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; it’s covered in a separate review at TheCarConnection.com.
To look at the 2008 Audi A5, it's difficult to believe that it's considered entry level. It is what chief Audi stylist Walter de Silva deems "the most beautiful car I have ever designed," and it had a Jalopnik reviewer drooling when he caught a glimpse of it on a California highway, calling it “simply smashing.” Cars.com observes, “With piercing, downward-slanting headlamps, the A5's nose has something of a furrowed brow.”
Edmunds calls it “curvaceous yet muscular,” while Cars.com says it’s “instantly recognizable as an Audi.” Car and Driver feels the 2008 Audi A5 has something for everyone: "Mature proportions [that] will please the dandy, sate the sports-car enthusiast, and offend no one." Kelley Blue Book concurs that the A5 is “elegant” inside and out. ForbesAutos declares the A5’s “wide shoulder lines, high beltline and massive trapezoidal front grille” are a success, and that its back end kicks up subtly to “preserve a clean aesthetic.” The overall look “strikes a balance between timeless elegance and dramatic flair.”
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.
The interior is "more sporty than luxurious," according to ConsumerGuide, but retains "a classy driving environment--functional and comfortable, cool but not overstyled,” Automobile observes.