2018 Audi A5 Sportback review: The best of all worlds

You could call a 2018 Audi A5 Sportback a baby A7. You could call it Audi’s answer to a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. But we call it my favorite indication in a unequivocally plain A4 and A5 lineup.

The A5 Sportback is built on a same skeleton as a A5 Coupe and A4 Sedan — a easily tuned, sporty platform. And while this genre-bender (or genre-blender) isn’t yet a compromises, after a week behind a wheel, I’m assured that a 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is many incomparable than a sum of a parts.

Sexy Sportback

The additional stuff-hauling space total by a Sportback expands load ability to as many as 35 cubic feet when a behind seats are folded flat, adequate for a decent Costco run. Perhaps some-more useful is a lengthened behind orifice done probable by a energy opening liftback with hands-free kick-to-open functionality. This enables easy loading of massive items, creation a Sportback good for Ikea runs, too.

There are, however, trade-offs and compromises to consider. The some-more thespian roofline cuts into second-row headroom by about 1.5 inches, that is something to keep in mind if we mostly convey high passengers. The additional behind potion and energy liftgate resource also supplement about 100 pounds to a quell weight compared to an A4 Sedan.

Still, a A5 Sportback’s total character and functionality feels positively value a $2,100 cost reward over a allied A4 sedan.

Plentiful Quattro power

The Sportback’s engine brook is home to a informed engine: Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that powers both a A4 sedan and A5 coupe. Output is rated during 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, and low-end grunt is plentiful, creation off-the-line launches and midrange acceleration easy as pie.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine feels some-more manly than a numbers indicate interjection to a tasty torque curve.

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The engine is corresponding to a seven-speed dual-clutch involuntary transmission, a usually gearbox accessible to Sportback buyers. Audi’s S-tronic gearbox is unequivocally sweet, with smartly selected change points helping in discerning acceleration and a well-spoken altogether demeanor. It can be a bit wavering to downshift when negligence for a dilemma or while passing, so you’ll wish to make use of possibly a Sport change mode or a customary steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters when it’s time to unequivocally have fun.

At it’s sportiest, a Sportback is good for a 0-to-60 scurry in usually 5.7 seconds, and it’ll lift on to a tip speed of 130 miles per hour. At a many efficient, you’re looking during 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined.

My one censure about a A5 Sportback’s powertrain is a unequivocally synthetic sounding engine note; it’s a bit too Forza Motorsport for my liking. Audi uses a stereo complement to beget mistake empty sound in a sportier settings. Were this my personal A5 Sportback, I’d find a compound for that complement and wrench it true away.

Coupe-like performance

The line and tuning of a Sportback’s four-corner, five-link eccentric cessation is closer to that of a A5 Coupe than a A4 Sedan. This grants a five-door a some-more planted and fast feel in a corners.

At all 4 corners, a A5 Sportback rides on a five-link eccentric behind suspension. Active dampers are optional, yet not particularly necessary.

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An discretionary active check setup allows drivers to toggle between comfort for travelling and increasing trust during some-more energetic passages. My Premium Plus indication doesn’t have that option, so we can’t tell we many more, yet a bound cessation feels copiousness glorious for my needs. No matter a model, Audi Drive Select lets we dial in how many pillow or sportiness we want. You can toggle between Comfort, Auto and Dynamic modes, as good as a fourth customizable Individual preset that can brew and compare specific expostulate settings.

Standard on all Sportback models is Audi’s smashing Sport Quattro all-wheel drive. Not usually does this support in surefootedness when traction is lowered by weather, yet this sportier Quattro balance facilities a behind inequitable 40:60 torque separate and torque vectoring on a behind axle. This helps bestir a behind finish around while cornering, gripping a framework neutral and preventing understeer — a common trait of many AWD setups. This also means we can get behind on a energy good and early while entrance out of a corner. Such fun!

On a highway, a A5 Sportback can be blissfully still and comfortable, generally in expostulate modes that close off all of that synthetic engine sound nonsense. It’s a unequivocally well-rounded daily driver.

MMI Plus tech with Virtual Cockpit

Part of what creates a A5 Sportback such a good daily apparatus is a onboard technology. Audi’s interior tech is second to none.

The customary MMI infotainment apartment uses a 7-inch Nvidia-powered setup tranquil by a earthy control doorknob on a core console. Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity lead a brawny list of digital and analog media sources. However, top trim levels and choice packages strike us adult to MMI Plus with a 8.3-inch incomparable screen, navigation and an MMI Touch controller with scratch recognition.

The 4G LTE-supported Audi Connect use enables gee-whiz facilities like online end search, local app integrations and Google Earth satellite map imagery.

And that’s not even a coolest part. My personal favorite tech ascent is a Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster arrangement that can be customized to arrangement all from normal gauges and pushing information to a vast map for navigation. Pretty many all of a vital MMI infotainment functions can be rubbed here with elementary steering circle controls, creation Virtual Cockpit a underline value profitable for.

Driver support and reserve features

Audi’s glorious tech doesn’t stop during a infotainment. There’s also a plain array of customary and discretionary motorist support facilities onboard.

For starters, a Audi Pre Sense City complement is customary apparatus on all models, rolling in brazen pre-collision warnings with involuntary stop assist. The complement is means to detect both other vehicles as good as pedestrians.

Optional upgrades value deliberation embody adaptive journey control with trade jam assist, that not usually maintains a protected following stretch in stop-and-go traffic, yet also adds steering support that automatically keeps a automobile in line with a automobile forward and between line markers. This is a hands-on system, though, that will invalidate if we try to go hands-free.

Driver support and infotainment record continue to be Audi’s strongest advantage over competing models.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

At aloft speeds, some-more informed lane-keeping steering support helps keep a automobile where we wish it, yet doesn’t try a same turn of lane-centering that a low-speed complement does. It usually keeps we between a lines.

Audi’s blind-spot monitoring complement is an engaging one. Not usually does it watch your behind during line changes and when you’re reversing out of blind parking spots, it also stays active after you’ve parked roadside to guard for arriving cars. This automobile exit support complement is intensely useful for preventing dooring other cars and potentially cyclists. It’s a tiny hold that goes a prolonged approach for safety.

How I’d spec it

The 2018 Audi A5 Sportback starts during $42,600, and a midrange Premium Plus indication adds a few some-more motorist support features, along with several other bells and whistles, for $45,600. Folks looking for a comprehensive best tech will wish to opt for a top-tier Prestige model. It starts during $51,175 (including $975 for destination), yet that additional mix gets we Virtual Cockpit, a head-up display, MMI Navigation Plus, a Bang Olufsen sound complement and a surround-view camera.

Though not yet compromises, a 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is my favorite member of a A4 and A5 family of cars.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Add $1,800 for a full Driver Assistance package — adaptive cruise, line gripping support and some-more — and $1,000 for a active dampers to strech an all-in cost of about $53,000. Steep, yet also about $4,000 reduction than a comparably versed BMW 430i Gran Coupe with xDrive.

But a Audi A5 Sportback isn’t usually a improved bargain. As distant as I’m concerned, it’s a improved all-around car.

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