2013 Audi A5 Comfort & Quality

On Comfort & Quality

No matter which form it takes--A5, S5 or RS 5, coupe or Cabriolet--the latest two-doors from Audi have great front-seat comfort and excellent build quality, while rear-seat passengers get a little shorted.

The A5 lineup is a classic boulevard cruiser, even when it's aggressively tuned for speed in S5 and RS 5 form. It makes for an ideal companion for a couple and their weekend's worth of luggage, and not much more.

Excellent build quality complements the A5 lineup's great front seats and acceptable trunk space.

The emphasis placed on the front passengers is obvious, from the cozy comfort of the base seats, to the grippy nature of the uprated sport seats available on the faster versions. Even those standard seats have relatively firm and pronounced bolstering for a luxury car; they're great for relaxing or for racking up the miles on long drives without discomfort. They're also capped in leather, something the competition has left behind in the name of cost savings. On the S5 and RS5, sport seats grow wings that snug up against the torso and legs; on the RS 5, they're offered in either Alcantara or Nappa leather.

In those spots, head and leg room are good, though head room can be a little tight on Coupes when the panoramic sunroof is fitted.

The back seat promises occasional seating for a couple of passengers, and in reality, that's all you'll want to use it for. Getting in and out of the seats can be an exercise unto itself, even with the long doors. Adults won't be happy back there for very long--there's nearly no legroom or headroom. The Cabriolet cuts out even more space back there, so it's for kids only.

The rear seats are split to fold down in equal portions, or together, which boosts access to the trunk. Even in the Cabriolet, the cargo hold has space for a fair amount of luggage; it hangs on to 11.3 of the Coupe's 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, even when the top is folded down.

Materials are a high point in the A5, no matter which model. Surfaces have a low-gloss luster, and the cockpit shows the company's mastery of mixing plastic, leather, and wood in the right proportions, especially on the RS5, which offers a choice of stainless-steel or carbon trim.

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