The Audi A5 is the more stylish version of the Audi A4 and is available in either coupe, convertible, or 4-door Sportback form. Since the release of the very first A5 in the mid-2000s, Audi has managed to sell a ton of these thanks to its attractive styling and hatchback trunk which increases the overall capacity over the regular A4.
When it comes to reliability, the A5 is more or less the same as the Audi A4 because these two share many parts with each other. This means that the A5 is a reliable car only if you maintain it well enough. If you fail to do all the regular maintenance, it is going to cause issues eventually.
The most common Audi A5 issues are related to the engine, the transmission, the electricals, excessive oil consumption, and issues with the cooling system. These are the most common issues the A5 suffers from and many of these are also the most serious issues the A5 suffers from.
All in all, don’t be discouraged about buying an A5 because of these issues. Even though they are serious, most of these can be prevented with timely and thorough maintenance. If you do that, the A5 is going to be a very enjoyable experience, no matter the model year.
Audi A5 – Engine issues
The Audi A5 comes with a wide variety of engines and most of them are fine. The most serious A5 engine issues are related to the timing chain which is a known gripe with many German premium cars. The issue here is that the tensioner tends to wear out after a while and if you don’t take care of it soon enough, it could destroy your entire engine.
If you come across an engine management warning light on your dashboard, the chances are that the EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) valve is malfunctioning. Newer A5 models come with significantly more reliable engines, especially those made after 2012.
Audi A5 – Transmission issues
The most serious transmission issue the A5 suffers from is the one related to the CVT Multitronic gearbox. This gearbox is widely regarded as the worst Audi automatic gearbox of the modern era because it is delicate. The real reason why these tend to malfunction is that many people fail to change the transmission fluid according to the recommendations.
Also, the transmissions on newer A5s are known to sometimes be hesitant and lazy which is a common occurrence. Also, the S-Tronic dual-clutch box is known to be jittery at lower speeds but that is also a common occurrence. Besides these, the transmission on both A4 and A5 models are relatively reliable.
Audi A5 – Electrical issues
When it comes to electrical software issues, older A5 models are much worse than newer ones because they come with sluggish MMI systems which can glitch out or restart without any apparent reason. These systems, particularly those in the 2012-2016 models are old to begin with, so if they slow down a little bit, it seems like the entire system is lagging significantly.
The good thing is that these can be updated or refreshed whenever this happens, and it does happen on older A5s. Newer A5s are much better but are not completely free of all software issues.
Audi A5 – Excessive oil consumption
It comes as no surprise that older European premium cars use lots of oil, but the A5 seems to be the one leading the charts according to many Audi specialists. The reason why is predominantly due to oil leaks situated around the gasket or many of the seals that surround the system.
It is relatively common for six-digit mileage cars to burn excessive oil, but these issues can happen a lot sooner than that. Some sources state that many owners need to add a quart of oil into their A5s almost every month.
Audi A5 – Cooling system issues
Oil is not the only fluid that tends to leak from the Audi A5 because many owners have stated issues with low coolant levels. These issues are common on the 3.0L TDI model because the EGR cooler tends to fail. You can also encounter these issues with the 3.2L petrol engines because the coolant pump also tends to fail.
Either way, be sure to regularly check your coolant levels and your temperature gauge in order not to cause any damage to your engine. If you see the temperature gauge climbing, you ought to stop the car and fix the issue before it is too late.
Which generation of the Audi A5 is best?
It depends on what you value the most because all A5 generations are great, even the very first one. However, we can say that the 1st generation of the A5 pales in comparison to newer models, especially the facelift model which got a much more attractive set of headlights and much-needed refreshments both in the exterior and the interior.
The 2nd generation of the A5 could be the very best one yet because it offers almost everything the post-facelift 2nd generation offers, but at a much more attainable price.
Which Audi A5 body style is best?
The A5 is available in a few different shapes, a 2-door coupe, a 2-door convertible, or a 4-door Sportback model. The best one out of these three is undoubtedly the Sportback model because it looks the best and is the most practical choice.
The 2-door coupe also looks good, but the Sportback feels more substantial and more premium. The convertible A5 is the niche pick out of the bunch and the sales number are dwindling when compared to the coupe and especially the Sportback version.
What is the difference between the Audi A4 and A5?
Underneath the skin, the A4 and the A5 are identical cars. They use the same engine, the same transmission, the same interior layout, the same suspension components, and a vast majority of all other mechanical components.
The A5 is the more stylish version which does also add a larger hatchback trunk. The A4 still offers the most space when it comes to the second row of seats. Finally, the A5 is a bit more expensive than the A4.