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- Highs Strong engine, excellent handling, very well equipped.
- Lows Skimpy rear-seat room, lack of infotainment touchscreen, could use a few more luxury touches.
- Verdict The 2018 Audi A5 delivers plenty of hustle and an engaging driving experience, while generous cargo space and a wealth of tech features make it easy to live with.
Whether you’re not quite ready to grow up or you’re pining for the days before you did, a sporty two-door coupe like Audi’s A5 is an alluring choice. The A5 convertible (Audi calls it a Cabriolet) kicks up the responsibility-shirking freedom yet another notch. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides plenty of hustle, while a sport-tuned suspension and standard all-wheel drive make the A5 one of the most sure-footed cars in its class. All the modern high-tech gadgetry such as smartphone integration and semi-autonomous safety features are accounted for as well. Plus, the A5 offers a reasonable amount of practicality, so it’s not a completely unreasonable purchase—especially the coupe, which offers cargo space that almost rivals larger sedans.
What's New for 2018?
Despite the subtlety of the redesign, the A5 is all new for 2018, and that includes updates to the powertrain, suspension, interior, and exterior similar to those that made their debut on the redesigned A4 sedan for 2017. Active safety features such as automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with full-speed range, and traffic-jam assistance join the lineup, as does a modernized infotainment system.
- Premium Coupe: $47,675
- Premium Plus Coupe: $49,375
- Prestige Coupe: $51,375
- Premium Cabriolet: $54,475
- Premium Plus Cabriolet: $56,175
- Prestige Cabriolet: $58,175
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
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Making 252 hp from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the A5 has the potency one expects from a sporty two-door. In our testing, it proved to be downright quick, sprinting from zero to 60 mph a mere 0.5 second behind the 400-hp Infiniti Q60 Red Sport. Around town, the A5 asserts itself nicely when dicing with traffic, never feeling sluggish or underpowered. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which our test vehicle had, snaps off quick shifts with very little interruption to power delivery. For those who prefer to work a three-pedal setup, a six-speed manual transmission is a no-cost option. All-wheel drive is standard on all A5 models. Composed and planted when cruising, the A5 comes alive on twisty roads; accurate, well-weighted steering highlights the suspension’s agility, and the A5 is very easy to drive quickly. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system helps, too, providing plenty of grip, which helped the A5 tear around our skidpad with tenacity.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the "Compare Side-by-Side" tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Stylish, modern, and well built, the A5’s cabin is spacious and comfortable, and the design will surely stand the test of time. However, the devil’s in the details; Audi seems to have skimped on a few simple luxuries. If a two-door car that can seat four adults is what you’re after, the A5 can accommodate, but it’s best if rear-seat passengers boast diminutive dimensions. The coupe’s roomy trunk and flexible, flat-folding rear seatbacks provide an unexpected amount of cargo capacity. It’s too bad the various storage bins and cubbies don’t follow the same convention. Coupe models offer 12 cubic feet of cargo space, while convertibles give up three of those to make room for the power-operated softtop. Folding the rear seats down provides far more space for freight, but doing so requires pulling release levers in the trunk, then climbing into the back seat to stow the seatbacks. Since the seatbacks fold in 40/20/40 fashion, the A5 coupe provides more options for comfortably hauling longer items.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Intuitive software and robust hardware combine to provide a quick-responding and easy-to-use infotainment interface. Touchscreen capability is the only feature we find lacking with this system, making it a little less easy to use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which were designed with touch-based interactions in mind. Audi offers plenty of infotainment features as standard on all A5 models, including Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, power outlets, and USB connectivity. A 7.0-inch (standard) or 8.3-inch (optional) infotainment display is a floating element atop the A5’s dashboard and features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation is optional, as is a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The A5’s USB ports are both located in the center console between the front seats, and both delivered 1.8 amps, which should provide satisfactory charging performance for most devices. Overall, we find using Audi’s MMI system intuitive; adapting to its rotary knob controller is a quick and painless process. The MMI system’s hardware and software are well matched and responsive, scoring a Good rating in our testing with an average response time of just 0.6 second.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
For more information about the Audi A5’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.