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2018 Audi A5 Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 9.0

The redesigned 2018 Audi A5 looks great inside. There is a wealth of top-notch materials, and the design is sleek and modern. The front seats are exceptional. The rear seats are spacious enough in Sportback models, but pretty cramped in other body styles. The same goes for cargo space: it’s outstanding in the Sportback and below average elsewhere. There are plenty of standard and available tech features, headlined by Audi’s high-tech Virtual Cockpit.

  • "The latest A5 continues the Audi anthem of sleek, angular lines with only enough buttons and knobs to justify their existence. We love the feel of quality." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Interior trim in the A5 looks premium enough, with high-quality plastics and metallic finishes surrounding the driver and passenger. Things get really upscale in the S5, though, with our tester coming with carbon-fiber inlays on the dash and center console, Alcantara door panels, and red contrast stitching everywhere." -- Motor Trend
  • "Sumptuous quilted leather, flat-bottom wheel and more tech than you can shake two sticks at." -- CNET

Seating

A5 coupe and convertible models seat four people. Sportback models seat five. Leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats are standard. Nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, front sport seats, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The front seats are a terrific place to spend your time. They’re extremely comfortable and have all-day support. It’s also easy to find a good driving position. The rear seats in coupe and convertible models feel cramped, but those in Sportback models have ample room. Note that the sloping roofline marginally cuts into rear-seat headroom in the Sportback. The A5 features two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats.

  • "On paper, the [A5 Sportback's] backseat is smaller than the A4's, but it's not a noticeable difference. I was able to sit behind my own driving position with room to spare, and headroom in back was adequate for a taller journalist. The standard front seats in the A5 Sportback are comfortable and supportive enough, but the well-bolstered, diamond-stitched leather S sport seats of the S5 were better suited for twisty mountain roads." -- Motor Trend
  • "The fastback bodystyle is a suit the A5 wears well, trading just a bit of a ingress/egress ease for taller rear-seat passenger space for its profile. That's a small price to pay for good looks, and the tighter headroom still feels well within A4 margins, especially given the extra legroom over the A5 coupe." -- Autoweek
  • "The A5's front seats are well supported and grant an excellent driving position. The pair of rear seats in coupe and convertible models are small and cumbersome to enter and exit for the less-than-agile. The rear seats do fold, and combined with the large trunk open up commendable cargo space." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Standard features in the A5 include tri-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof (in coupe and Sportback models), Bluetooth, two USB ports, a 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, 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. Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, Pre Sense Basic, and Pre Sense City. Cabriolet models feature a retractable roof that can be lowered in just 15 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 31 mph.

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.

Available active safety 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 MMI infotainment system is one of the best around. It’s responsive and user-friendly. The upgraded system also features handwriting recognition; it’s more of a gimmick in some rivals, but in the A5, it actually proves to be a useful feature. The Virtual Cockpit combines infotainment and driver information (speed, fuel level, etc.) in a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel. It makes navigation easier and gives the entire tech setup a futuristic feel.

The Pre Sense system is a great active safety feature as well. It helps protect occupants in the event of an impending collision by automatically rolling up the windows and tightening the seat belts.

See 2018 Audi A5 specs and trims »

  • "Audi's fully digital dash has been around a few years now, but it still wows us. … When integrated with Google Earth satellite mapping, it dazzles and seems straight from the future." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument screen is available for both the A5 and S5, and it looks just as impressive here as it does in the rest of the lineup. Also available is a full-color head-up display, which can be placed high in your line of sight (or low, if you prefer) and features bright, easy-to-read characters." -- Motor Trend
  • "Inside, the A5 follows the TT, the Q7, and the A4 into the maxi-electronic-dash era, providing myriad ways to display pertinent visual information, including in the TFT screen in the instrument panel, directly ahead of the driver. While some of us love this, others would be just as content with Audi's fine head-up display and the nav screen off to the right." -- Car and Driver

Cargo

A5 coupe models have 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is low for the class. Cabriolet models have 9.3 cubic feet with the top up and 7.2 cubic feet with it down. Sportback models have 21.8 cubic feet of storage space with the rear seats up and about 35 cubic feet with them folded. Those are excellent totals for a luxury small car. A hands-free trunk release is available.

  • "With the rear seats folded down, the A5 Sportback offers a cavernous cargo section ready for IKEA or antiquing." -- Autoweek
  • "The rear seatback folds to expand the 16-cubic-foot cargo area, which allows for plenty of luggage with room to spare for purchases made on an extended road trip, so this is a useful coupe." -- Car and Driver
  • "There also is nearly twice the cargo capacity in the sportback, which offers 21.8 cubic-feet of storage behind the second row compared to 11.6 cubic-feet in the two-door models. With the rear seats folded down, the area opens up to 35.0 cubic-feet, creating an impressive cavern for more stuff, or to take a quick nap if you are so inclined." -- New York Daily News
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