Clothed in the automotive equivalent of a finely tailored suit, the Audi A5 and S5 Coupe and Cabriolet radiate an aura of exclusivity, grace and authority. On the market since 2011, the overall look of the car has changed very little since its introduction. For the 2016 models, the handsome S line exterior trim package is being offered across the board, Audi Connect WiFi has been added to the Navigation plus package, the Bang & Olufsen audio system is standard on the Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels, and a red convertible top is offered for the Cabriolet.
2016 Audi A5 Road Test & Review
Models & Pricing
The 2016 Audi A5 is offered in both Coupe and Cabriolet formats. Within each body style there are two trim levels, Premium and Premium Plus. There is also a high-performance S5 iteration—similarly offered in both hardtop and convertible, but with Premium Plus and prestige trim packages. Pricing for the standard A5 Coupe starts at $40,500, while the S5 starts at $53,100. The A5 Cabriolet starts at $47,900, while the S5 Cabriolet’s pricing begins at $61,100.
Standard features for A5 Premium models include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and taillights, foglights, automatic windshield wipers, heated exterior mirrors, a tilt-only sunroof for the Coupe, leather, Bluetooth, and Audi’s MMI infotainment interface with a 6.5-inch monitor.
A5 Premium Plus starts at $42,800 for the Coupe and $50,200 for the Cabriolet. Standard features add auto-dimming mirrors, heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition, and the Bang & Olufsen audio system to the Premium package’s offerings.
As previously mentioned. the 2016 Audi S5 is offered in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. The Premium Plus package is virtually identical to that of the A5—save a more powerful engine.
Audi’s 2016 S5 Coupe Prestige starts at $59,350 and features adaptive headlights, Bluetooth, WiFi, Navigation, voice controls, front and rear parking sensor arrays, a rear-view camera, and blind spot monitoring. It should be noted these features can be added to the Premium Plus model as the optional Technology Package. The 2016 Audi S5 Cabriolet Prestige starts at $67,350.
Without question one of the most handsome automobiles currently offered; even some five years into its model run, the 2016 Audi A5/S5 still looks fresh. Its nicely balanced proportions, strong greenhouse, and sculpted shoulder lines imply strength and give the car grace as well as a definitive presence.
Here, we’ll be quite honest; we’ve always preferred the look of closed Audis to convertibles, as the models seem to lose something in translation to Cabriolet. With that said, the Cabriolet versions are still quite good looking—they just lose something when compared to their closed counterparts.
New for the 2016 S5 models is an optional styling package Audi refers to as Black Optic plus. Key elements include a honeycomb grille insert and a black surround for the signature Audi Singleframe grille insert. Xenon headlights with an LED light strip and foglights are also part of the package. Black exterior mirrors, quad exhaust tips, and 20-inch double spoke wheels with a matte titanium finish complete the package.
Highlights of the S-Line styling package, now standard across the board for the A5, include: a high gloss black surround for the grille, gloss black window trim surrounds, gloss black 10-spoke 19-inch wheels, and a rear spoiler.
New for the 2016 Audi A5 Cabriolet lineup is a red canvas folding soft top. The multilayer roof can be raised in 15 seconds and is finished so well, you’ll never know you’re in a convertible when it is deployed.
The oft-imitated Audi interiors are the envy of the industry.
Unapologetically driver-centric, every control is within easy reach of the driver. Grouped in an arc surrounding the driving position, instrumentation and controls are arrayed in three distinct groupings.
Naturally, the tach and speedo are positioned directly in front of the driver and are both highly legible as well as pleasing to the eye. The center stack is crowned with the monitor for Audi’s MMI system, while the climate control system anchors the center stack. Nicely arrayed around the shifter are controls for the MMI system, the audio system, parking brake, and the ignition button for models with keyless start.
To this already handsome environment, featuring near ergonomic perfection, the 2016 Audi A5’s optional S line interior package adds black door-sill blades, an Audi exclusive shifter for manual transmission models, a three-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles for models equipped with the automated manual transmission, piano black trim inlays, leather seats with Alcantara accents, and a black cloth headliner.
Photo Credit: Audi
Comfort & Cargo Capacity
Let’s get this said right off the bat; given the sleekness of the 2016 Audi A5/S5 Coupes and Cabriolets, rear seat legroom is pretty much non-existent. If the front passenger is willing to slide their seat far forward, you’ll squeeze an adult back there, but a driver would have to be very short to accommodate a third passenger. This is pretty much standard for any coupe in this class, though, so we won’t file that as a knock against the Audi.
Whether you go with the standard seats, or the optional sport seats, you’ll find all-day comfort and outstanding support. This is a car meant for long-distance touring, and its accommodations are wonderfully reflective of this fact. A really nice touch for the Cabriolet is optional neck-warming vents in the standard seats (not offered with the sport seats), which make top down driving in cooler weather feasible.
Back to the MMI system for a moment, we prefer the dial controller on the center console you get with the Premium Plus and Prestige packages to the dash mounted one on the Premium package. It’s much easier to reach use, plus it looks way cooler. It also comes with a larger monitor.
Cargo capacity is 12.2 cubic feet with the Coupe and 10.2 cubic feet for the Cabriolet (with the top folded). While these numbers sound a bit on the lean side for a car this size, the space is thoroughly usable. Further, the rear seat backs fold to increase capacity.
Safety & Crash Test Results
Neither NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash test data on the 2016 Audi A5/S5. However, the closely related Audi A4 did quite well across the board in both organizations’ testing.
Standard safety features include ABS, traction control, stability control, and a full complement of airbags. Meanwhile, blind spot monitoring, front and rear proximity sensor arrays, and a rearview camera are optional on Premium Plus trim.
The S5’s Prestige package makes these elements standard. Additionally, Prestige package options include smart cruise control along with frontal collision warning and mitigation.
Engine(s) & Fuel Economy
Since the 2015 model year, all-wheel drive has been the sole powertrain configuration for the A5. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 220 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
With the A5 Coupe, a six-speed manual transmission is the standard offering, while an eight-speed automatic can be had as optional equipment. The eight-speed automatic is the only transmission fitted to the A5 Cabriolet.
Fuel economy for the Coupe is rated at 26 mpg overall with the manual, 25 with the automatic, and 24 for the Cabriolet.
The 2016 Audi S5 gets a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 333 horsepower and 325 ft-lbs of torque. A seven-speed automated manual is fitted to the Cabriolet as standard equipment and an option for the coupe. A six-speed manual transmission is the standard offering for the S5 Coupe.
The Coupe returns 20 mpg overall with the manual transmission and 21 with the automated manual—as does the Cabriolet.
If we are to keep things 100, we have to say neither the A5 nor the S5 will set your hair on fire in terms of their performance potential. While their engines are more than adequate, they don’t really excel in terms of power output. Consequently, both models tend to bring up the rear in performance-oriented comparisons within their peer groups.
However, they are nicely balanced automobiles with all-weather tractability—thanks to their standard all-wheel-drive powertrains. Further, both cars are exceptionally comfortable on the road and absolutely brilliant on long drives.
What’s more, while they do give up some ground in outright performance, they corner nicely and can be quite entertaining to drive. Bottom line, if all-out performance matters less to you than style and comfort, the Audi showroom likely has the luxury two-doors you’ve been seeking.
Photo Credit: Audi
Exceptionally refined, pleasant to drive, and gifted with a unique look, the 2016 Audi A5 and S5 are indeed the very definition of cool. However, we’d be remiss if we failed to mention this platform has gone mostly unchanged since 2011.
The sharp-eyed among you may have noted the safety section of this review lacked any mention of lane keep assist, lane departure warnings, or rear cross traffic alert, as these features have yet to be offered.
In other words, as fresh as the Audi might look, its sell-by date was 20 minutes ago.
Pros & Cons
The 2016 Audi A5 and S5 are comfortable, pleasant to drive, and beautiful both inside and out. They are also light on power and short on modern tech.