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MSRP: $42,600 - 62,300

2018 Audi A5 Review

The 2018 Audi A5 is completely redesigned, and it emerges as one of the best vehicles in the class. It features a high-end interior, thrilling performance, and a long list of features.

Pros & Cons

  • Opulent interior
  • Long features list
  • Strong engine
  • Outstanding front seats
  • Small trunk in coupe and cabriolet models
  • Cramped rear seat in coupe and cabriolet models

Is the Audi A5 a Good Car?

The revamped Audi A5 is an awesome and well-rounded vehicle with few faults. It boasts a lineup of powerful engines, athletic handling, and standard all-wheel drive. It even manages pretty good fuel economy. The well-built, elegant cabin includes comfortable and supportive front seats. Additionally, the features list is longer than a giraffe’s neck.

The A5 is available in coupe, convertible, and hatchback body styles. While the coupe and convertible models are a little short on rear-seat and trunk space, the hatchback offers plenty of room for people and cargo alike.

Should I Buy the Audi A5?

The A5's variety of body styles make it appealing to virtually every buyer. That is, provided they have a large enough budget – the A5 has one of the highest base prices in the class.

If you're shopping around, there are some other rivals worthy of consideration. The BMW 4 Series blends performance with interior comfort, and it has many of the same positives as the A5. It also comes in three body styles and has a similar price tag. The Audi A4 costs thousands less than the A5, but it’s still a great car overall.

Compare the A5, 4 Series, and A4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Audi A5?

The redesigned 2018 Audi A5 debuts a new sportback (four-door hatchback) body style that has far more cargo space than the coupe and cabriolet models. The 2018 A5 also gets a new base engine that puts out 32 additional horsepower compared to the previous model year and improves gas mileage by about 2 mpg. The performance-oriented S5 gets a more powerful engine as well, adding 21 horsepower. For 2018, Audi also re-introduces the high-performance RS5 variant.

The 2018 model has more standard features than the 2017 A5, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rearview camera, Pre Sense Basic and City, and a larger infotainment screen. New optional features for 2018 include handwriting recognition for the infotainment system, Audi's Virtual Cockpit gauge display, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and a surround-view camera.

It is possible for you to save money by shopping for a used A5, but if you do, you won't get the benefits of the vehicle's 2018 redesign. If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 A5 review to decide if you can live without the 2018 model's upgrades. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 A5 »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 22 Audi A5 reviews – along with safety and reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2018 A5 is the right new car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. To maintain objectivity, we don't accept incentives or expensive gifts from car companies, and an outside team handles the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Audi A5 Cost?

The Audi A5 has a starting price of $42,600, which is one of the highest in the class. The Sportback is the standard body style. A coupe model costs about $200 more, and cabriolet (convertible) models cost at least $6,800 more. There are three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Prestige trim is the highest, and it has a starting price of just over $50,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

Audi A5 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series?

Like the Audi A5, the BMW 4 Series is available in coupe, convertible, and hatchback body styles. The 4 Series focuses more on performance than it does luxury, with athletic handling and engines that deliver good power. Fuel economy between these cars is similar. The BMW's cabin is nice, though it doesn’t feel quite as upscale as Audi's elegant design. There are also more features in the A5, but you'll get more cargo space in the 4 Series. These are both excellent choices, but given that the 4 Series is one of the few vehicles in the class that costs more than the A5, you can save a little money by going with the Audi.

Which Is Better: Audi A5 or Audi A4?

The Audi A4 is basically the A5’s little brother. The A5 is fully redesigned for 2018, and the A4 saw a top-to-bottom upgrade for 2017. Each of these cars features a world-class cabin with an almost identical (and long) list of standard and available features. The A4 is only available as a sedan, and it offers more rear passenger space and cargo room than the A5 coupe and convertible variants. The A5 Sportback has similar seating space but much more cargo space than the A4. The A5 has a slight edge in performance, but the A4 is nothing to sneer at. It has a weaker base engine, but the A4 shares both of its optional powertrains with the A5. One thing that may sway your decision is the A4's much lower starting price. Otherwise, choosing between the two will largely boil down to personal preference.

Compare the A5, 4 Series, and A4 »

A5 Interior

How Many People Does the A5 Seat?

A5 Sportback models seat five, while coupe and cabriolet models seat four. In any body style, the front seats are outstanding. They’re comfortable and supportive, and drivers have good visibility. The rear seats are a tight squeeze in four-seat A5s, but they have ample legroom in the Sportback.

A5 and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the A5.

A5 Interior Quality

Audis are known for having outstanding interiors, and the 2018 A5 won’t disappoint. Climb inside and enjoy the handsome cabin and abundance of soft-touch materials.

A5 Cargo Space

The amount of cargo space in the A5 is all about which body style you choose. Coupe models have a below-average 11.6 cubic feet of trunk room, and that drops to a maximum of just over 9 cubic feet in cabriolet models. You can fit six to eight grocery bags in those trunks, but they’re too small for luggage.

Sportback models, on the other hand, have outstanding cargo space – over 21 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and about 35 cubic feet with them folded. Either way, you’ll have enough room for more than a dozen carry-on bags – and you can even fit larger items if you fold the seats down.

A5 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the A5 include Bluetooth, two USB ports, a 10-speaker audio system, a 7-inch driver information system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen and voice control.

Available features include satellite radio, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, navigation, and an upgraded MMI system with an 8.3-inch screen and handwriting recognition. Audi Connect, which provides in-vehicle Wi-Fi and gives you the flexibility to connect up to eight devices, is also available.

The A5 comes standard with useful connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the MMI infotainment system is easy to use. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

The available Virtual Cockpit has a large screen mounted directly behind the steering wheel in place of traditional gauges, and it combines typical gauge cluster information and the infotainment screen in one easy-to-see location.

Read more about interior »

A5 Performance

A5 Engine: Lively Powertrains

The A5 features a 252-horsepower turbo-four engine that accelerates quickly and feels energetic, whether you’re driving around town or on the highway. If you want more power, step up to the S5. It features a 354-horsepower, turbocharged V6 and delivers the kind of power and acceleration you’d normally associate with a sports car. New for 2018 is the high-performance RS5 coupe, which delivers a blistering 444 horsepower. There are three available transmission options: a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic, though not all are available in every trim.

A5 Gas Mileage: Reasonably Efficient

This Audi earns 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those are decent fuel consumption ratings for a nonhybrid luxury small car. You’ll spend about as much on gas with the A5 as you would with rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 4 Series.

A5 Ride and Handling: Uno, Dos, Tres, Quattro

Thanks to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, the A5 has excellent road grip. This Audi also remains poised while turning. With upgraded performance suspensions, the S5 and RS5 are even more agile. Both have strong brakes, though the steering lacks feel at times. Ride quality is good over almost any road surface.

Read more about performance »

A5 Reliability

Is the Audi A5 Reliable?

The 2018 Audi A5 gets an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Audi A5 Warranty

Audi backs the A5 with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. Most other luxury vehicles have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

A5 Safety

A5 Crash Test Results

The 2018 A5 earns a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The A5 also received the highest score of Good in all five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A5 Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, Pre Sense Basic, and Pre Sense City. Available features include a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system, and Pre Sense Rear. The Pre Sense system helps protect occupants in the event of an impending collision by automatically rolling up the windows and tightening seat belts.

Read more about safety »

Which Audi A5 Model Is Right for Me?

The A5 comes in three body styles and three trims (Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige). The new Audi A5 Sportback, which is the five-door hatchback body style, is the least expensive of the three. Upgrading to the coupe costs an extra $200. Upgrading to the cabriolet (convertible) will cost an extra $7,000 in the A5 and $7,900 in the S5. All models come standard with Quattro all-wheel drive.

Compared to the A5, the S5 has sportier exterior styling, a more powerful engine, and other performance-related upgrades. Otherwise, the two are similar in terms of features. Unless you really want the extra power, you’ll be fine with the A5. The Audi RS5 is a bona-fide high-performance model, and it's only available as a coupe. In addition to the most powerful engine in the A5 lineup, the RS5 offers numerous additional performance options.

When it comes to choosing the right trim, it’s really about how many features you want. The top Prestige trim is available with almost every feature you can get in an A5. However, the Premium Plus offers nearly as many features and has a starting price about $5,000 less than the Prestige, making it a great value.

Audi A5 Premium

The A5 Premium has a base price of $42,600. In addition to the standard features, several options packages are available. The Convenience package ($900) adds a hands-free power trunk release and satellite radio. The Navigation and Telematics package ($3,000) adds the Virtual Cockpit and the upgraded MMI system with navigation and a larger screen. Heated front seats are available for an extra $500.

Audi A5 Premium Plus

The A5 Premium Plus starts at $45,600. It includes everything in the Premium trim and comes with heated front seats, a hands-free trunk release, and Pre Sense Rear. The Navigation package is available in this trim also, though it costs $400 less. The Warm Weather package ($1,300) adds ventilated front seats and front sport seats. A heated steering wheel (in coupe models), ventilated front seats, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system can all be added individually for $200 to $950.

Audi A5 Prestige

The A5 Prestige has a starting price of $50,200. In addition to the Premium Plus trim’s features, the Prestige comes with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, a head-up display, navigation, a 360-degree camera system, and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. The A5 Prestige is offered with a heated steering wheel ($200 in coupe models), ventilated front seats ($800), and the Warm Weather package ($1,300). It also offers the Driver Assistance package ($1,800), which adds adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and lane keep assist.

Audi S5 Premium Plus

The S5 Premium Plus starts at $54,400. S5 models feature a 354-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a sport suspension. The S5 Premium Plus’s standard and optional features are largely the same as in the A5 Premium Plus, though the S5 version offers a few extras like Nappa leather upholstery ($1,250), dynamic steering ($1,150), and the S Sport package ($2,500), which includes a sport adaptive damping suspension and a sport rear differential.

Audi S5 Prestige

The S5 Prestige has a starting price of $58,800. The S5 Prestige has the same features lineup as the A5 Prestige. However, as with the Premium Plus trim, the S5 Prestige offers a few options the A5 doesn’t, including Nappa leather upholstery, dynamic steering, and the S Sport package.

Audi RS5

The Audi RS5 coupe starts at $69,900. This high-performance model features a 444-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and an RS performance suspension. The RS Driver Assistance package ($3,300) includes adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view camera, and traffic sign recognition. The Navigation package costs $2,600 in the RS5, and the Fine Nappa Leather package costs $1,500. Specific performance packages for the RS5 include the $3,350 Dynamic package (red brake calipers, dynamic ride control, and a sport exhaust) and the $6,000 Dynamic Plus package (174-mph speed governor, ceramic front brakes, and a carbon fiber engine cover). Other individual options include dynamic steering and the Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

See 2018 Audi A5 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Audi A5 is an all-around excellent car. It comes in three body styles, delivers great performance, and has a nicer interior than almost all of its rivals. It’s not the only luxury small car worth buying, but it deserves a look from anyone shopping for a car in this class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The premium sport coupe category has never been about all-out speed. The A5 and S5 can melt away miles on the autobahn, tear up a twisty road and even transport the family on occasion. More to the point, however, they are personal cars designed to be enjoyable for the driver everyday on every road. Cars like the 2018 A5 and 2018 S5 don't make you wait for the weekend drive or track day to be entertained behind the wheel; it's about the entire experience every day." -- Motor Trend
  • "Revamped for 2018, the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet are the sportier, free-spirited siblings of the A4. Though based on that compact-luxury sedan, these 2-door models emphasize design and driver enjoyment, traits made evident by the snug rear seats that only accommodate two. … The exception is the A5 Sportback, a 5-door liftback that's as practical as it is stylish. Like the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the A5 Sportback is actually more versatile than a sedan, and arguably the best-looking model in the lineup. Whichever A5 strikes your fancy, you'll get a luxury car filled with technology and safety features, and driving manners that hit the sweet spot between comfort and dynamism." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Sportback takes best of coupe and sedan bodystyles and adds impressive versatility; it's the best of three worlds really, though the new A4 Allroad and its magic suspension will probably lure away a few A5 Sportback shoppers who need the full longroof." -- Autoweek


Expert Advice

Last Updated: February 15, 2019

Strong Sales: A redesign for the 2018 model year, along with the introduction of the four-door Sportback model, led to a healthy increase in demand for the A5 throughout the course of 2018. The A5 sold an impressive 21.9 percent better than it did during the prior year. Compared to its luxury small car sibling, the A5 outsold the smaller Audi A3 by about 42 percent last year. Sales have remained consistent to begin the new year compared to the same span in 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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