2019 Audi A5 Expert Review

4.8 Overall Score
Performance 4.8 Comfort 4.7 Styling 4.7 Value 4.6

Editor's Overview

The 2019 Audi A5 and S5 take all that’s good about the A4 sedan and add a bit more flair, with a model range that includes the sporty Coupe, open-air Cabriolet and a fun but functional 5-door A5 Sportback. Performance S5 versions of all three body styles bring Audi one step closer to challenging BMW’s dominance.

You'll Like The 2019 Audi A5 If...

The A5 hits the sweet spot whether you’re just starting a family or ready for retirement. It’s athletic yet fuel-efficient, with progressive technology not so advanced as not to be non-user-friendly. The A5 and S5 Sportback are ideal choices for those unimpressed by the coming SUV apocalypse.

You May Not Like The 2019 Audi A5 If...

You can get similar or better performance from the liftback Kia Stinger, while convertible fans might like something more brutish such as a Chevy Camaro SS or Ford Mustang GT. Styling is always subjective, but those looking for a less conservative design might like the Lexus RC or Jaguar F-Type.

What's New

For 2019, the Audi A5 and S5 line add more trims, features and wheel options. A Black optic plus package is offered on the Coupe and Sportback, while an updated Convenience package adds Audi side-assist and pre-sense technologies rear. The manual transmission has been dropped from the lineup.

Interior Features

Audi’s A5 and S5 for 2019 continue the company’s 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.

Exterior Features

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.

Driving Impressions

The 2019 Audi A5 and Audi S5 are more than just beautiful designs. They hold a special skill set combining advanced luxury features, a team of powerful engines and standard quattro all-wheel drive that helps them ride and drive like no other cars in this class. With a zero-to-60-mph run taking just 5.6 seconds, the A5’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is more than capable, but for those seeking even more punch, the S5’s 349-horsepower V6 knocks that time down to a scant 4.5 seconds. Audi’s adjustable drive-mode system allows the driver to vary the degree of urgency in the steering and throttle response, and includes an Auto mode that lets the car’s computer brain make all the hard decisions. With the turbo-4, we did experience a moment of turbo lag after hitting the accelerator hard, but it’s not annoyingly late and the A5 quickly gets itself up to speed. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is one of the best in the business, smooth, fast and responsive. Sadly, last year’s manual-transmission option is no more.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Audi A5 Coupe and Sportback have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $45,195. Starting at $52,195, 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. The S5 Sportback starts at $53,395, while the S5 Cabriolet pushes the price to a hefty $66,095. 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.

Notable Equipment

All A5 and S5 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 Pre Sense 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.

Notable Options

We think the mid-trim Premium Plus A5 is worth the extra $4,500 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 A5. 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, park assist 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.

Favorite Features

VIRTUAL COCKPIT

Probably one of the coolest and most defining features of the Audi A5/S5, the Virtual Cockpit replaces the traditional analog gauge cluster with a configurable 12.3-inch TFT (thin-film transistor) display. Paired with Google Earth, the entire thing becomes a 3D navigation screen displaying crystal-clear maps.


A5 SPORTBACK

Feel like jumping on the SUV bandwagon but just can’t do the whole tall ride-height and annoying blind-spot thing? The A5 Sportback is the solution. Low and lean like a car but with a massive rear hatch, the Sportback is as versatile as it is gorgeous.


Under the Hood

The 2019 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. The S5 gets a more potent twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 good for 349 horsepower. All A5/S5 variants come equipped with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive as standard and employ a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic 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 power delirious, opt for the 2019 Audi RS 5, which packs a 444-horsepower biturbo V6.


2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (A5)

252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm

273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 mpg


3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (S5)

349 horsepower @ 5,400-6,400 rpm

369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,370-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (S5, S5 Sportback), 21/29 mpg (S5 Cabriolet)

Editors' Notes

The 2019 Audi A5 takes all that is good about the A4 sedan and adds a bit more flair, with a model range that includes the sporty Coupe, open-air Cabriolet and fun but functional 5-door Sportback, as well as S5 performance versions of all three. Like German rivals the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe, the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet are really just 2-person affairs, with a tiny rear seat and modest trunk that says to friends and relatives, “Why don’t you just meet us there.” Those who don’t mind company will find the 5-door Sportback more to their liking. Regardless of model, every A5 comes filled with luxury and technology juxtaposed with a nice balance of performance and ride comfort.

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