The previous gen A5 came to India only in S5 form but this time with the new gen model, Audi will also bring a more volume focussed A5 diesel model with a more exciting price. Thus the A5 Sportback that you see here comes with a 2.0 diesel engine. However before we get to the driving, the A5, minus the sporty S bits, looks elegant and clean with the swoopy four door coupe proportions being pleasant to the eye. Compared to the previous one the new A5 has a bigger grille plus has a new more sclupted bonnet along with the sharper new headlamps is one of Audi's most successful designs. The side and rear is not as droopy as the bigger A7 or RS7 however the sloping roofline blends in perfectly with the butch rear.
Inside too it is high quality and while the S5 is all about being sporty the A5 is pared back luxury. The design (shared a lot with the A4 like continuous air vent) is a touch on the conservative side but the quality and attention to detail is just brilliant. Audi makes some great cabins and this will feature in its greatest hits compilation. However compared to more mainstream Audis the sportier steering wheel, the lower driving position stands out.
The new A5 has grown and the benefits have been extended to the rear passengers with more shoulder room and headroom which means for four passengers its more than enough along with a spacious boot (480l). Plus as always there are plenty of toys as well with the MMI system with a touchpad which houses all the infotainment functions including navigation etc. Then there is the Audi party piece with the virtual cockpit instrument which is brilliant with its display and use-ability. There is also heads up display, three zone climate control, all usual smartphone connectivity, Bang and Olufsen audio system etc.
Now while the S5 gets a bombastic turbocharged V6 which I have waxed lyrical about earlier, this time it is the 2.0 diesel with a more modest 190 bhp and 400Nm. The gearbox unlike the S5 is a 7-speed DSG plus the A5 diesel is FWD. Like in the A4 diesel the A5 diesel hardly sounds like one with cathedral like silence and being a hushed performer. It goes about its business with minimal fuss and the power delivery is smooth with gearbox doing its bit too. In the city at low speeds, it is easy to drive plus thanks to clever choice of wheels and tyres, it is actually useable and we are glad Audi did not choose a low profile tyre. The ride is surprisingly good and on some really bad roads the A5 sailed through plus no issues with its ground clearance before you ask.
Put you foot down and being FWD, there is torque steer but is controlled some what. It is not a fun nor as grippy as the S5 but it is more than up to the job. The steering is light and lacks feedback but is direct enough. Being an FWD car it is quite sorted and Audi makes its intentions clear that this is a cruiser and it does this brilliantly.
Overall the A5 diesel is a lot more practical than the S5 obviously and while the engine is not as charismatic as the S5 it is more than ample plus its very efficient. It is a superb everyday car and over the more common place A4, has a greater sense of occasion with its styling and cabin. It is more exotic than a sedan yet is no less practical (nearly). Audi has has perfected this art of making good looking cars with a sense of use-ability along with a fine dose of style. The A5 diesel is a perfect example of that.