CAR REVIEWS

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2018 Audi A5 coupe lives up to high-performance reputation Featured

Jan 14, 2018 Hit: 52 Written by 
The performance-oriented 2018 Audi A5 is aimed at those who love driving.
The performance-oriented 2018 Audi A5 is aimed at those who love driving. Photo courtesy of Audi

Luxury car buyers are very picky, but also very loyal. If you get them to be a fan of your brand, the key is to not mess things up so they’ll stick around and not jump ship.

In the case of the Audi A5 coupe, which I recently tested, the vehicle has been updated for 2018. This competitor in the luxury coupe segment keeps most of its heritage but also sees key improvements; Will it be enough to keep buyers loyal and not have they sway over to BMW or Mercedes or other Audi competitors?

LOOKS

With Audi generally more focused on what’s under the hood, exterior design on the A5 is attractive (including the instantly recognizable Audi grille and four-ring logo up front), but not overall showy or gaudy like some of the competition. The A5 features sharp-looking 18-inch 10-spoke wheels and all-season tires, with options to upgrade to 19-inch or 20-inch wheels.

 

Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2018 Audi A5 coupe
  • Price as tested:: $55,300 (Price starts at $42,800)
  • Best feature:: Nimble, responsive and fast ride -- a true driver’s car
  • Rating:: 4 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Luxury coupe buyers who love to drive


It’s a two-door coupe; and it’s made to fit two comfortably up front. The back seat has very little room (I really wouldn’t recommend using it unless absolutely necessary. I saw it as more of a storage area).


The A5 is low to the ground, so you’ll feel all the bumps in the street and it can be a rough ride at times. But it’s a tradeoff most people who love driving will accept due to the awesome experience the power plant offers (more on that below).

Inside, the leather seating in the A5 is high-end and you can opt for high-gloss Dark Brown Walnut wood inlays. A heated steering wheel is also offered.

One other thing to note: There is also a hatchback version offered of the A5, which features four doors.

PERFORMANCE

The 2018 A5 I tested offered a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine; paired with a 7-speed transmission (a six-speed manual transmission is also offered)..

Numbers are 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. Paddle shifters are included on the steering wheel on the automatic. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system will help you get around when the roads get rough.

And if that’s not enough performance for you, you can update to the even sportier Audi S5 with its V6 and 354 horsepower (though be aware it’s a $12K upgrade).

Top speed is 130 mph in the A5 (and 155 in the S5) … though you’re not likely to get there unless you’re on a racetrack or the Autobahn.

The A5 does what a “driver’s car” is supposed to do -- It’s very fast, both off the jump and once you’re moving. If it’s going fast you get the sense it wants to go even faster. And a quick jab at the gas pedal gets you moving better than most vehicles. 0-60 takes under 6 seconds.

It also hugs the corners perfectly and is especially impressive in Dynamic mode (With Audi Drive Select, you can choose between several drive modes -- Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual -- depending on what situation you are in).
This is in part due to the redesigned front and rear five-link independent steel spring suspension, which optimizes performance.

The type of performance I experienced in the A5 is part of the reason I always list some Audi vehicles in my response when I’m asked about the best vehicles I’ve tested. Their engineering is top-shelf.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The infotainment system in the Audi works great, controlled via a dial in the center console and also voice commands. Apple CarPlay worked well in my experience too to mirror phone operation on the center screen (Android Auto compatibility is also included).


Among my favorite features is the optional navigation system, as the map can be safely and clearly viewed directly in front of the driver’s eyeline, not on the center screen away from your sightline.

The A5 features: Xenon-plus headlights; an Audi sound system (which can be upgraded); USB ports; a 7-inch screen at top center (controlled by the dial below); power mirrors; and Bluetooth connectivity.

Safety features include a bevy of airbags, Anti-lock brakes, low-speed collision assist, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, Rear view camera and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

You get a six-month trial of Audi connect, a telematics system that offers safety and emergency services, over-the-air map updates and more.


One large package that can be added (for a hefty $7,600 fee) is the Prestige package.

It includes:
-- Power, folding exterior mirrors with memory
-- Alarm system with motion sensors
-- SiriusXM satellite radio w/ three months subscription
-- Heated 10-way power front seats with driver memory
-- Full LED headlights
-- Leatherette covered center console and door armrests
-- Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound
-- Parking system plus with top view camera system
-- Full-color head-up display
-- Navigation.


MPG

Fuel mileage is another strong point of the 2018 Audi A5. The official numbers are 24 city/34 highway/27 combined. When placed against competitors like the BMW 4-series, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus RC, it is among the best in class.


PRICE, BOTTOM LINE

My test vehicle was just over $55,000; base price starts about $42K; These prices are not cheap, but they’re in line with the luxury coupe segment, where there isn’t as much difference in price and it’s more about brand preference..

The A5 is definitely not a family vehicle due to its limited size, but it’s a dream for someone who loves driving. As expected from an Audi coupe, the 2018 A5 maintains its reputation as a fun little ride that hits all the right targets.

 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Last modified on Sunday, 14 January 2018 22:17
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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: www.autotechreviews.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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