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2013 Audi A5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Audi A5 was new.


Performance: 8.0

Strong brakes, great fuel economy and confident handling make the 2013 Audi A5 stand out from other upscale midsize cars. However, if you’re looking for a tried and true sports car, some reviewers say that sportier coupes and convertibles in the class offer more power.

  • "The Audi A5 is basically a 2-door luxury car with a sporty edge. Though its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine isn't the fastest mill out there, it still can provide an invigorating driving experience." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Though these cars are certainly more GTs than sports cars, they won't leave you wanting when driven simply for enjoyment." -- Motor Trend 
  • While acceleration might not impress the enthusiast driver, the A5's fuel economy surely will." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "Standard Quattro means torque steer is not an issue. The A5's six-speed manual might not be quite as slick as what you'll find in a BMW 328i, but it still provides nice, light shift action and short throws." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Audi A5 comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 211 horsepower. The A5 Coupe comes with a six-speed manual transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is optional. The base A5 Cabriolet comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Quattro is optional on the Cabriolet. The EPA reports that the A5 Coupe gets up to 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Cabriolet models are similarly impressive, returning up to 24/31 mpg city/highway.

For 2013, the S5 Coupe loses its V8 engine, as all S5 models now feature a 333-horsepower, supercharged V6 engine. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual come in the S5 Coupe, while the S5 Cabriolet gets a seven-speed automated manual transmission as standard equipment. Audi says that all S5 models have an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph, and that the S5 Coupe will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. RS5 models offer even more performance cred thanks to a 450-horsepower V8 engine. The 2013 RS5 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 174 mph.

While reviewers generally say that the A5 accelerates quickly, some note that the turbocharger doesn’t kick in immediately after stepping on the gas pedal. Other critics also counter that six-cylinder rivals offer more refined engines, and that the turbocharged four-cylinder works better in the A5’s smaller sibling, the Audi A3. As a result, some reviewers say that if you have an eye for performance, you may want to step up to the Audi S5.

  • The A5 accelerates quickly, but, because of turbo lag, the power doesn't really come on until the middle of the rpm range. After that, acceleration is better." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Both the four-cylinder and the V6 cars have abundant torque and feel decidedly sprightly on the road." -- AutoWeek
  • The A5's 2.0T engine is a mixed bag. It gives this coupe and convertible class-competitive acceleration and great fuel economy, but it doesn't sound as refined as a six-cylinder and it transmits some off-putting vibrations through the steering wheel." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The A5's base 2.0 liter four is responsive, although arguably works better in Audi's own TT or A3 than in the heavier A5." -- Kelley Blue Book (2011)

Handling and Braking

When it comes to the Audi A5’s handling, auto writers agree that the A5 offers a ride that’s firm and sporty, though still fairly comfortable. One reviewer also comments that the A5 exhibited an impressive stopping distance in his brake tests. In the past, reviewers have mentioned that the A5’s steering felt overly light and artificial. For 2013, Audi has introduced a new steering system to address those issues. Few reviewers have commented on the new steering system, but those who have say the A5’s steering effort is light, with a direct, linear feel.

  • "The A5's ride is slightly firm, but the suspension filters out most bumps. Cabriolets are remarkably solid and exhibit little cowl shake." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "While the A5's steering feels light, the S5's has a decent heft. Both electric racks are linear in their response." -- Motor Trend 
  • "In Edmunds brake testing, an all-wheel-drive A5 coupe with the Sport package came to a stop from 60 mph in an impressively short 108 feet." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • Ride comfort is decent, despite my test example's 18-inch wheels. Optional Drive Select offers the ability to fine-tune suspension firmness, as well as several other variables." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

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