2018 Audi A5 Review

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2018 Audi A5 Overview

The Audi A5 is all-new for 2018, with completely redesigned interior and exterior styling, a new powertrain, and updated driver-assistance technologies. The 2-door 4-passenger A5 comes in two body styles—coupe or convertible—and three trims—Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. And if you want extra power, you can opt for the A5’s sportier S5 sibling.

The 2018 A5’s striking new exterior showcases a wider grille, lower stance, and longer, sharper body lines. Up front, it boasts xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, which can be upgraded to full LED headlights. The back gets standard LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. 18-inch 10-spoke wheels with all-season tires come standard, but they can be swapped out for 19-inch multi-spoke wheels for a sportier look.

The interior of the A5 is also new for 2018, with a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters and loads of standard features that keep it in luxury-car territory. The cabin comes with 3-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver, a panoramic sunroof, ambient LED lighting, aluminum trimaran inlays, and a folding/sliding height-adjustable center armrest.

A key change for the second-generation A5 is the powertrain—it now comes equipped with a 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder engine good for 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with either a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission, and it boasts a 0-to-60 time of 5.6 seconds with the automatic and 5.7 seconds with the manual. Every A5 comes with standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD), and manual-transmission models get the new quattro ultra. Audi’s new ultra technology adds an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch and a decoupling rear-axle differential to optimize torque distribution in response to road conditions for more consistent and confident handling.

The A5 convertible has a few differences from its coupe sibling, most notably that it comes exclusively with the 7-speed automatic transmission. The convertible soft top, which operates at the press of a button, opens in 15 seconds, closes in 18, and can function at speeds up to 31 mph. When down, the top folds into 3 layers to rest on a tray beneath the luggage compartment to optimize cargo space. This year sees the debut of seat-belt-mounted microphones, making voice commands more easily understood even with the top down.

The new A5 has a revised suspension system designed to provide a sporty drive with precise steering and handling that doesn’t sacrifice passenger comfort. Drivers have a choice of 4 drive modes through Audi drive select—Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, or Individual—to adjust the shift points, steering, and the available damper control and adaptive cruise control. An optional sport suspension will further tailor your ride by lowering the height and adding different anti-roll bars, dampers, and springs.

Audi upped the technology offerings in the 2018 A5 with the addition of the available Audi virtual cockpit, complete with a 12.3-inch color display screen for an enhanced infotainment experience and Google Earth navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and options include a full-color head-up display and a 19-speaker 755-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system. Also new to the 2018 A5 is the available MMI touch, which adds handwriting recognition and a unique function-key layout with 2 touch-keys to the standard MMI infotainment system. The ultimate in connectivity is provided through Audi connect, which comes standard at the Premium Plus trim level. This subscription service includes online traffic information, weather updates, fuel prices, read-aloud headlines, and even Twitter alerts. Audi connect offers even more available safety features like automatic crash notification, manual emergency call, stolen-vehicle locator, online roadside assistance, and service notifications.

The A5 gets a number of new advanced driver-assistance technologies for 2018—Audi "pre sense basic," for example, comes standard and will close the side windows and panoramic sunroof and pretension the safety belts in the event of an imminent collision. Also standard is Audi "pre sense city," which operates at speeds up to 52 mph, detects pedestrians and turning or stationary vehicles, and initiates full braking if a collision is expected. Available safety features include rear cross-traffic assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and traffic-jam assist, traffic-sign recognition, and active lane assist.

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Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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