2018 Audi A5 Walk Around

The A5 coupe styling is elegant, understated and sleek, with muscular haunches. It sets the styling benchmark for coupes. The 2018 redesign doesn’t change its looks much at all, maybe just sharpens the edges.

The devastating lines of the new Sportback flow like those of the gorgeous A7. Its wheelbase is a bit longer than the coupe or convertible. The roof is low like the coupe’s, but stretched into a hatchback, sleeker than the BMW 3 Series GT. The Sportback skips the chrome frame around the windows, a plus in our book.

The S5 fastback sedan has been restyled and sharpened from nose to tail, on the same measurements. The nose is lower and the headlamps higher, creating a look like a furrowed brow. The hood gets more demonstrative creases. The character line along the side of the car gets some starch. In direct light, it casts a shadow that makes the body look longer.


The classy A5 cabin has horizontal lines and uses low-gloss black plastics with the wood or metal trim. Paddle-shifters for the transmission are standard, but they’re small and disappointingly made of plastic. One competitor for the S5 Sportback might be the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio, which has big beautiful metal paddles.

The tech features are added in a cohesive manner, not confusing or futuristic. The rotary dial for MMI interface with center screen is something Audi owners are used to, blessed buttons instead of a touchscreen. The MMI is fairly easy to use, but connecting an iPhone is more difficult without a touchscreen.

There’s an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster Audi calls a virtual cockpit. It gives the cabin a look of state of the art.

In the S5 coupe, one of our tall testers couldn’t get his head low enough for comfortable visibility, given the tall driver’s seat and low roof; rearward visibility was worse, with the thick C-pillars creating big blind spots. Blind-spot monitors are optional but would be useful in all models.

We haven’t had a chance for seat time in the A5 sedan, but in the coupe at least, the rear passengers will be squeezed with only 32.7 inches of legroom.

The coupe has an adequate 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, less in the convertible of course because of mechanism: 9.3 cubic feet with the roof down. If it’s cargo space you need, the Sportback brings you 17 cubic feet.

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