All-new for 2018, the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet are the sportier, free-spirited siblings of the A4. Though based on that compact-luxury sedan, these models emphasize design and driver enjoyment, traits made evident by the snug rear seats, similar to its German rivals the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and BMW 4 Series. The 5-door A5 Sportback packs style and versatility.
You'll Like The 2018 Audi A5 If...
Whether you're a young professional who is pre-family or an empty-nester ready to drive a fun and stylish luxury coupe or convertible, the 2018 Audi A5 will scratch that itch and make a statement while doing so. The practical A5 Sportback, meanwhile, can seat five and boasts a spacious rear hatch.
You May Not Like The 2018 Audi A5 If...
In the niche category of luxury-compact coupes and convertibles, all the players meet a high bar. That can leave your decision to personal preference and design appeal. You might like luxe swagger of the C-Class or the lines of the Lexus RC or Infiniti Q60, both of which also cost less.
The A5 is all-new for 2018. Like the revamped A4 that came before it, the new A5 is loaded with slick technology like Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital dash and active safety features. The A5 debuts concurrently with the latest S5 high-performance model (reviewed separately), while the track-ready, 444-horsepower RS 5 (also reviewed separately) has now arrived at last.
The latest A5 continues the Audi anthem of sleek, angular lines with only enough buttons and knobs to justify their existence. We love the feel of quality. The A5's front seats are well supported and grant an excellent driving position. The pair of rear seats in coupe and convertible models are small and cumbersome to enter and exit for the less-than-agile. The rear seats do fold, and combined with the large trunk open up commendable cargo space. The A5 Sportback has rear doors and a 3-across bench like a sedan, and 35 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded.
The A5 has more conservative lines compared to the more rounded and/or flowing shape of rivals like the Lexus RC, Infiniti Q60 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Restrained as it may be, the A5 is elegant, with one of its biggest splashes being up front with a large trapezoidal grille. Unlike a BMW 4 Series (and like the new Mercedes C-Class convertible), the A5 convertible has a fabric roof instead of a folding hardtop. The A5 Sportback is essentially a smaller version of the captivating A7, blending a 4-door coupe silhouette with an upward-rising power liftgate that hides a good-sized rear cargo bay.
Few coupes and convertibles blend sporty handling, refinement and panache like the Audi A5. If you factor in all-season drivability thanks to standard all-wheel drive, the 2018 A5 is in a class by itself. We really like the A5's blend of acceleration (0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds), grip and overall balance. Adjustable drive modes make a tangible difference in the way the car feels, with steering stiffening and the engine and shifts more responsive in Dynamic mode. We left it in Auto and let the A5 adjust to driving situations as needed. There can be instances of initial lag if you nail the accelerator, but the car soon gets over itself and up to speed. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is smooth in almost every instance. If you're in the "save-the-manuals" camp, Audi is among the few to still offer a manual transmission -- and all on three coupe trims, no less.
The 2018 Audi A5 Coupe has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $43,775, a number that is the same whether you choose the manual or automatic transmission. At $43,575, the A5 Sportback is actually the least expensive A5, though only by $200. Starting at $50,575, the Cabriolet sits atop the A5 social ladder. From here, prices only go up. A loaded A5 Coupe or Sportback can reach beyond $55,000, while the A5 convertible can reach into the $60,000 range. At these prices, the A5 is in line with the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupes, and above the starting marks of the Lexus RC, Infiniti Q60 and Cadillac ATS coupe. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Audi. The A5's resale value is expected to hold up very well in the years ahead.
All A5 variants come in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Base models of each have leather interior, power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, and 18-inch wheels. The basic infotainment system includes a 7-inch display, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Coupe models come with a panoramic sunroof; the A5 cabriolet with a power-operated fabric roof. Included is Audi Presence Basic and City. The first instantaneously prepares the car if a collision appears imminent, while the second aims to prevent one by detecting other cars and pedestrians and automatically braking.
We think the mid-trim Premium Plus A5 is worth the extra $3,000 as it adds safety features like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic, and will even alert you of a coming vehicle when exiting the vehicle. Also included are full LED headlights, heated front seats and hands-free trunk/tailgate release. Prestige trims add the Virtual Cockpit, 8.3-inch display with navigation, and a superb 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen system. Other options include a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, head-up display and Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and traffic-sign recognition. Audi Connect Prime grants 4G LTE connectivity.
Audi's fully digital dash has been around a few years now, but it still wows us. This optional setup replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a configurable 12.3-inch digital display. When integrated with Google Earth satellite mapping, it dazzles and seems straight from the future.
For those who like to have their cake and eat it, too, this all-new A5 variant combines a sleek coupe-like design with four doors and a large rear hatch area that's easily accessed via a power-operated rear door. The icing? It's the least expensive A5 model.
Under the Hood
The 2018 A5 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower, enough to zip each model to 60 mph in six seconds or less. All A5 variants are all-wheel drive. The A5 Cabriolet and Sportback use a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The A5 Coupe offers that transmission or, in a nod to enthusiasts, a 6-speed manual transmission. At up to 34 mpg, the A5 is surprisingly efficient given its potency. Helping that is a start/stop system that cuts engine power at idle and which can be defeated with the press of a button. If you're more power-hungry, consider the 354-horsepower S5 with a supercharged V6. If you're power delirious, wait for the 2018 Audi RS 5, which packs a 450-horsepower biturbo V6.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/33 mpg (manual, Coupe), 24/34 mpg (automatic, Coupe, Cabriolet, Sportback)
Revamped for 2018, the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet are the sportier, free-spirited siblings of the A4. Though based on that compact-luxury sedan, these 2-door models emphasize design and driver enjoyment, traits made evident by the snug rear seats that only accommodate two, similar to German rivals the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and BMW 4 Series. The exception is the A5 Sportback, a 5-door liftback that's as practical as it is stylish. Like the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the A5 Sportback is actually more versatile than a sedan, and arguably the best-looking model in the lineup. Whichever A5 strikes your fancy, you'll get a luxury car filled with technology and safety features, and driving manners that hit the sweet spot between comfort and dynamism.