemate, and has a slightly shorter wheelbase than both main rivals, the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. The scale shows a curb weight of 3,638 pounds for the 2020 A5 Coupe - around 30 pounds heavier than the outgoing model, but still lighter than competitors from Mercedes and BMW (when these models are equipped with all-wheel-drive).
With its facelift and correlating style change, the Audi A5 Coupe boasts a range of colors that show off the sophisticated yet aggressive look - the 2020 palette was trimmed down from eleven colors to eight, with some replacements made for the new model year. Ibis White is a no-cost option, while Turbo Blue and five metallic shades (District Green, Glacier White, Mythos Black, Navarra Blue, and Tango Red) will set you back $595 extra. Daytona Gray Pearl is the final color choice, also at $595. We particularly like the striking look of the Navarra Blue, but District Green has also grown on us, giving the A5 Coupe a unique and stealthy yet suave look.
The three-model A5 Coupe range shares the same four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI engine for all models, with 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque available under the hood. All trim levels are configured with the standard quattro all-wheel-drive system, and, according to Audi, can make the sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a sprint time that the 4 Series can beat by a tenth of a second when equipped with the automatic eight-speed transmission. Mercedes' C300 Coupe takes fractionally longer to get to sixty, despite having a little more horsepower on tap. Still, the A5 Coupe is quick and responsive, with an assertive leap forward when the accelerator is depressed, and can rapidly reach its top speed of 130 mph. Whereas the Audi is strictly available with AWD, both BMW and Mercedes offer their Coupes with a rear-wheel-drive option, but this isn't to the A5's detriment - it manages to straddle the line between sporty performance and plush cruiser with poise. Drivers will feel confident of what this car is capable of, although those wanting a tad more spice from the powertrain may want to look at the 349-hp S5 Coupe instead, a model that we review separately.
Audi uses the same effective power- and drivetrain combination from 2019 for the updated 2020 models, comprising a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that's good for 248 hp and 273 lb-ft. The A5 Coupe makes use of a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission to lay down power to all four wheels via the standard quattro setup. While rivals offer the choice of RWD/AWD in their lineups, as well as an optional manual gearbox on RWD Bimmers, the Audi A5 Coupe's mechanics and underpinnings are brilliantly matched, allowing for predictable, smooth power delivery, easy overtaking and merging on highways, and no-fuss cruising at high speeds. Gears can also be manually selected by means of the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel, and although some may argue that this still isn't as engaging as the manual on the BMW 4 Series, the A5 Coupe feels just right beneath the fingertips, doing as it's told without skipping a beat.
Coupes are often seen as laid-back vehicles with more focus on comfort than anything else, but as already mentioned, Audi has managed to tick this box - and the box for agility and fun-to-drive factor - in one go. By no means a sports car, the A5 Coupe still handles admirably, really showing off precise steering and a competent suspension when thrown into corners at speed - the coupe remains unruffled with a solid sense of gravity and grip. Although there's no thrill of track-inspired machinery here, the A5 Coupe allows for even novice drivers to feel competent and confident by being an agile yet composed drive. The optional sport suspension also tightens things up a bit and allows for a bit more adventurous driving, although comfort in city driving will suffer a bit - especially if you stray from the standard 18-inch wheels for larger units. The standard setup, however, provides for a soft ride that isolates road-surface abrasions from the cabin quite well.
Where the A5 falters is in its lack of engagement. It's comfortable and competent but never thrills, and that's where the 4 Series and C-Class Coupe have the upper hand.
With a TFSI under the hood and a mid-five-second time to get to 60 mph, the A5 Coupe provides better-than-expected gas mileage. The EPA provides consumption figures of 24/32/27 mpg city/highway/combined cycles. The BMW 4 Series Coupe only trumps these figures by two mpg on the highway in RWD form, while the A5 is comfortably more efficient than the BMW 430i xDrive (21/31/24 mpg). It's the same story for the Mercedes C300 Coupe which manages less impressive fuel economy estimates of 21/30/25 in AWD configuration.
Equipped with a 15.3-gallon fuel tank, the A5 Coupe offers around 413 miles of cruising pleasure before requiring a top-up of premium unleaded gas.
Classic German practicality and ergonomics are carried over throughout the A5 range, and the interior of the coupe reflects a clean, uncluttered, yet beautifully laid-out cabin. A new infotainment system brings about a more modern edge and, combined with leatherette or leather upholstery, aluminum or wood inlays, and eight-way power-adjustable seats, resonates with the luxurious feel required of the segment. Ingress and egress are easy for the front passengers, although rear-seat occupants have to slip in behind flipped-forward seats, as is expected of a two-door coupe. Still, the driver has excellent visibility all around, and blind-spots are easily mitigated by the consignment of driver aids and well-sized exterior mirrors.
Coupes can generally seat five in theory, but the A5 Coupe is only kitted out for four - and even so, taller, bulkier passengers won't be comfortable in the back row for extended road trips. There's only 32.7 inches of legroom and 36.1 inches of headroom back there, which is quite average for a coupe, but with the front seats pushed all the way back, this will seriously encroach on available space and leave back seat passengers with their knees digging into the seatbacks. For the driver and front passenger, there's a lot more space available - 37.4 inches of headroom, and 41.3 inches to stretch out your legs. Ideally, taller occupants should be up front, where the standard sport seats are comfortable, extensively adjustable, and the driver gets optimal positioning.
Continuing the contemporary look inside the cabin, the interior is characterized by leather upholstery and Dark Aluminum Ellipse inlays are standard, across the range. Seats can be had in Atlas Beige, Okapi Brown, Black, or Rock Gray, all with Granite stitching. Gray Oak Natural Wood can be optioned on at no cost, or the interior can be spruced up even further by equipping the $500 S line interior package, which adds a perforated leather steering wheel, matte aluminum inlays, and leather/Alcantara seating with contrast stitching.
There's slightly less space in the trunk for the 2020 model year, with 10.9 cubic feet behind the back row - still, with the seats folded down, three large suitcases can easily fit. What's available once you pop the trunk isn't the best in the segment, but it's sufficient and beats the C300 by half a cubic foot or so. The BMW 4 Series has almost 16 cubic feet on offer, though.
For small items, there's a variety of little storage spaces, trays, and nooks for keys, coins, and even a smartphone. Bigger items may be problematic, and the glovebox won't store much more than your important documents and a wallet. Large bottles also don't fit into the cupholders or door-side pockets.
The A5 Coupe is comprehensively outfitted with comfort and convenience features, as well as a good basic safety suite in the base model. Push-button start, three-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, and heated, eight-way power-adjustable front seats are factory fitted. The required rearview camera is in place, and there's a garage door opener installed, too. Cruise control, drive select, pre sense basic and pre sense city are equipped to the base model, with front and rear sensors and side assist with cross-traffic alert added on the mid-spec model. The fully-loaded Prestige gets a surround-view camera, lane assist, park steering assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and a head-up display stock fitted. All models ship with a panoramic sunroof, too.
2019's infotainment system has been replaced by a more modern setup that features a 10.1-inch touchscreen and the new MIB 3 system - a vast improvement over the entry-level seven-inch MMI system from the previous model year, and even better than the top-specced 8.3-inch unit that featured on the Premium Plus and Prestige. This upgrade operates ten times quicker than the previous software, according to the manufacturer, and boasts improved graphics and resolution. With handwriting recognition, Bluetooth integration, USB ports, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, the new system is complemented by a ten-speaker sound system, which upgrades to a premium Bang & Olufsen setup with 19 speakers on the Prestige model. From the mid-range Premium Plus, the A5 Coupe also gets the acclaimed Audi virtual cockpit plus with a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, Audi's phone box for wireless charging and boosting cell phone signal, as well as a 90-day subscription to SiriusXM. The top-end Prestige model gets Navigation as standard.
With a spotless record, the A5 Coupe is recall-free for 2019 and 2020 in Coupe guise. J.D. Power has not rated the 2020 model for reliability, but the 2019 variant scored a high 83 out of 100. Additionally, Audi covers new vehicle purchases with a four-year/50,000-mile full warranty, as well as coverage for the powertrain for the same period. Roadside assistance is also offered for four years/unlimited miles.
Unfortunately, there are no safety ratings available for the A5 Coupe from the NHTSA, with the agency only evaluating the four-door Sportback; however, the IIHS evaluated the A5 Coupe in 2019 and awarded it top scores of Good in five categories, with Superior ratings achieved for both the stock-fitted and optional forward collision avoidance systems, as well as for pedestrian detection. With further enhancements made for 2020, we expect these scores to carry over.
From the base configuration, the A5 Coupe has a full spread of safety features, starting with six airbags, stability and traction control, ABS braking, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Although keyless entry only comes in on the mid-spec Premium Plus, push-button start is standard across the range, as are rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights. Cruise control and both pre sense basic and pre sense city are stock-fitted on the entry-level car. Moving up the Premium Plus adds front and rear parking sensors, along with Audi side assist with pre-sense rear (which includes rear cross-traffic assist and vehicle exit warning). At the top of the range, the Prestige model adds a surround-view camera, active lane assist, park steering assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and a head-up display.
The rivalry between the three German greats has always been tense, and in this segment, there's no love lost between coupe rivals either - each brings its own two-door delights to the table. Truthfully, each vehicle has its own strong points, with Merc's C300 dominating the luxury and comfort department easily. BMW, historically, offers the best in terms of driving pleasure, and the 4 Series Coupe bests the A5 in terms of superior handling. So, where does that leave the A5 Coupe? With an excellent quattro AWD system, a responsive turbocharged engine working seamlessly with its auto 'box, and an ergonomic, comfortable cabin, the Audi A5 Coupe excels at covering both bases - so, while it doesn't necessarily beat either at any one thing, it does both comfort and driving style really, really well. For all-round enjoyment, the Audi A5 Coupe deserves to be on your shortlist.
For 2020, the Audi A5 Coupe has a starting MSRP of $42,900 for the base Premium model. Opting for the Premium Plus will cost $46,700, while the top-end Prestige is priced at $52,600. This excludes a $995 destination fee, as well as any taxes, title, and other miscellaneous charges. Interestingly, the cost of the two lower trims is less than the 2019 pricing, with only the Prestige costing $300 more than last year.
The Audi A5 Coupe comes in three models: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, all of which are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI engine making 248 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Across the range, all models boast quattro AWD and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The entry-spec Premium model rides on 18-inch wheels and boasts the S line exterior bumpers and side sill blades. Full LED lighting is standard with high beam assist and dynamic rear indicators. A panoramic sunroof is fitted, and the exterior mirrors are heated and manual-folding. On the inside, three-zone climate control helps to keep occupants comfortable, while an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather seats, and heated power-adjusting front seats are included. The new 10.1-inch infotainment screen is paired with a ten-speaker sound system.
Mid-range is the Premium Plus, which adds matrix LED headlights and power-folding exterior mirrors. A memory function for the driver's seat and a leatherette-covered center console and armrests get added, while front and rear parking sensors, together with rear cross-traffic assist and vehicle exit warning, supplement the safety suite. Audi's virtual cockpit, a wireless charger, a signal booster, and a three-month subscription to SiriusXM are standard fare.
At the top of the range, the Prestige receives laser-light tech, high-beam assist, and animations for the exterior lighting. The infotainment system is fleshed out with navigation and a brilliant 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The most significant additions are to the safety suite, where a surround-view camera, active lane assist, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, park steering assist, and traffic sign recognition are now standard.
Despite being comprehensively specified even at base-level, the A5 Coupe can be further enhanced by means of the Convenience Package on the Premium trim. Priced at $1,500, this bundle adds heated, auto-dimming and power-adjustable exterior mirrors, advanced keyless entry, Audi side assist and pre sense rear, as well as a memory function for the driver's seat and a three-month subscription to SiriusXM.
For the Premium Plus models, a Black Optic package is available at $1,300 for blacked-out exterior trim and 19-inch matte titanium wheels. The S line interior package is also available, equipping a three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather, matte aluminum inlays, leather/Alcantara trim with contrast stitching, and stainless steel pedal caps for an additional $500. A Driver Assistance package costs $1,500 and adds adaptive cruise control and active lane assist, while the Navigation package costs $1,600.
For $250 you can also add the sport suspension, which decreases the ride height and tightens up the underpinnings for a nippier ride. The Prestige trim has access to ventilated front seats for an additional $800.
With three models in the range covering a price range from $42,900 to $52,600, the Audi A5 Coupe represents great value for money even at the entry point to the range; comprehensively equipped, it is cheaper than both the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe in base form. However, the A5 Coupe really comes into its own at the top-end of the range, and the Prestige trim offers a prime mixture of luxury and comfort, although in its fully-loaded form, it will set you back quite a bit more than the Merc C300 4MATIC - this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the Audi Coupe offers a much better drive, although the C300 has much more opulence inside. The sweet spot in the A5 Coupe range is the mid-spec Premium Plus, which is priced similarly to the top-of-the-range C300. It ships with Audi's virtual cockpit, additional parking sensors, side assist and pre sense rear over and above the stock features of the base-line model. Navigation and more safety features can be added to sweeten the deal, and you will have a brilliant, tech-laden luxury Coupe.
The Merc C-Class Coupe is available in two models that both share a powertrain and the standard features list, but it can be had in either RWD or AWD, with a price ranging from $45,950 to $47,950. The Audi A5 Coupe undercuts the entry-level price of the C300 and is equipped with an engine that makes seven less horsepower than that of the Merc. Still, the Audi offers much more efficiency from its powertrain with EPA figures that beat the 21/30/25 mpg of the C300 in 4MATIC configuration. Although the interior of the C300 is assuredly more posh and luxurious than that of its four-ringed rival, the exterior styling of the 2020 A5 Coupe is undoubtedly more distinctive, more aggressive, and more noticeable. This carries through to the way the cars drive, too, with the A5 being the more planted and agile drive - make no mistake, the C300 is polished and urbane in its performance, but we like the sass of the Audi much more.
The third part of the German trinity, BMW's champion in this segment comes in the form of the 4 Series Coupe. Available in two powertrain options, and as either RWD or AWD, the Bimmer also offers the purist approach of having a manual gearbox on its RWD models. 430i trims have a similar powertrain to that of the Audi A5 Coupe, making similar horsepower, but less torque. In 440i guise, however, this is upped to 320 hp and 330 lb-ft, which many will appreciate as an added option before having to head over to M derivatives for performance-oriented driving. While both cars are excellent drivers, soaking up minor road abrasions and handling corners with ease, it's the BMW that wins us over with its dominance in the handling department. We do prefer the Audi's new infotainment system, but the A5 Coupe has to keep up with what the BMW sends coursing through our veins on the open road.