The coupe is an endangered species these days due to the popularity of SUVs and crossovers. But they sure are fun to drive, especially when you get a luxury, performance-oriented coupe like the Audi A5.
The A5 Coupe is in its second generation and all-new for 2018 with a longer and lower design that gives it a sleek look. It’s beautiful inside and out. The interior is luxurious and modern and loaded with tech. The outside now features more dramatic shapes and sharp lines, making the A5 stand apart from all of the utility vehicles on the roads today.
The four-passenger A5 Coupe is available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Starting prices range from $42,500 to $50,400. Each trim is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic at the same price. Every A5 comes standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The 2018 A5 has a new powertrain: 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The A5 is quick. Just touch the accelerator and you’re off. Audi says the automatic can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and the manual in 5.7 seconds. The automatic shifts quickly and accurately, always finding the right gear, and there are paddle shifters on the steering wheel in case you want to do the shifting.
Audi Drive Select lets you choose from four driving modes so you can tweak the performance to your liking. The Quattro system keeps all four wheels planted, even during some quick cornering. The ride is firm in keeping with the sporty driving dynamics but not jarring.
EPA mileage estimates for the A5 Coupe are 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with combined rating of 27. I got 25 mpg during my week with more city than highway driving.
The interior is luxurious with a sophisticated feel. Materials are high quality. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, even on a long drive. The back seat is very tight for passengers, as you’d expect in a small coupe, and also challenging to enter and exit. At least the back row provides a spot for your handbag or some grocery bags.
Standard features in all A5 models include a rearview camera, panoramic sunroof (in coupe and Sportback models), leather seating, power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, 7-inch driver information system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen and voice control.
Audi Pre Sense Basic and Pre Sense City are also standard on the A5. Pre sense basic can intervene to help prepare the vehicle for impact by closing the windows and sunroof and tightening the front seatbelts. Audi pre sense city helps detects cornering and stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, at speeds of up to 52 mph and can initiate full braking when a potential collision is detected.
Options include a head-up display, 360-degree camera system, Nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, front sport seats, massaging front seats, heated steering wheel, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, navigation, an upgraded MMI system with an 8.3-inch screen and handwriting recognition, and in vehicle Wi-Fi, Audi Connect, which can connect up to eight devices.
Available driver safety technologies include active safety features include adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and Pre Sense Rear which helps monitor the traffic following the vehicle and takes similar actions to Audi pre sense basic.
The optional Audi virtual cockpit and MMI touch infotainment systems take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of them they become second nature. One of the features is handwriting recognition so you can “write” commands on the screen with your finger. Is it just me, or do we really need handwriting recognition in a vehicle?
The Virtual Cockpit puts driver and infotainment info on in a 12.3-inch screen lined up with the steering wheel so you have info about speed, fuel economy, audio, navigation, etc. easily in your line of sight.
The A5 coupe has 11.6 cubic feet of trunk room, enough space for several grocery bags or some smallish overnight bags.
Good lookin’ coupe!
Sporty driving dynamics
Decent fuel efficiency for the class
Upscale, modern interior
Tons of tech
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard
Starting price is one of the highest in the class
Price climbs in a hurry with packages and options
Back seat is cramped as you’d expect
Not much trunk space
My tester starts at $42,800. Glacier white metallic exterior is $575. Prestige Package is $7,600 and adds heated, auto-dimming, power-folding exterior mirrors, memory alarm system with motion sensors, satellite radio, Audi advanced key, heated 10-way power front seats with driver memory, full LED headlights, Audi side assist with pre sense rear, leatherette-covered center console and door armrests, Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, parking system with top view camera system, full color head-up display, LED interior lighting package, Audi virtual cockpit, and Audi MMI Navigation Plus with MMI touch. Driver Assistance Package is $1,800 and adds adaptive cruise control and Audi active lane assist, high-beam assistant and traffic sign recognition. Adaptive damping suspension is $1,000. High gloos dark brown walnut wood inlays are $350. Heated steering wheel is $200. Destination charge is $975 bringing the grand total to $55,300.
If you’re looking for a luxury coupe that fits four passengers (two comfortably), the Audi A5 boasts lively performance, an upscale interior, tons of tech and safety features and dynamic driving dynamics, all in a beautiful package.