Audi continues to deliver the models we like, with a look that is at once sporty as it is elegant. The 2018 Audi A5 is all-new and now comes in a handsome, five-door Sportback body style along with coupe and convertible choices. Marketed separately are S5 Sportback, Coupe, and Convertible models as well as an RS 5 Coupe.

Best Value

The 2018 Audi A5 is all new, based on a new platform with fresh styling, upgraded tech and safety features, and a new engine. It shares its running gear with the A4 sedan and Q5 crossover SUV.

We like the A5 Sportback body – at $43,575, no only is it $200 less than the A5 Coupe, it's more versatile without sacrificing much in the looks department (we'd even entertain an argument that the five-door A5 is even better looking than the Coupe). Standard features include Xenon Plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a basic crash preparation system.

As usual, you’ll find three available trim levels – Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. We recommend the Premium Plus trim for its standard blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, proximity entry with push-button start, and heated front seats. From there, you'll want to dive into the packages, which grants owners some Prestige-worthy content in a more customizable package, which could help save some cash. Our best value, for example, has plenty of content, but at $51,925, is just slightly more than the $51,175, which doesn't feature any optional goodies.

  • Model:2018 Audi A5 Sportback
  • Engine:2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output:252 hp/ 273 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
  • MPG:24 city / 34 highway
  • Options:Premium Plus trim ($2,790, keyless entry and push-button start, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic assist), Navigation Package ($2,600 navigation, Audi's all-digital Virtual Cockpit, and an 8.3-inch infotainment system), Warm Weather Package ($1,300, ventilated front seats and front sport seats with power lumbar support), and a Bang and Olufsen sound system ($950).
  • Base Price:$43,575 [including $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$51,925

Performance

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The A5's peppy 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is refined and punchy, responding well to aggressive diving without sounding unpleasant at higher rpms. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is quick on upshifts and downshifts, and is particularly fun if you grab the Cold Weather Package, which adds a set of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The A5 Sportback is also pleasantly balanced between ride and handling. It's just firm enough – you can have fun with it on a winding road – but it's soft enough that it can handle a city's potholes and road imperfections. It's a great all-around driving partner.

The biggest downside is the lack of a manual transmission on all but the two-door coupe. If that slick-shifting six-speed were available on the Sportback, we'd have next to nothing to complain about

Interior and Exterior

The A5 delivers a nice selection of body styles – coupe, convertible, and hatchback. All three advance Audi’s current design language marked by a powerful, but elegant front end, sweeping lines, and an attractive rear design, especially in the hatchback. Overall, the look is more evolutionary, than revolutionary and that’s something Audi fans will like.

We’ve long been impressed by Audi interiors and the A5 does not disappoint. Where there are some design differences on the exterior, the interior of all three body styles are uniform, marked by horizontal lines with low-gloss black plastics, leather upholstery and beautiful wood or metal trim.

Driver controls are sensibly placed, intuitive and uncrowded. The 12.3-inch instrument panel is stunning, what Audi calls its Virtual Cockpit. Along with the MMI rotary controller and the now static color display (the previous arrangement used to emerge from the dashboard), the layout is modern without looking futuristic.

Space is ample in the front seats, and you can shove a smaller adult in the back of the coupe without too much protest. The A5 Sportback is the champion of versatility.

The Best and Worst Things

The A5 Sportback's cutting-edge technology helps elevate it above the competition. On the other hand, as much as we like the two-door design, it's just so much tougher to recommend over the new Sportback.

Right For...

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Individuals who prize cargo space. The A5 Sportback offers 21.8 cubic feet of cargo space, nearly double that of the coupe. With the rear seat folded, storage space increases to 35 cubic feet.

Wrong For...

People who can’t see past the “hatchback” design. If this is you, then the A4 is probably the better choice.

The Bottom Line

The Audi A5 is right for the person who wants something above an entry-level model with the available trappings you’d expect. The Sportback adds an interesting twist to the product line with its wheelbase stretched by 2.4 inches to accommodate rear passengers.