Audi A5 facelift: Barely-there modifications debut at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 11 September 2019

► Latest A5 changes mirror those of A4
► New infotainment, tweaked styling
► Mild-hybrid engines plus diesel for S5

Audi recently facelifted its A4 range, and now it’s applied the same set of changes to the closely-related A5 and its derivatives. Debuting at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, the 2019 A5 range sees a few minor styling changes play second fiddle to a new range of mild-hybrid engines.

The facelift applies to the whole A5 model range, including Coupe, Sportback, Cabriolet and the hot S5 variants. The only variant on display at Frankfurt was the convertible, seen above in the grasp of a large statue...

Blink and you’ll miss it

Styling changes are minimal and consist mainly of a more aggressive front bumper with a wider version of Audi’s Singleframe grille. S Line and S models have a honeycomb mesh pattern, while cooking variants are horizontally barred.

2019 Audi A5 facelift, Coupe, front three quarter

Look closely and you’ll see new LED lights too, plus a narrow air intake bar above the front grille as seen on the A4 facelift and A1 supermini.

Round the back, there’s a redesigned diffuser and exhaust finisher, plus updated LED taillights.

Small changes, then – but when was the last time an Audi facelift truly went outside of the box?

New infotainment says sayonara to scroll wheel

As with the A4, the A5 range has moved over to a larger 10.1-inch infotainment display, and while there’s no fancy twin-screen setup like you’ll find in the A6 it is now a full touchscreen system, having canned the useful scroll wheel between the seats.

2019 Audi A5 facelift, interior

That will be more of a problem for some drivers than others, though we tend to find touchscreens tricky to use on the move.

Arguable though the interface is, the level of new functionality certainly isn’t cause to moan – the nav is smarter, learning your routes and suggesting preferable options, dropping hazard information and traffic sign details, and in some particularly connected cities even helping you find an on-street parking space or avoid red traffic lights.

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauges are now standard across the range, and all models get three-zone climate control, Smartphone connectivity and full LED lights as standard.

Mild-hybrid powertrains plus S5 goes diesel

Yep, as with the S4 and S4 Avant (and S6 and S7, SQ5 and SQ7...), Audi’s moved the A5 to diesel power. The S5 TDI uses an identical 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel V6 with mild-hybrid tech for a total output of 342bhp and 516lb ft of torque. 0-62mph takes ‘under five seconds’ according to Audi, and top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

2019 Audi A5 facelift, S5 Sportback, blue, front dynamic

The S5 is paired with Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed tiptronic auto. Lower down the range there’s a variety of power outputs available. Audi’s not confirmed the 148bhp petrol from the A4 for the A5, so the current entry point is the 161bhp 35 TDI diesel. Expect to also see a 40 TDI and 40 TFSI and 45 TFSI petrols, with 187bhp and 242bhp respectively.

All but S5 models use a seven-speed DSG gearbox, and Quattro’s available as standard on 40 engines and optionally lower down.

The mild-hybrid tech takes the same form on the A5 as it does on other Audis – a belt-driven starter-generator, which recovers some energy from overrun and while braking. It uses this to fill gaps in the torque curve as well as operate the stop-start tech more smoothly, saving fuel.

Pricing’s not been announced for the facelifted A5, but we’d expect a modest increase from the current car’s circa £35k asking price.

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By Tom Wiltshire

Parkers staff writer, Cotswoldian, Peugeot enthusiast, SsangYong Turismo apologist

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