The Audi A5 shares most of its underpinnings with the 2009 Audi A4 sedan, but its sheetmetal is completely different. The S5 (covered in a separate review at TheCarConnection.com) is very similar but appeals to a different kind of buyer, with its edgier, more flamboyant styling and V-8 power.
Various reviews read by TheCarConnection.com state that pictures of the A5 don't do the design justice—it looks even better in person—and most rave about its proportions and detail.
Automobile Magazine states the A5 "is elegantly handsome and more emotional in form than previous Audis." The 2009 A5 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." Car and Driver feels the 2009 Audi A5 has something for everyone: "Mature proportions [that] will please the dandy, sate the sports-car enthusiast, and offend no one." 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." 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." Automobile Magazine has named the 2009 A5 its "Design of the Year."
With high-grade materials and plenty of attention to small design details, the interior of the 2009 Audi A5 feels lavish and luxurious. Automobile Magazine remarks, "when you open the door [you] find one of the best interiors offered today, for any car at any price." The display screen for Audi's MMI (now a stand-alone option) dominates the top of the instrument panel; MMI is used to access many of the functions for audio and climate control functions. ConsumerGuide reports that the interior is "more sporty than luxurious," while Automobile Magazine says it retains "a classy driving environment—functional and comfortable, cool but not overstyled." Real materials are used to decorate the cabin: wood, leather, and aluminum. For 2009, what Audi calls "aluminum hologram inlays" are available as a no-cost option.