Each body style of 2018 Audi A5—coupe, convertible (Cabriolet), and hatchback (Sportback)—is offered in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.
The A5’s equipment list is generous at the base level and it gets more posh from there. We are especially fond of the infotainment system and the new virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster. For these reasons, we give the A5 an 8 out of 10 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Premium features include eight-way power leather seats, automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, a 7.0-inch driver information center screen, Audi’s MMI infotainment system with a 7.0-inch center screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, HD radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, ambient interior lighting, automatic xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sportback adds a power tailgate and a panoramic sunroof, while the convertible gets a power soft top.
The Premium Plus adds heated front seats with driver’s seat memory; full LED headlights; heated, auto-dimming, power-folding exterior mirrors with memory; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; Audi Connect Care telematics with roadside assistance, SOS calls, and stolen vehicle locator; voice control; and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts and vehicle exit assist that warns if a car is coming when you open the door.
Opt for the Prestige and you get an alarm; satellite radio; synthetic leather on the center console and door armrests; a Bang & Olufsen sound system; a head-up display; a surround-view camera system; LED interior lighting; the Audi virtual cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster; MMI with navigation and a touchpad controller; and Audi Connect Prime, which adds Google Earth map views, Google voice search, and access to social media, internet radio, and other local information. Audi Connect requires a monthly subscription for the 4G LTE data, but enables a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot.
Notable options include an adaptive damping suspension, a cold weather package with heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel, and 19-inch wheels.
Audi’s excellent Multi-Media Interface (MMI) has a rotary controller that can be ordered with handwriting recognition for things such as destination inputs. It comes with a 7.0- or 8.3-inch center screen and provides access to audio, entertainment, communications, and more. The system takes some time to master, but it soon becomes intuitive, and it’s always quick to react.
The virtual cockpit is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that works with the MMI to provide the driver plenty of information. It has various screen views, including one with a large map right in front of the driver. It is controlled by buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. Again, it will take some time to master, but we find it to be both beautiful and informative.
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Even the entry-level 2018 Audi Q7 Premium wants for little, but a generous walk through this crossover’s optional equipment list turns it into a decadent luxury crossover.
We’re giving it points above average for its high standard content level, its decadent options, its huge technology (both standard and optional), and its customizability. It’s a perfect 10 here, as long as you keep an eye on the bottom line. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
At $50,875, including a $975 destination charge, the Q7 Premium comes standard with leather upholstery, a rearview camera, automatic windshield wipers, power front seats, a panoramic moonroof, and a power-folding third row. For 2018, Audi has made keyless ignition standard on all models.
A 7.0-inch infotainment screen comes on the Premium, but navigation and Apple CarPlay require ponying up $3,000 for the MMI Navigation Plus Package. Otherwise, the Q7 Premium’s only major package bundles heated rear seats with a heated steering wheel.
Q7s with the MMI Navigation Plus Package are also among the very first cars that can communicate directly with urban infrastructure. In select cities, the Q7 receives data like when a signal will change from red to green from traffic nerve centers. For now, this tech’s usefulness is limited, but vehicle-to-infrastructure communication is a big step on the road to self-driving cars.
The Q7 Premium Plus runs $54,875 and brings with it the navigation package, a power-adjustable steering column, Bose speakers, and LED interior lights. It’s also available with far more optional equipment, including the Driver Assistance Package with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, and the Vision Package that bundles LED headlights with a surround-view camera system and the Digital Cockpit system. Digital Cockpit is Audi-speak for a high-resolution, 12.3-inch LCD screen that replaces analog gauges. It can be configured to show anything from basic gauges to a stunning Google Earth satellite map, which requires ponying up for a monthly data plan.
Ventilated front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, and upsized wheels are among the Premium Plus’ additional options.
Both the Premium and Premium Plus come standard with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder; the V-6 runs a hefty $6,500 more.
At the top of the lineup sits the V-6-only Prestige at $66,375. It adds to the Premium Plus larger alloy wheels, automatic door closers, and the Vision Package. Prestige models are exclusively available with a Luxury Package that includes upgraded leather, ventilated front seats with a massaging function, and an Alcantara synthetic suede headliner. An extra-cost air suspension grouped with four-wheel steering is also exclusive to the Prestige.
All in, a loaded up Q7 Prestige is around $90,000. That’s big money, but this crossover certainly pampers at that level.
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The 2019 Lexus UX is the automaker’s first foray into subcompact luxury crossover SUVs and it’s surprisingly tardy. Rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz like the X1 and GLA have been around for years.
The 2019 UX was worth the wait, at least in terms of its styling. Its dramatic styling starts with the brand’s signature spindle grille design up front that pairs with a hood that gives more illusion of length than is really there. At 177 inches from head to toe, the Lexus UX is small for a crossover—but a couple of inches longer than the X1 and GLA. Its tail end will garner the strongest reactions, though, with an LED light bar that runs the width of the tailgate and culminates in either end with delicate fins not entirely reminiscent of 1950s Detroit iron (thankfully).
An optional F Sport package adds a unique body kit with revised front and rear bumpers and 18-inch wheels in place of the standard 17-inch design.
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Inside, the UX is more business as usual for Lexus, which is to say that it’s busy yet harmonious. The crossover’s deep dashboard appears to connect to its hood, providing a unique view out from the driver’s seat. Rear seat passengers aren’t treated to much space; the UX shares its platform with the Toyota C-HR, although the luxury brand’s model is a couple of inches longer overall.
The UX will be available in two configurations: UX 200 and UX 250h, the latter denoting its hybrid-electric powertrain. The UX 200 uses a 168-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 that shuttles power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Opt for the UX 250h and power goes to all four corners thanks to dual electric motors, one located on the rear axle that provide all-wheel-drive traction. Total system horsepower for the 250h grows to just 176 hp, which is still on the low end for a pint-size crossover with a luxury badge on its hood.
One more reason to opt for the UX 250h is its predictive energy-saving systems. The UX can be set to learn some of its drivers habits, like where they slow down and accelerate on regular commutes. In turn, the small crossover will start regenerative braking to charge the nickel metal-hydride battery pack earlier if it knows that the vehicle is likely to come to a stop. The UX 250h’s system can also work with the built-in navigation to predict hills and traffic to activate regenerative braking earlier and more aggressively. Lexus does point out that these systems can be turned off, however.
Lexus will offer the UX 250h with a slew of safety gear. In addition to the expected automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems that come as standard, the UX 250h can now detect and brake for pedestrians regardless of sunlight and cyclists during daylight hours. An option package will add automatic high-beam headlights, active lane control, and road-sign recognition.
Though Lexus isn’t positioning the UX as an especially sporty model, the automaker will offer both the UX 200 and the UX 250h with adaptive dampers underneath as part of the F-Sport package.