New Vs Old Audi A5 Coupe: Too Close For Comfort Or What?

With most Audis these days, it’s not a question of “if”, but just “how much” their exterior design is reminiscent of the cars they replace, and in the case of the otherwise all-new A5, the answer is almost confusingly too much.

Now, we’re not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re among those who are extremely fond of the original and admittedly elegant A5 Coupe that was presented nine years ago in 2007, and which, Audi former design boss, Walter de Silva, has always described as his ‘masterpiece’.

If you belong in this camp, then you’ll probably appreciate Audi’s near-facelift like approach with the exterior of the 2017 A5 and S5 Coupe duo. Unless you delve into details such as the pinched belt-line that’s more swelled around the wheel arches, door mounted mirrors and fender trims, the only other way to easily tell them apart from the outgoing models is the front end with the much lower and wider grille and bulged bonnet with added creases.

On the other hand, if you’re the type who thinks that an automaker should renew their designs with every model change – let alone after nine years, then you might want to move along, but before you do, you may want to take a look inside the new A5/S5’s cabin.

You see, if there’s one thing you can’t fault Audi for is having stale interior designs. Yes, the dashboard is identical to the latest A4, but that’s because the A5 is in essence, the coupe version of the family, just like BMW’s 4-Series and Mercedes’ C-Class Coupe are the two-door interpretations of the 3-Series and C-Class sedan respectively, so that’s to be expected. Otherwise, the cabin has been thoroughly renewed over the previous A5/S5.

For the past couple of decades, Audi has made some of the best interiors in the business and the A5/S5 continues this tradition, blending a Teutonic design with the latest gizmos in the industry and understated yet high quality decoration. Easily, the biggest highlight of the new layered dash is the available Virtual Cockpit display featuring a 12.3-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. You also get a more simplified and uncluttered center console along with a bit more legroom due to the 12mm (0.5 inches) longer wheelbase and 10 liters (0.4 cu ft) of extra luggage space at 465 liters (16.4 cu ft) over the previous model.

What else is new about the new A5/S5 series? Well, among many other things you can’t see, it’s based on the German group’s lighter yet slightly bigger MLB platform that helps shave 60kg or 132 pounds, it gets a newly developed electromechanical power steering, while Audi is promising significant efficiency gains from the latest powertrains that are currently topped off by the S5’s 349hp (354PS) turbocharged 3.0L V6.

After taking a first look, do you think that the undeniably familiar exterior design is a pro or a con here and what’s your overall impression of Audi’s new coupe?

Photo Gallery

  • Six_Tymes

    Next to each other the old one looks like a 300C

    cant wait to see a review of the RS

    • Gustavo Adriano

      The previous model was like crying with that fugly headlights…

      • Six_Tymes

        true, i would cry also if i was fat looking. haha

  • Gustavo Adriano

    The new model is way better against the old model… Is sportier, and it’s design got more “lightness” that the preious.

  • pcurve

    must suck to be audi exterior designer these days. (or Mercedes)

    • LeftLanePrius

      Why? You’ll get 51 weeks off a year.

      • TheHake


      • nik

        omg I’m dead

  • Nordschleife

    As an owner of the pre-facelifted version (which I think is arguably the best looking) this new one just doesn’t elicit the same wonderful emotions that I had when I first saw it 2008.

    • TheHake

      Obviously. Back then it was Audi’s return to coupé after many years.

    • joey

      Even with the A4… When I saw what was going to be the next one, in 2008, as evolutionary as it was, I didn’t believe it; I thought it was a concept. Evolution doesn’t really have to be this way.

    • Jay Davis

      I totally agree with you. I think the best looking was the original before the headlight modification, which I just don’t find attractive. One will be hard pressed though to tell the difference between the new model and the old ones…
      I think the original is a knockout and almost picked up one but decided to go with a 5 series for practical reasons…

  • Craig

    I don’t like the now all-too-common way of installing a Nav screen. I always image some punk with his feet up against the dashboard ripping if off. It looks VERY after-market.

    • rodriguez256

      I like the cleaness of the dashboard of the newer model. Who do you let put their feet on the dashboard?

      • Craig

        Not someone that I invited in.

    • I KNOW! What? They can’t hire someone to integrate it into the dash? Looks super cheap. Merc does this too…

      • TheHake

        And Mazda, and BMW, and others.

    • dj_aris

      Yet another tablet. I’m glad that only Alfa Giulia has an integrated dash screen.

    • Jay Davis

      Yeah, I think it looks quite ridiculous. Seems to be an afterthought of the designers, like, oops I forgot the NAV, so let me just stick it there… I think Audi started this trend and I think it has outlived its purpose. Not a good look at all IMO

    • Nordschleife

      I beg to differ. I used to hate those huge double binnacle humps that cars used to have to incorporate the screen. I feel the stand alone screen make the interior feel more open. I do feel that some automakers do it better than others but overall I am a fan of the stand alone screen.

  • paul

    I prefer the old model to the new. The front end looks too much like a corporate sedan. The interior is less special and less cockpit looking on the new one then the old one. I’m sure it should perform better because it is lighter. However the older model is the better looker.

    • TheHake

      I love the new interior, but also prefer the cleaner looking old exterior.

  • BlackPegasus

    But my friends and neighbors won’t recognize it as an “all new” model. It won’t do much to serve my ego and need for attention.

    • TheHake

      That’s why they had all the A5 teasers. Otherwise no-one would have known that there’s a new one out!

  • Six Thousand Times

    I can see a sharper grille and curvier wings but very much an evolution. Not bad for your resale if you’ve got the old one.

  • Braddo

    OMG that bloody navigation screen ! So cheap looking – bad bad design. I wish people car makers would stop with them!
    overall a pretty predictable ‘touched up’ new model.

    • Matthew Boyd

      You have to sit in a new A4 or this A5 when you get a chance. Do you mean cheap by it’s placement, or cheap components? If you want a better look at the interior take a look at the video below. Start around 15 minutes.

    • bkm11

      Agreed! And at least if you’re going to implement the on dash NAV screens then they need to be retractable (similar to some of the current Audi models) instead of being completely affixed to the dash.

  • Kash

    I like the new one’s face, especially with that extra wide grille, but the old one’s headlights are way more aggressive and i think they’d work better on the new one. The old one has a nicer rump but the new one has the better taillights. the new one also has the better interior but that’s just because it’s more streamlined and cleaned up and the pattern on the seats makes them look comfier and plusher, especially the back seat.

    • TheHake

      I love the new dash. Very clean and smooth.

  • Mynameis Taylor

    they both look good. But I prefer the looks of the previous one. I just wish the A5 was going to be “edgy”. I don’t understand why some of you guys think the new Mercedes line up is ugly? They all look good.

  • lapirk

    Still looks like a whale. C coupe, 4er and even the a4 are better looking. Thumbs down

  • LennyM

    Been an owner and big fan of the old one, but this new look works too…especially in a lighter shade and nice choice of multispoke rims…please no rotors-type rims again 🙁 those things have passed their sell by date!!

  • Matt

    Think ill need to see one in person to appreciate it over the current 5 just like i did with the new tt and r8. Still, i think ill prefer the old interior placement of the sat/nav screen over the on top gen 2 as its cleaner, but do love the new steering wheel and tail lights.


    I would never buy an Audi, but this new A5 does look perfect in every single detail and the proportions are wonderful! Congrats!

  • Julien Lachemoi

    Well first time I think the previous one looks better.

  • Tom

    … sorry, but is no new car – that’s a 360° lifting … often seen by VW!!
    Golf 5/6… last Passat etc. etc…..

    • Vassilis

      It is actually. Completely new platform.

      • Tom

        … oh good! New plattform and old design … boring, igitt 🙁

        • Vassilis

          That’s what evolution is.

  • Vassilis

    The new one looks so much better.

  • europeon

    I see a lot of Prologue design cues.

  • Kagiso Mutlaneng

    New one is fantastic! Audi is one of those brands that look so much better in the metal! Happened with the new A4 as well

  • furious

    one of the ugliest cars i’ve ever seen in my entire life. The car falls apart on the side view – nose, fenders, rocker panel – just nothing works together. The Chief designer has to be extremely talented to **** up a car of such a sporty range. I’d say, it can’t go worse any more..

  • nauticalone

    Why would Audi put single side exhaust outlet on A5 coupe while having dual outlets on A4?

  • Jim Ragland

    I like it…I’m pleasantly surprised how it’s familiar, but more of an change in it than the A4. The extra cut lines or surfacing and change in the grille to me created a very good looking car. I’ve always like the interiors.

  • SamBamm

    Audi’s long term goal; maintain iconic shapes for each model, i.e.Porsche 911 (has run over 30 yrs now)
    Short term; be able to re-use all the glass from the previous model

  • dqdo

    OMG….did audi just went soft on frond design, or got inspired by tesla’s S?….Love audis, puke at the front of the new one

  • Skye

    Has a bit of a retro hint maybe 70’s? Very elegant sporty design overall.

  • kachuks

    It better pull an R8esque move by being significantly refined in road performance.

  • Enter Ranting

    How much money do they save using headlights from the Jetta?

    • BlackPegasus

      😆 LOL

  • vaybach khan

    Its the first time in auto design that the side flow line join the cut line of the hood so it appears seamless.. neat touch..

  • tedwja

    is this news?

  • antbee

    I love the A5/S5/RS5! In my opinion, the older one looks the best. It doesn’t need all of those creases and folds, to make my head turn each time I see one. I like the bigger grill on the new one, but I like the older one’s body and lights. I don’t like the extra lines on the hood, nor the deeper lines along the upper side panels. Walter de Silva is right, the original design is a masterpiece, a simple yet elegant, masterpiece.
    I have one question, though. Where is the sunroof? I would think a car as expensive as an Audi, would automatically come with a sunroof. At least, that used to be the norm with most luxury cars, as it was most certainly a luxury to have one, because most other cars did’t have them, nor could be ordered with them. I’m talking 80s-90s era.
    One more question. Where are the fog lights on the new model? I don’t see them on the A nor the S.

    • Nordschleife

      I said the same thing. I was already annoyed that the original model just vented and didn’t open completely but this one doesn’t have one at all.

  • S3XY

    Not feeling it. Blah design. Nothing exciting.

  • Jim

    the back is fine the front is ugly

  • mic

    the hood makes it look very common…. like a chrysler

  • G RXTN

    After flipping between the current one and 2018 I can see serious differences for the benefit of the new one.
    Subtle but clear stylistic updates that would be sufficiently modern for the next 8 years. Instrument cluster and console is much better and more exotic than on the last one. Most probably, A5 would be my next car!
    My only wish would be to have lighter grey available, because the current one is too dark and dirty looking when dark or not freshly washed.
    Why is this car not available yet?..

  • Elizabeth Landers

    I have owned my Audi A5 cabriolet (old version) for 5 1/2 years. It is the quietest car I have ever owned. Yes, quieter than my Lexus RX 350. I can barely tell when the engine is running.
    It also is solid as a rock. I drove a new A5 sportback yesterday as a loaner vehicle. It felt like an A3 or A4. Cheaply made due to the lighter design. No where near as quiet as my beautiful A5 original, which is a well-built, top quality car.

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