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2018 Audi A5 Sportback hits the sweet spot Featured

Oct 14, 2018 Hit: 127 Written by 
The 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is a four-door version of the A5 that's a joy to drive.
The 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is a four-door version of the A5 that's a joy to drive. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

As a whole, the Audi vehicle lineup is focused on pure driving experience, but it's not one size fits all. In my experience, the middle of the Audi A-series range is where the sweet spot sits, including the A5, which I recently spent some time in.


I'm back with a full report on the 2018 Audi A5 sportback and where it fits into the luxury car landscape.

LOOKS

Redesigned for 2018, and bigger than the tighter fits of the A3 and A4 sedans, you can accommodate rear passengers more comfortably in the A5 Sportback, though it remains a bit tight with a tall driver and passenger up front. There are three versions of the A5 -- two-door coupe and convertible options plus the new four-door Sportback.

The A5 Sportback is a four-door hatchback version of the A5 coupe that was inspired by the A7 Sportback. It sits low like a sporty ride should, and features an eye-catching exterior design, from the lines down to the wheels.

Inside the A5 Sportback, you get beautiful wood trim (high gloss dark brown walnut wood inlays, to be exact) and comfortable leather seating. Even the air vents have a sharp design. In Audi’s tradition It's a simple but classy interior and exterior design, as opposed to flashier-looking rivals like Lexus, and trunk space impresses for the segment.

The A5 Sportback comes with 18-inch 10-spoke dynamic design wheels with all-season tires, LED interior lighting, power sunroof, three-zone auto climate control with digital rear display.

For about $1K you can upgrade to a 19-inch wheel package with multi-spoke design wheels, summer tires and a sport suspension.


Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2018 Audi A5 Sportback
  • Price as tested:: $52,100 (starts at $42,600)
  • Best feature:: Tons of driving fun but also practical and roomy
  • Rating:: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Luxury car buyers who love driving


ENGINE, HORSEPOWER

The A5 Sportback features a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. Output is 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque.

If you decide to boost up to the more powerful S5 variant, you get a 3.0-liter turbo V-6 offering 354 hp.

The Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system comes standard on the A5 Sportback.

Like all Audis, the ride is tremendously responsive and enjoyable all around. Vehicles with automatic transmission include paddle shifters that make it even more fun if you choose to use them. A traditional manual transmission is not offered on the A5 Sportback, but is available on the coupe and convertible versions.


Once you get moving in the A5 Sportback, it’s pure joy of driving. The vehicle hugs the corners, offers tremendous acceleration and responsiveness to driver input, and is one of those vehicles that you can tell wants to go fast at all times, and you’ll have to rein it in at times. This essence of driving enjoyment is one of the core reasons why people love Audis and spend the amount of money they do on them.

You can choose how the drive goes via Audi drive select, options being: Comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. You'll want to stay on dynamic for best drive enjoyment. But some scenarios call for dialing back the fun. A start/stop system is included on the A5 Sportback, and while some may not like it, it will help you save on gas.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The A5 Sportback features a top-notch infotainment system, controlled by a center dial. One nice feature is that it tells you what song is playing before you open station, saving you time from clicking on the station if it’s something you’re not interested in hearing. The screen is well-placed, centered in middle of dash, plus there are informative screens in front of driver controlled by steering wheel dials.

I also had an excellent experience with the navigation system, which directed me effectively and was responsive to voice commands, too.

All 2018 Audi A5 Sportbacks offer forward collision warning with automatic braking as a safety feature. Another cool feature on the safety systems is traffic sign recognition.

The A5 Sportback contains eight airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, Audi pre-sense city (low-speed collision assist), child safety locks on rear doors, and electronic stabilization control with sport mode.

An optional Bang and Olufsen sound system is featured that is more treble-heavy, less bass-oriented, but very clear. You also get LED daytime running lights, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, rearview camera and tire pressure monitoring.

MPG, PRICE
The official fuel mileage numbers on the A5 Sportback are 24 city/34 highway/27 combined.

I averaged 27.1 mpg during my time in the vehicle, so the numbers checked out.


The A5 Sportback I tested was just over $52,000; base price starts about $43K.
It’s important to recognize that an Audi is not cheap to buy or maintain, for the simple reason that it is an Audi. But you will understand why when you drive it. Audi does offer a four-year, 50K new vehicle warranty, and one-year, 10K of free maintenance.

BOTTOM LINE

One of most satisfying vehicles in the luxury realm, both in terms of performance and looks, the A5 Sportback does not disappoint. And with its four-door design, it’s also more family-friendly.


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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.

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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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