Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Germany
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $11,700 – $52,200*


2008 Audi A5 Front


2008 Audi A5 Front-2


2008 Audi A5 Rear


2008 Audi A5 Profile

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6, V8)
  • Handling
  • Interior materials
  • Visibility
Cons:
  • Fuel economy (S5)
  • Rear-seat room
  • Road noise

In either A5 or S5 form, these premium coupes do many things well. Both deliver strong acceleration and capable handling, augmented by the security of all-wheel drive. On the other hand, these coupes don’t excel in any one area. They’re not as outright sporty as a BMW 3- or 6-Series; as well balanced as the Jaguar XK; nor as opulent inside as a Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class.

Overview

Introduced for the 2008 model year, the Audi A5 was a two-door/four-seat premium sporty/performance coupe with all-wheel drive. In pricing and size, the A5 slotted between Audi’s compact A4 and midsize A6. Two versions were offered. The A5 was powered by a 265-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine, while the high-performance S5 got a 354-horsepower 4.2-liter V8. Both models included a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission was optional on the A5. Engine choices increased for 2010 with addition of a 211-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 333-horsepower supercharged V6. The 4-cylinder was mated to 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic or continuously-variable transmissions. The supercharged V6 was mated to a 7-speed automated-manual transmission.

Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. The A5 had standard 18-inch tires, while 19-inchers were mounted on the S5. Standard equipment on both models included a sunroof, leather upholstery, and three-zone climate control. Options included a navigation system and an uprated audio system. Available on the A5 was an S line sport package that included unique styling cues, 19-inch performance tires, and sport seats.

Audi’s A5 competed against the BMW 3-Series coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class, and Jaguar XK. Porsche’s Cayman sports car might also interest some A5 customers.

Yearly Updates

2009 A5/S5
Audi introduced an automatic-transmission option for the high-performance S5 coupe, so both models could now come with either a manual or automatic transmission. Optional on both A5 and S5 were adaptive cruise control and Audi Drive Select, which included upgraded power steering and an adaptive suspension. At the 2009 New York Auto Show, Audi exhibited a Cabriolet (convertible) version of the A5/S5 intended for the 2010 model year.
2010 A5/S5
The 2010 Audi A5 lineup gained a new convertible body style and a 4-cylinder base engine, along with a supercharged V6 available for the S5.
2011 A5/S5
The 2011 Audi A5 2.0T is available with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Otherwise, this lineup of premium sporty cars is largely unchanged.
2012 A5
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Audi A5.
2013 A5
For 2013, the A5 gets slightly tweaked front and rear styling and enhanced interior styling. Also, some new technology options are available.
2014 A5
For 2014 horsepower of the turbocharged 4-cylinder increased from 211 to 220.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

A5s debuted with a 265-horsepower, 3.2-liter V6 engine mated with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission and came only with all-wheel drive. For 2010, 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder models were added; coupes came with all-wheel drive, while convertibles were offered in front- and all-wheel-driver version. The front-drive convertible came with a CVT automatic transmission. S5 coupes hold a 4.2-liter V8 that generates 354 horsepower and comes only with all-wheel drive. S5 convertibles likewise come with all-wheel drive but are powered by a 333-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Only manual shift was offered with the S5 initially, but a six-speed automatic transmission became available for the 2009 model year, and it was replaced by an eight-speed for 2011. The S5 cabriolet added for 2010 offered a 7-speed automated manual that behaved much like an automatic.

Turbocharged dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 211
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
CVT automatic
22/30
21/27
23/30
19.9

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/191
Engine HP 265
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 243
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
16/27
17/26
22.1
Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 333
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic

17/26

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/255
Engine HP 354
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
14/22
16/24
19.3

1. The 2.0T’s 6-speed automatic was replaced by an 8-speed for 2011, with EPA mpg of 21/29. Horsepower increased to 220 for 2010.

Road Test

Audi’s A5 delivers adequate acceleration with the turbocharged 4-cylinder added for 2010, and strong, linear power at any speed with the V6 or the S5’s V8. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts promptly but not always as smoothly as expected. We have not yet had the opportunity to drive an A5 2.0T with the eight-speed automatic introduced for 2011. Audi claims the S5 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and it feels that quick. In any model, the manual transmission disappoints with long throws and less-precise shifting and clutch engagement than we’ve come to expect from Audi.

Fuel economy with the V6 is reasonably good; a test A5 with automatic averaged 21.3 to 23.4 mpg. A 2010 4-cylinder Cabriolet averaged 19.9 mpg. An S5 with manual shift averaged only 14.5 mpg in mostly city driving, and 19.5 mpg with more highway use. Premium-grade fuel is required for all engines.

For all models, ride quality is as firm as expected. Sharp bumps can register with a jolt. Overall, though, both versions are compliant enough and aren’t tiresome on long highway trips.

Handling is an appealing factor. Inspiring confidence, the A5 has great grip and produces little body lean in fast turns. Steering feel is responsive at higher speeds, but some testers found the steering to be a bit too light at low speeds. Minimal lean, tenacious grip, and responsive steering make the S5 a delight, particularly at higher speeds. Braking is powerful and stable.

Engines in all models emit nice mechanical noises while accelerating, and recede quietly into the background while cruising. Low-profile tires on the S5 roar on coarse pavement, and one test model suffered from excessive wind rush from around the exterior mirrors. Tire noise is slightly reduced on the A5.

Controls are satisfying to drivers who like electronic help. Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) uses a central control knob with flanking buttons to govern most audio, climate, and navigation system functions. While many of those functions are clearly labeled on a dashboard screen, performing simple tasks-such as adjusting the seat heater-requires multiple button presses. Interior ambiance is more sporty than luxurious, and some coupes are accented by optional stainless steel trim. Materials are of high quality throughout the cabin, but one test model suffered from an intermittent rattle in the rear-seat areas.

Front seats are supportive, though some testers found it difficult to find a comfortable driving position. The standard tilt/telescopic steering column doesn’t offer any power operation, which is quite a glaring omission in this class. Visibility is surprisingly good in all directions, but coupe-clumsy doors impede entry/exit.

Though the front passenger seat offers power-sliding operation to ease entry/exit to the rear seat, only small children are likely to feel comfortable back there. The front seat’s sliding action is quite slow, too.

Although the trunk offers a good amount of space, it’s narrow and not very tall, which precludes hauling of even moderately bulky items. Split-folding rear seatbacks are a welcome and unexpected convenience, though. Interior storage includes large door pockets, a moderately sized glovebox, and a small center console.

Ratings

Model Tested: A5 w/automatic

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 59

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 182.1 73.0 54.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.2 16.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 36.3 NA NA
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 182.1 73.0 54.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.1 16.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 36.0 NA NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 A5/S5 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - NA
0%
Front Passenger Injury - NA
0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: The brakes may make a moaning or murmuring sound at low speeds or when turning at low speeds due to a faulty caliper piston seal that does not retract the brakes sufficiently. (2008)
Cruise control
Description: Adaptive cruise control may fail to deactivate because of snow or dirt blocking sensor. (2013-14)
Engine misfire
Description: Engine can run irregularly because of loose camshaft-adjustment-valve filter. (2010-14)
Engine mounts
Description: Problems with fuel injection can lead to possible loss of power. (2013)
Ignition switch
Description: Sometimes key can not be removed from ignition switch. (2009-14)
Mirrors
Description: Vehicles equipped with blind-spot assist can give false warnings when no vehicle is present. (2014)
Audio system
Description: When using an iPod, an error message saying “unit or cable type not supported” may appear due to a problem with the adapter cable that originally came with the car and improved cables are available. (2008)
Steering problems
Description: Incorrect software causes steering irregularities. (2012-14)
Electrical problem
Description: Some cars equipped with faulty rearview cameras. (2013-14)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.