- Exceptionally confident handling
- High-quality interior
- Quiet, smooth ride
- Tight headroom
- Backseat isn’t good for adults
- Steering lacks light, agile feel to match personality
The 2009 Audi A5 isn’t as much fun to drive as all-out sport coupes, but the interior will wow even jaded luxury buyers.
The 2009 Audi A5 is a mid-size coupe that shares most of its mechanical underpinnings with the 2009 Audi A4 sedan. Instead of being overtly sporty, the A5 follows a style that’s more sophisticated, in the vein of so-called grand-touring coupes.
The 265-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 that’s standard in the 2009 Audi A5 moves it with authority; its performance isn't especially responsive, but it's very smooth and refined, able to push the A5 to 60 mph in about six seconds. The A5 offers a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission; the engine actually works very well with the automatic, executing quick, decisive downshifts. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard, and Audi has programmed a rearward bias for sportier handling.
Audi continues to refine its renowned interior design, fit, and finish. Inside, the 2009 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.
The 2009 Audi A5 isn't particularly fun or exciting to drive, since it is tuned more for ride quality than aggressive handling capability, but steering is crisp and communicative at speed. The A5 is very quiet and well isolated from road noise, with a secure feel on the highway, though, and the brakes are powerful. An S-Line option package brings stiffer suspension settings and promises to make the A5 sprightlier in the curves. An optional package allows the driver to tune the suspension, steering, and throttle response.
Passengers feel coddled by the Audi's comfortably snug seats. 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. As with many cars, adults will find the rear seats too tight and difficult to get into, with restricted legroom and very limiting headroom. Due to the high beltline that swoops around the back of the 2009 Audi A5, trunk space is surprisingly ample; it's as large as that of most mid-size sedans.
Standard features include three-zone automatic climate control, an intelligent key system, and a 10-speaker sound system with music player input. The 2009 Audi A5 also offers such standout options as 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. New options for 2009 include adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitoring system, and voice control for the navigation system.
Safety reports from crash tests are not yet in for the 2009 Audi A5, but electronic stability control, knee airbags, front side airbags, and front and rear side-curtain bags are standard on the A5.