2020 Audi A5

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2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
January 27, 2020

Buying tip

The 2020 Audi A5 Sportback is a five-door worth coveting, though we wouldn’t fault you for picking the shapely coupe or the fun convertible.

features & specs

Premium 2.0 TFSI quattro
Premium Plus 2.0 TFSI quattro
Prestige 2.0 TFSI quattro
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
MSRP
$49,900
MSRP
$49,900
MSRP
$49,900

The 2020 Audi A5 is a stylish companion to the automaker’s staid A4, and it’s a hoot to drive.

The 2020 Audi A5 is the suave, versatile brother to the workaday Audi A4 lineup. Available as a coupe, convertible, or practical five-door hatchback, the 2020 A5 has gorgeous lines with few compromises other than a higher price than the A4. 

We rate the lineup at 6.8 out of 10, though rated alone the A5 Sportback five-door would score a little higher. (Read more about how we rate cars.) 

This year, all A5s have sharper headlights, revised grille designs, and a new infotainment system that ditches last year’s fiddly control knob for more touchscreen features. 

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The 2020 A5 is powered by a 248-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The A5 is quick but not rapid. For that, you’ll have to step up to the high-performance S5 and its 349-hp turbocharged V-6. Instead, the A5 is more about comfortable cruising with a little more verve. That’s how most of us actually drive, anyway. Steering is light but responsive, and the ride splits the difference between plush and firm in all the right ways. 

Exterior styling is a major draw, but the A5 delights with its clean interior as well. Sharp lines, a low dash, and excellent materials make up for the cramped rear quarters and cargo space in coupes and convertibles. Sportbacks have plenty of room for cargo and rear-seat passengers. We wouldn’t buy an A4 without testing an A5 first. 

The A5 has done well in crash tests and comes with automatic emergency braking. Spend-up extras include active lane control and adaptive cruise control, as well as a digital instrument cluster and a system that can communicate with traffic lights in some cities to let you know when they’ll switch from red to green. 

The A5 is a technophile’s dream at every level, though watch its price carefully. Priced from the mid-$40,000-range to start, the A5 is a rational buy. With every option selected, we’re not so sure. 


7

2020 Audi A5

Styling

There’s not a bad face in the A5 lineup, it's not as innovative anymore.

The 2020 Audi A5 looks a lot like its predecessor, which means it’s still a stylish car in coupe and convertible form. We’re more smitten with the A5 Sportback that takes the gorgeous shape of the automaker’s A7 and shrinks it down a bit.

We score the 2020 A5 range at 7 out of 10. In the right colors—green is especially nice—it might bump up to an 8. 

This year, the range gets new, sharper LED headlight designs and a grille that cuts into the bumpers a smidge more. Revised wheel designs round out the changes. You’ll have to be an Audi pro to spot the differences. Convertibles can be had with a number of different soft top hues, so don’t be afraid to venture out of the silvers offered by Audi. 

Inside, the car shares its low dash and standard 10.1-inch touchscreen with the A4. The third-generation MIB infotainment system ditches the control knob that took up considerable real estate on last year’s center console. Auf Wiedersehen!

Again, upholstery color and trim make a huge difference here. Venture beyond black leather and silver trim into the rich browns and matte-finish woods to elevate the experience. 

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7

2020 Audi A5

Performance

The 2020 Audi A5’s turbo-4 provides good thrust, though its chassis is tuned more for comfort than for track days.

Consider the 2020 Audi A5 a modern interpretation of a personal luxury coupe and you’re on the right track. Its handling is excellent and its ride supple, while power is reasonable. It’s not a track star, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a 7 out of 10 for its powerful engine and good handling.

Underhood, a 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 is bolted up to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The familiar turbo-4—you’ve seen it in everything from the VW GTI to the Porsche Macan—works well in the A5, which weighs around 3,700 pounds in typical configuration. Power goes to all four wheels, which gives the car good grip on any pavement. The sporty tires fitted to most versions that amp up handling could be less helpful in snow, however.

Steering is precise but fairly light. The wheel-mounted paddle shifters aren’t the delight they ought to be to tap, though they help fire off rapid shifts.

Underneath, the A5 rides on a suspension tuned softly in typical configurations, though the optional sport suspension pairs 19-inch wheels (18 inchers standard) with firmer springs for marginally sharper responses.

Comfort, Normal, Dynamic, and a customizable mode revise steering heft, throttle mapping, and gear change responsiveness. 

If it’s performance you’re after, look at the S5. It's powered by a 349-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in all-wheel drive that makes 369 lb-ft of torque, propelling it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The Sportback hits 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the Cabriolet in 4.8 seconds. The available S sport package adds adaptive damping and a rear differential for better grip and quicker cornering. A variable steering ratio is also available to tighten up the feel in Dynamic mode. 


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7

2020 Audi A5

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Audi A5 is remarkably compromise-free in Sportback form.

You don’t buy a 2020 Audi A5 as a practical choice—or do you? The A5 coupe and convertible are, predictably, best for two passengers and perhaps a weekend escape’s worth of luggage, but the five-door Sportback is an exceptionally versatile hatchback.

We score the lineup here at 7 out of 10 since two-doors outsell five-doors, but the Sportback could net two extra points. 

Standard leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats deliver a comfortable position for just about anyone. The optional sports seats deliver more bolstering, but try before you buy. Rear-seat riders suffer from expectedly poor access in two-doors, though you could always hop over the door of the convertible (stretch first, please). Sportbacks have more than 35 inches of rear leg room, though they feel even more spacious. Only a roofline that slices into head room a little keeps them from feeling as spacious as the A4.

Cargo is where the A5 Sportback really pulls ahead. It can lug nearly 22 cubic feet of goods with the rear seat upright—as much as some small SUVs, but not quite as much as the A4 Allroad wagon. Coupes and convertibles are rated at about half that. 

Interior materials are excellent for the price, especially the available wood trims that provide a sufficiently clubby atmosphere. Even convertibles are quiet thanks to their well-deaded softtops.

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8

2020 Audi A5

Safety

The 2020 Audi A5 has done well in crash tests and is capable of avoiding a wreck entirely.

Federal and independent testers have heaped praise onto the 2020 Audi A5 for the lineup’s safety. Not all versions have been tested, but we feel confident assigning an 8 out of 10 score here.

Every A5 can brake on its own with standard automatic emergency braking, while adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and other active safety tech are reasonable options. 

Sportbacks earned five stars from the NHTSA, albeit four stars in the frontal collision test. Coupes and convertibles haven’t been evaluated by the feds. 

The IIHS tested both coupes and Sportbacks last year and gave them top marks in every assessment except for headlights. It’s possible that this year’s revised headlight designs with standard LEDs will help the cars earn a Top Safety Pick award, so stay tuned.

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7

2020 Audi A5

Features

The 2020 Audi A5 proves that style isn’t cheap, though it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

You can spend a lot on a 2020 Audi A5—upward of $60,000—but you don’t have to if you want the best of the lineup.

We rate the A5 range at 7 out of 10, with points for its standard fare and enhanced infotainment system.

The A5 lineup comes in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims. Most buyers opt for the mid-level model, though the base Premium offers the best value.

Coupes and Sportbacks cost $43,895 to start, while convertibles run $7,000 more but are equipped about the same. The S5 and its more powerful V-6 engine and available sport-tuned suspension start at $9,000 more than the base Premium, and the S5 convertible is about $9,000 more than that, at $61,195 including $995 destination. The Cabriolet soft top can be raised at speeds up to 31 mph.

The base Premium trim comes with leather upholstery, a moonroof, power front seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

All-in, the Prestige includes a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a digital instrument cluster, navigation, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and more. Right in the middle, the Premium Plus builds on the base car with the digital instrument cluster and a few active safety features.

 


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5

2020 Audi A5

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Audi A5 is reasonably frugal, though a plug-in hybrid version would be nice to see.

The 2020 Audi A5 lineup is rated at 27 mpg combined in coupe and Sportback, while the heavier Cabriolet is rated at 26 mpg combined. 

Since the A5 is a fairly efficient choice given its performance and style, we rate the 2020 A5 at 5 out of 10. 

Coupes and Sportbacks are rated the same at 24 mpg city, 32 highway, 27 combined. Convertibles weigh a little more and knock those figures down by 1 mpg all around.

The S5 is rated at 23/20/27 mpg, and the Cabriolet also drops 1 mpg across the board. 

Audi offers mild-hybrid tech in some of its models that help them earn better fuel economy, but the A5 range hasn’t been treated to batteries and electric motors yet. 

The 2020 A5 is rated to run on premium unleaded fuel.

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$42,900
MSRP based on Premium 2.0 TFSI quattro
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6.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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