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2019 Audi A5

Starting at $45,195

2018 Audi A5
Chris Doane Automotive|Car and Driver

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  • Highs Handling prowess, gutsy turbo engine, unexpected cargo space.
  • Lows Expensive driver-assist tech, mediocre warranty coverage, lacking luxury details.
  • Verdict The two-door that does the job of a four-door . . . almost.
By Drew Dorian


Whether you're not quite ready to grow up or you're pining for the days before you did, a sporty two-door coupe such as the 2019 Audi 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 Quattro 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 2019?

A Black Optics appearance package is now available and includes dark-finished 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport suspension, black exterior-mirror caps, black-painted exterior trim, a black spoiler, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, black interior trim, and blue contrast stitching on the seats. New 18- and 20-inch wheel designs give the A5's styling a little extra pizzazz, the base Premium model's Convenience package now includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and Prestige models now come standard with a self-parking feature.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

All A5s are equipped with the same 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, Quattro all-wheel drive, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi calls the A5's midrange trim Premium Plus, and it's our pick of the lineup for both the coupe and the convertible. It adds to the Premium trim blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, LED headlamps, a proximity key with push-button start, and heated front seats with driver memory functionality. A similarly equipped convertible will add a princely $7000 to the bottom line.


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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Likes: Quicker than its horsepower rating suggests, snappy automatic transmission, agile cornering demeanor.
Dislikes: No manual transmission offered.

Making 252 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the A5 has the potency one expects from a sporty two-door. Around town, the A5 asserts itself nicely when dicing with traffic, never feeling sluggish or underpowered. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission snaps off quick shifts with very little interruption to power delivery. In our testing, the coupe proved to be downright quick, sprinting from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds—0.5 second behind the 400-hp Infiniti Q60 Red Sport.

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.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

In our real-world highway fuel-economy testing, the A5 dutifully matched its EPA estimate of 34 mpg, while its rival, the BMW 440i, outperformed its EPA number by delivering 37 mpg.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

Likes: Tech-rich cabin, cool optional digital gauge cluster, plenty of cargo space with rear seats folded.
Dislikes: Missing the lux-factor, smallish trunk, difficult-to-access rear seat.

Stylish, modern, and well built, the A5's cabin is spacious and comfortable, and the design will surely stand the test of time. The A5's cabin oozes quality from every panel. In our Premium Plus test car, finely grained, soft-touch plastics mingled with textured aluminum trim. As you slide behind the thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a motorized arm pushes the seatbelt just within easy reach at your left shoulder. The seat bottoms are narrow but provide enough comfort and support for long highway journeys, and a manual thigh extension should satisfy the long-legged. Everything looks and feels well built, durable, and solid. The only missing piece is a sense of actual luxury. There is a lack of attention paid to padding on the armrests, while other high-end touches are simply missing, such as heated rear seats or a power-adjustable steering wheel.

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 coupe's roomy trunk and flexible, flat-folding rear seatbacks provide an unexpected amount of cargo capacity: We fit 16 carry-on suitcases inside with the rear seats folded. It's too bad the various storage bins and cubbies don't follow the same convention. You'll easily find places for smartphones, snacks, and other small items, but bulkier objects such as oversize water bottles will be left without homes.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The A5 hasn't been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a Top Safety Pick award. It's worth noting that automated emergency braking is standard, which speaks to Audi's attention to safety. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking
  • Standard forward-collision warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Audi's standard warranty is average for the segment, matching many of its rivals in coverage and exceeding none. At first glance, the offer of a year of free scheduled maintenance looks like a decent perk, but it's simply meant to cover the first visit and expires once the odometer hits 10,000 miles.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 5000 miles


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