By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
The car buying process usually requires compromise. Sometimes the styling is compromised for more convenience, or visa versa. Then there is the compromise between performance and fuel economy and the one between the budget and desire.
Three body styles
A car that bridges many of those gaps is the Audi A5 fulfilling buyer requirements with little compromise. For example, the 2019 Audi A5 is unique coming in three distinctive body styles: a two-door coupe or Cabriolet, or a four-door version called the Sportback. This gives the shopper choices.
Distinctive Audi Styling
All-new in 2018, the Audi A5 gets more a dramatic shape and sharper trim lines. They still maintain the classic hood power dome, a sharp shoulder line and pronounced wheel arches. The result is a muscular, sporty body with a wide stance. Up front the LED headlights create an aggressive look and the three-dimensional LED tail lights emphaise the vehicle‘s width. It gives the owner a good-looking car that also has a very comfortable interior.
Turbocharged 4-Cylinder Engine
The 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine mated with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission eliminates the performance/fuel economy compromise. The manual transmission option has been dropped, so the A5 is only available with this outstanding automatic transmission. Audi claims it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in quick 5.6 seconds and it certainly feels faster than the numbers indicate. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at an impressive 24 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combine. We averaged 31.3 mpg during our test time. So the owner gets good fuel economy and performance without play the hybrid game.
Standard quattro® all-wheel drive
We think of all-wheel drive as a necessity, partly for it’s all weather traction, partly for the added safety. The Audi quattro® all-wheel drive system is about as good as you can get and it is standard on all versions of the A5 so there’s no need to compromise on that.
Comfortable Luxurious Interior
Inside the leather seats and appointments surround the occupants with luxury, comfort and excellent support. The coupe has a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with well-placed shift paddles at the three- and nine-o‘clock positions. The face of the steering wheel offers redundant controls for many of the vehicle entertainment and communications functions. There’s also a full-color head-up display that provides a variety of information, as selected by the driver, on the lower portion of the windshield. The map images can be switched between a formats including Google Earth® images of the area ahead. No need to want for other features, the A5 has nearly everything you could want.
Bang & Olufsen Audio
The A5 also has Apple Car Play and Android Auto to integrate with smart phones. Audiophiles will love the available 19-speaker, 755 watt Bang & Olufsen® sound system with 3D sound creates almost true-to-life surround sound reproduction.
Intuitive Multi Media Interface
We like the high-mounted placement of the large multifunction screen on the top of the dash. Audi also makes good use of the console real estate including the start button, shifter, audio presets, volume control and the MMI (Multi Media Interface) control button plus two drink holders. Information can be input by drawing letters with your finger on the top of the MMI button or by a very good voice control system.
An available virtual cockpit uses the entire 12.3-inch instrument panel screen to enhance infotainment, navigation functions and Audi Connect functions as well as changing the look of the panel dramatically. It allows the drive to have two navigation sources showing at the same time displaying different type of maps. That’s cool for information junkies.
The Audi connect® CARE includes vehicle status reports, online roadside assistance, service notification, Automatic Crash Notification, manual SOS and stolen vehicle locator. The system also has remote features like curfew, speed and valet alerts as well as remote lock and unlock.
A Rear Seat that Holds Adults
As with many coupes, and in the Cabriolet, the rear seat is a bit challenging to get into but once there is a surprising amount of headroom, and adequate legroom if the front seat passenger doesn’t mind scooting forward. Otherwise, it’s our impression, that the rear seats of Coupes and Cabriolets are best used for hauling thing like coats, purses and purchases.
Room for Cargo
The coupe has a respectable 11.6 cubic feet of trunk space and the Sportback boasts 21.8 cu.ft., but the Cabriolet has only 7.32 cubic feet. The split rear seat back folds to expand the area slightly.
Driver Assistance Features
The A5 has a large menu of available driver assistance features including Audi pre sense® that helps prepare the vehicle for impact and Audi pre sense city® which helps detect cornering and stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians at speeds up to 52 mpg. It can initiate full braking automatically to avoid a potential collision. It also has side assist and pre sense rear to monitor blind spots around the car. An exit assist can help prevent opening the vehicle door on an approaching cyclist.
Active Cruise Control
There’s also Adaptive cruise control with stop & go and traffic jam assist to maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front. It also recognizes traffic signs to warn the driver of speed limits, no passing zones as well as school and construction zones. Plus there are lane assist, turn assist and comfort adaptive suspension.
Three Trim Levels
The 2019 Audi A5 Coupe is available in three trim levels: Premium — $45,195; Premium Plus — $49,595 and the Prestige — $53,295. All prices include the $995 destination charge. With all the options, the Prestige can go to just over $57,000. The Sportback is priced the same as the coupe, and the Cabriolet is $7,000 more. For someone wanting even better performance, there is also an S5 version of all three models powered by a 349 hp turbocharged V6 engine with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.
Compromise-Free 2019 Audi A5
After careful investigation we found that in this price range the Audi A5 was one of the best cars to avoid compromise. It is stylish, comfortable, fast, economical and safe all rolled in to one beautiful car with very little compromise.