Audi’s new A5 coupe offers beautiful balance

 Gallery

Audi has had good fortune selling a succession of performance/premium sedans and a few coupes in an overheated SUV market. As 2018 begins, the market for sedans and coupes is declining – though the revised A5 coupe hopes to swim against the tide.

At first glance, the Audi A5 coupe appears to carry-on the look of previous generations.

NEW CUES

However, it meshes previous cues with some new body detail. My 2018 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T quattro had the optional S-line package, which adds body pieces including: bumper treatment, fender badges and side sill blades. It also had an upgraded paint color and the S-line 19-inch parallel spoke wheels. It’s a more handsome look that garners admiring glances and inquiries.

INSIDE

The interior is tastefully appointed with black leather S-Line sport seats augmented with a plethora of tech surrounded by machined metal trim. I liked the full color HUD; optional Bang & Olufsen stereo; and the 12.3-inch display screen with two viewing modes: Classic and Infotainment.

For more tech, there’s Audi connect features (via 4G LTE) for weather/traffic updates and more. All the expected climate/power features are present. Interior fit and finish was exemplary – as expected.

Acknowledging this is a coupe – there really isn’t much adult rear passenger space. Ingress/egress is excellent if you leave enough space for the long doors to open. As for cargo, there’s 12 cubic feet of flat floor space and the rear seats fold to expand it. 

PERFORMANCE

My A5 coupe had the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that felt more robust than specs would indicate. The test car came with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It executed nice shifts and is geared well to the 2.0’s mid-range power band. There is also a 6-speed manual available.

On-road experience is really the standout feature of this car. Power is sent to all four wheels via standard quattro all-wheel drive. Acceleration to 60 mph took 5.3 seconds through the use of launch mode. The initial acceleration is good, but giddy up improves markedly for passing/on ramp merging once you reach the engines mid-range power band.

If you need more power, there is a 3.0-L version available with 354 horses. New for 2018, a redesigned front five-link suspension that improves steering accuracy and feel with optimized steering rack positioning the wheel centers is available.

The A5 has four drive modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual – allowing you to change gear shift points, steering, damper control and adaptive cruise control adjustments. I preferred the Dynamic mode’s firmer, but not harsh, ride. This is a great performance luxury coupe mix.

MOVEMENT

This coupe really carves up the road and remained flat and unruffled during some spirited maneuvers, on ramp acceleration and highway driving. I spent time with the test car just before the snow and cold arrived. It came with sticky p265/35 19-inch summer tires ($800 option), so a winter set or all-season tires will affect the ride/performance.

The S-line Sport package alters shift points, enhances throttle mapping, and delivers a robust exhaust note. Improved braking is also part of the package. Steering feedback is more pronounced as well. For the additional $1,250 the optional S-Line package is well worth it.

The 2018 Audi A5 2.0T coupe with quattro is a perfect example of the right amount of performance, luxury, and looks.