This week we’re at the helm of Audi’s answer to the BMW 4-Series, the A5. Unlike the top-spec RS5 we drove last year, this Audi coupe comes with a feature rarely found in modern Audis sold in the US – a manual gearbox.
If the figures for the A5’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine look familiar (with its output of 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque), it’s because this mill, under slightly different specification, can also be found in the 2015 Volkswagen GTI.
While we loved that motor matched up with the six-speed manual transmission in the VW, the tuning in the A5 gives its performance in the Audi a decidedly less urgent flavor than what we found in the VW. Whether that's by design or simply a biproduct of changes made to use the drivetrain in this car is a bit of a mystery to us.
Nevertheless, the Audi still has plenty going for in the style and luxury departments. Our tester came dressed to the nines with the Sport package (sport suspension, sport seats, selectable drive modes), the Premium Plus package (various interior upgrades), the Technology package (Audi MMI navigation, backup camera, safety assists) and the optional 10-spoke, 19-inch wheels wrapped in high performance rubber.
While the base 2015 Audi A5 2.0T manual coupe rings up exactly $40,000 before destination, the additional packages bring this A5 to nearly $50K at $48,475 after all is said and done. Some might consider that a little steep given the drivetrain, but the A5 has strengths found elsewhere. Let’s take a closer look around and then hit the street in this trio of videos below so you can decide for yourself:
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