You can name the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback a child A7. You can name it Audi’s reply to the BMW four Collection Gran Coupe. However I name it my favourite mannequin within the very strong A4 and A5 lineup.

The A5 Sportback is constructed on the identical bones because the A5 Coupe and A4 Sedan — a properly tuned, sporty platform. And whereas this genre-bender (or genre-blender) is not with out its compromises, after every week behind the wheel, I am satisfied that the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is way higher than the sum of its elements.

Horny Sportback

The extra stuff-hauling area added by the Sportback expands cargo capability to as a lot as 35 cubic toes when the rear seats are folded flat, sufficient for an honest Costco run. Maybe extra helpful is the enlarged rear aperture made attainable by the facility opening liftback with hands-free kick-to-open performance. This allows simple loading of cumbersome objects, making the Sportback good for Ikea runs, too.

There are, nonetheless, trade-offs and compromises to think about. The extra dramatic roofline cuts into second-row headroom by about 1.5 inches, which is one thing to bear in mind for those who usually shuttle tall passengers. The extra rear glass and energy liftgate mechanism additionally add about 100 kilos to the curb weight in comparison with an A4 Sedan.

Nonetheless, the A5 Sportback’s added model and performance feels completely definitely worth the $2,100 value premium over a comparable A4 sedan.

Plentiful Quattro energy

The Sportback’s engine bay is dwelling to a well-known engine: Audi’s 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that powers each the A4 sedan and A5 coupe. Output is rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, and low-end grunt is plentiful, making off-the-line launches and midrange acceleration simple as pie.

The two.Zero-liter turbocharged engine feels stronger than its numbers suggest because of a meaty torque curve.

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The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission, the one gearbox accessible to Sportback patrons. Audi’s S-tronic gearbox is absolutely candy, with neatly chosen shift factors aiding in fast acceleration and a easy total demeanor. It may be a bit hesitant to downshift when slowing for a nook or whereas passing, so you may wish to make use of both the Sport shift mode or the usual steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters when it is time to actually have enjoyable.

At it is sportiest, the Sportback is sweet for a Zero-to-60 dash in simply 5.7 seconds, and it will keep it up to a prime pace of 130 miles per hour. At its most effective, you are 24 miles per gallon metropolis, 34 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed.

My one grievance concerning the A5 Sportback’s powertrain is the very synthetic sounding engine word; it’s kind of too Forza Motorsport for my liking. Audi makes use of the stereo system to generate fake exhaust sound within the sportier settings. Have been this my private A5 Sportback, I might discover the fuse for that system and yank it right away.

Coupe-like efficiency

The observe and tuning of the Sportback’s four-corner, five-link impartial suspension is nearer to that of the A5 Coupe than the A4 Sedan. This grants the five-door a extra planted and steady really feel within the corners.

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In any respect 4 corners, the A5 Sportback rides on a five-link impartial rear suspension. Lively dampers are non-compulsory, however not strictly essential.

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An non-compulsory lively damper setup permits drivers to toggle between consolation for commuting and elevated firmness throughout extra spirited passages. My Premium Plus mannequin does not have that choice, so I am unable to inform you rather more, however the mounted suspension feels lots nice for my wants. Irrespective of the mannequin, Audi Drive Choose enables you to dial in how a lot cushion or sportiness you need. You may toggle between Consolation, Auto and Dynamic modes, in addition to a fourth customizable Particular person preset that may combine and match particular drive settings.

Normal on all Sportback fashions is Audi’s great Sport Quattro all-wheel drive. Not solely does this help in surefootedness when traction is lowered by climate, however this sportier Quattro tune incorporates a rear biased 40:60 torque cut up and torque vectoring on the rear axle. This helps scoot the rear finish round whereas cornering, retaining the chassis impartial and stopping understeer — a typical trait of many AWD setups. This additionally means you may get again on the facility good and early whereas popping out of a nook. Such enjoyable!

On the freeway, the A5 Sportback may be blissfully quiet and cozy, particularly in drive modes that shut off all of that synthetic engine noise nonsense. It is a very well-rounded day by day driver.

MMI Plus tech with Digital Cockpit

A part of what makes the A5 Sportback such an important day by day software is its onboard expertise. Audi’s inside tech is second to none.

The usual MMI infotainment suite makes use of a 7-inch Nvidia-powered setup managed by a bodily management knob on the middle console. Normal Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity lead a beefy listing of digital and analog media sources. Nonetheless, higher trim ranges and choice packages bump us as much as MMI Plus with a eight.Three-inch bigger display, navigation and an MMI Contact controller with handwriting recognition.

The 4G LTE-supported Audi Join service permits gee-whiz options like on-line vacation spot search, native app integrations and Google Earth satellite tv for pc map imagery.

And that is not even the good half. My private favourite tech improve is the Digital Cockpit, a 12.Three-inch digital instrument cluster show that may be personalized to show all the things from conventional gauges and driving data to a big map for navigation. Just about the entire main MMI infotainment capabilities may be dealt with right here with easy steering wheel controls, making Digital Cockpit a function price paying for.

Driver help and security options

Audi’s wonderful tech does not cease on the infotainment. There’s additionally a strong array of normal and non-compulsory driver help options onboard.

For starters, the Audi Pre Sense Metropolis system is commonplace tools on all fashions, rolling in ahead pre-collision warnings with automated brake help. The system is ready to detect each different autos in addition to pedestrians.

Optionally available upgrades price contemplating embrace adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam help, which not solely maintains a protected following distance in stop-and-go site visitors, but additionally provides steering help that mechanically retains the car in step with the automobile forward and between lane markers. This can be a hands-on system, although, which can disable for those who attempt to go hands-free.

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Driver help and infotainment expertise proceed to be Audi’s strongest benefit over competing fashions.

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At increased speeds, extra acquainted lane-keeping steering help helps hold the automobile the place you need it, however does not try the identical degree of lane-centering that the low-speed system does. It simply retains you between the strains.

Audi’s blind-spot monitoring system is an attention-grabbing one. Not solely does it watch your again throughout lane adjustments and once you’re reversing out of blind parking spots, it additionally stays lively after you have parked roadside to observe for upcoming vehicles. This car exit help system is extraordinarily useful for stopping dooring different vehicles and doubtlessly cyclists. It is a small contact that goes a great distance for security.

How I might spec it

The 2018 Audi A5 Sportback begins at $42,600, and the midrange Premium Plus mannequin provides a couple of extra driver help options, together with varied different bells and whistles, for $45,600. Of us in search of the best possible tech will wish to go for the top-tier Status mannequin. It begins at $51,175 (together with $975 for vacation spot), however that further dough will get you Digital Cockpit, a head-up show, MMI Navigation Plus, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a surround-view digital camera.

2018 Audi A5 Sportback quattro2018 Audi A5 Sportback quattro

Although not with out compromises, the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is my favourite member of the A4 and A5 household of vehicles.

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Add $1,800 for the total Driver Help bundle — adaptive cruise, lane retaining help and extra — and $1,000 for the lively dampers to succeed in an all-in value of about $53,000. Steep, but additionally about $four,000 lower than a comparably geared up BMW 430i Gran Coupe with xDrive.

However the Audi A5 Sportback is not only a higher cut price. So far as I am involved, it is a greater all-around automobile.

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