- Nicely understated but beautiful styling that shines in the details
- Chic instrument panel with pleasing materials
- Very quiet, refined interior and smooth ride
- Great all-wheel drive traction
- Headroom is tight all around
- Backseat space isn’t viable for average or taller adults
- Handling feels more heavy than agile
Understated on the outside, gorgeous on the inside, the 2008 Audi A5 has a stylish presence and grand-touring comfort.
The auto experts at TheCarConnection.com covered the bases for you and incorporated information from a wide range of reviews in this comprehensive report on the Audi A5. To bring you the best advice on what distinguishes the A5 from rival sporty coupes, TheCarConnection.com's editors have also driven the Audi A5 and include their impressions.
The 2008 Audi A5 is an all-new mid-size sporty coupe that shares most of its mechanical underpinnings with the upcoming 2009 Audi A4 sedan. The S5 is very similar but appeals to a different kind of buyer, with its edgier, more flamboyant styling and V-8 power.
A 265-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 powers the 2008 Audi A5 with authority; its performance isn't especially responsive, but it's very smooth and refined and can push the A5 to 60 mph in about six seconds. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission is offered; the engine actually works very well with the automatic, executing quick, decisive downshifts. The quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard and puts more power to the back wheels in enthusiastic driving.
Inside, the 2008 Audi A5 feels lavish and luxurious, with high-grade materials and plenty of attention to small design details. The display screen for Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) dominates the top of the instrument panel; MMI is used to access many of the functions for audio and climate control functions.
Tuned more for ride quality than aggressive handling capability, the 2008 Audi A5 isn't especially exciting to drive, but steering is crisp and communicative, and it's very quiet and well isolated from road noise, with a secure feel on the highway. An S-Line option package brings stiffer suspension settings and promises to make the A5 sprightlier in the curves.
Front seats are among the best of any coupe its size, with plenty of support and generous padding; headroom is tight, however, for adults who carry their height in the torso. Rear seats are difficult to get into and too tight for adults, with restricted legroom and very limiting headroom. Due to the high beltline that swoops around the back of the 2008 Audi A5, trunk space is surprisingly ample; it's as large as that of most mid-size sedans.
Three-zone automatic climate control, an intelligent key system, and a 10-speaker sound system with SD memory card slot are among the standard features; standout options on the 2008 Audi A5 include a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, a nav system, and a technology package that includes adaptive headlamps, rear parking sensors, and a keyless ignition system.
The 2008 Audi A5 has not yet been crash-tested. Electronic stability control, front side airbags, and side curtain bags are standard on the A5.