Now that my kids are out of child-safety seats, I looked forward to test-driving the 2013 Audi A5 coupe, an unconventional choice for a family car. I assumed that a coupe would work well for my kids at least until they were gangly teenagers, and for the most part, it did. As many families know, an ideal vehicle can be as transitional as the jeans you bought your kid at the beginning of the school year: Don't be surprised if they don't fit by December.
The 2013 Audi A5 coupe caters to adults with its luxurious finish and turbocharged engine; the backseat isn't an afterthought, but it's not suited to children in child-safety seats.
It was love at first drive with the A5. It could have been its 211-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine or how well it handled at higher speeds. The A5 coupe could take whatever I threw at it; it has plenty of power, suburb braking and solid, communicative steering.
The 2013 Audi A5 coupe starts at $38,745, including an $895 destination charge, but I'd need my wallet to grow a bit to accommodate my test car's optional features. The $48,560 price tag on my test car included the Premium Plus and navigation packages.
The 2013 A5 coupe has a restyled front grille, hood and bumper. It's still sharp and sleek looking, and the A5 still looks like it wants to eat you for lunch. The most noticeable difference is the LEDs' new pattern around the headlights. They almost completely surround the headlights, as opposed to the more eyebrow-like effect of the previous A5's look.
The coupe's crux is that while it looks great, getting in is a hassle. My kids, ages 8 and 10, were able to reach the door handle when inside the cabin and could get themselves in and out of the A5 without issue. Yours may not be able to do so. My kids had to be patient with one another while operating the seat mechanism to move it forward and back. Those with kids in child-safety seats will be doing some heavy lifting and also gymnastics to get kids in and out of the A5.
The A5 coupe has a roomy enough trunk that can handle a run to the grocery store or a single stroller. And if you need more room, the backseat folds flat for more cargo space.
What made this mom happy is the A5 coupe's Quattro all-wheel drive that's paired with a 211-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It was marvelously nimble. The A5 gets an EPA-estimated 20/30 mpg city/highway, and it uses premium fuel.
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Not Really
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Groove-On
The Audi A5's interior is understated. It's sophisticated but not posh. The leather is soft and plentiful, and the instrument cluster and dash are sporty, reminding me this car has some gusto.
My test car had standard heated leather seats that were sculpted and bolstered. I've spent enough time in Audis to finally be comfortable with the Multi Media Interface system that controls the optional navigation system among other things. MMI often requires a good investment of time to become completely comfortable with it.
There are two cupholders for the front row and a long, narrow compartment next to them can hold a gadget or other small items. It also has narrow door pockets, a center console and a small glove box. The overall storage is limited and relies on you to edit what you bring along to the car. With that said, what's there is thoughtful and well-placed.
This idea continues in the backseat. The sides of the rear seats have pockets to store more small items. This coupe only has four seats, with a console between the two rear passengers. The console is really just a shallow tray with a grippy liner in it, but there's also a fold-down armrest that has stowed cupholders.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair-Ample
The 2013 A5 has two sets of Audi's brilliant Latch anchors in the backseat. The anchors sit in open and have plastic covers that are easily removed, and there's no digging between seat cushions to access them. Because of the rear seats' depth, a booster seat fit OK as long as it's not too wide. With the front passenger seat moved forward to accommodate a rear-facing infant-safety seat, front passenger legroom can be compromised. At 5 feet 5 inches tall, I had enough legroom, but taller people will want to double-check those seats.
The A5 coupe has standard all-wheel drive, four-wheel-disc antilock brakes with brake assist, an electronic stability system with traction control and seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag and side curtains for both rows. Adaptive cruise control, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and a backup camera with parking sensors are optional.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash-tested the 2013 A5 coupe.
Get more safety information about the 2013 Audi A5 here.
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