Go In Snow - 2018 Audi A5 Coupe Review By Larry Nutson
2018 Audi A5 Coupe Review
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Heads turned and all eyes looked to Audi back in 2008 with the introduction of the very stylish A5 in the U.S. And when I say all eyes, I mean fashion conscious, design conscious and car conscious women and men stopped, stared and smiled.
That all-new 2-door A5 Coupe was elegant and darn good looking with outstanding proportions and a balanced design, no matter from what angle you looked. And, it could perform too.
Back in 2013 my wife was new-car shopping and the A5 Coupe was on the top of her list. However, practicality came in to play and we determined that a 4-door car was really what she should have to meet her needs. Oh well, maybe next time.
The A5 has been redone for 2018 -- outside, inside and underneath too. There’s still the familiar side character line and roof profile along with the muscular rear. The grille is wider and flatter and the hood drops off curiously low. Front and rear fascias are new along with a new LED taillight design.
Quattro all-wheel drive is standard and the tight-fitting wheel arches bring emphasis to the 18- or 19-inch wheels. Underneath there’s a new front five-link suspension with lightweight construction for greater steering precision and improved handling. Unsprung weight has been reduced with the use of lightweight aluminum control-arm components.
The A5 Coupe comes standard with a 252-HP 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine coupled with either a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. Audi says zero to 60 mph is in 5.6 seconds for the S tronic and 5.7 seconds for the manual.
The A5 I drove had the 7-speed dual-clutch trans that was much to my liking. The crisp upshifts and downshifts make for fun and spirited driving enjoyment and the 252-HP never disappointed. Selecting “P”, park position, is with the simple push of a button whether in drive or reverse.
There’s also an S5 Coupe model with a new 354-HP 3.0 TFSI V6 engine mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Zero to 0-60 mph is in 4.4 seconds, per Audi.
The Audi drive select feature has four different modes – comfort, auto, dynamic and individual – and allows the driver to change gear shift points, steering, and available damper control and adaptive cruise control adjustments. For my driving around the streets of Chicago I used the comfort setting. The S-line Sport Suspension and optional 19-inch wheels mounted with 255/35 summer tires on my media-loan car proved to be a bit much for Chicago’s rough and tumble streets.
The four-seat A5 Coupe has a base MSRP of $42,800 and it’s the same for either transmission. Three trims are offered – Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
The S5 Coupe is priced to start at $54,600 and comes in Premium Plus and Prestige trims.
Options on the media-loan A5 I drove were: Florett silver metallic paint ($575), Premium Plus package ($3000), Navigation package ($2600), S Line Sport package ($1250), Bang & Olufsen premium audio system ($950), and the 19-inch S Line wheel package ($800). With the $975 destination charge the bottom line total was $52,950.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy rating is 27 mpg combined, or 3.7 gallons per 100 miles. EPA’s city rating is 24 mpg and the highway rating is 34 mpg. I didn’t have the chance for a long road trip with the A5. However earlier this year I drove its sibling A4 sedan with the same engine for about 900 miles getting fuel economy in the range of 32 to 34 mpg. My experience with Audis is that good real-world fuel economy is achieved easily.
In the cabin a clean, elegant design prevails. The front sport seats that come with the S-line package were comfortable and supportive for my medium frame. Audi’s MMI control is intuitive and simple to use and the vertical screen is easily viewed with minimal reflection. The Nav system lets you set a destination while underway, much to my liking.
The rear seating for two might be best left to the young and limber. The trunk is plenty roomy for a weekend getaway or even a long road trip.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is a changeable driver information display right in front of your eyes that not only shows speedo, tach and other gauges but a 3-D map from the nav system as well as audio and mobile phone information.
A few other nice features are: the power-fold outside mirrors don’t unfold until you start the engine, making for easy vehicle access in tight parking conditions; the trunk opens wide with its hands-free feature making for easy arms-full loading; on locking the car with the key fob, the alarm signal is a gentle chirp rather than a loud blast of the regular car horn.
For those tight parking maneuvers there is not only a rearview camera but the A5 also has Audi’s parking system plus with a top view camera. The optional ventilated front seats kept me comfortable in Chicago’s hot summer temperatures.
Driving-assistance features include adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, lane assist and high-beam assistant, frontal collision mitigation system with automatic braking and rear collision mitigation.
The A5 is also offered as a Cabriolet as well as a newly available Sportback.
Take a look at www.audiusa.com for more details, specs and pricing on the A5/S5 line-up.
We’re about eight months through 2017 and overall vehicle sales are lower than 2016, not surprisingly as this was forecasted and expected. Light trucks, meaning pickups, SUVs and minivans, are taking the majority of new vehicle sales.
Luxury, personal use cars are holding their own, to some extent. Coupes suffer a bit today because 4-door sedans offer every bit the same performance in a more functional package. That said, personal use high performance cars will continue to be of interest. At least, they will be to me.
© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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