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If you are in the market for a super sporty luxury sedan, then the 2021 Audi A5 might have already caught your eye. But you are likely wondering what makes this vehicle stand out from its competition - as well you should. Truth be told, the new A5 has very little to complain about. The only real complaint we can lodge is that its cargo space is kind of limited.
Since its second generation was introduced in 2018, the A5 has received a lot of positive feedback from drivers and reviewers alike. Its performance is hailed as being strong overall, whether you get the coupe, convertible, or five-door hatchback (which is known as the Sportback). The Sportback is going to be the most affordable variant. You can get the 40 TFSI with its turbo-4 engine, which is all new for the model year. This engine generates 201 hp. Of course, there is still the 45 TFSI, a turbo-4 that creates 261 hp. The S5 might be more your speed if you crave a ton of hp (349 to be more precise), but for many people, the A5 will be highly attractive.
Regardless of trim and engine, you get a vehicle that has good safety ratings and a lot of standard driver aids. Blind spot monitoring has been added to more trim levels than in 2020.
So, which trim level is the right one for you? Which configuration will best meet your needs? This trim level comparison review will go through all three of the 2021 Audi A5's trim levels and, in the end, let you know which one we think will appeal the most to the average buyer.
Compare the 2021 Audi A5 Premium vs Premium Plus - What is the Difference?
Let us kick this trim level comparison review off by comparing the base trim (known as the Premium) with the mid-tier trim level (the Premium Plus). The Premium trim level can be powered by either the 40 TFSI or the 45 TFSI engine. Both engines come matched up with a 7-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive. The price difference between them is about $3,000.
The 40 TFSI is a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine that generates a power output of 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 time is 6.4 seconds, and the top speed it can reach is 130 mph. The 45 TFSI is a 2.0-L 4-cylinder that gets 261 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 acceleration speed is a swifter 5.4 seconds. A 5-link front suspension and 5-link rear suspension come standard on both, but each can be equipped with a sport-tuned suspension.
On the safety front, both vehicles get equipped with dual stage air bags for the driver and the front seat passenger. A tire pressure monitoring system is included too, as are electronic child locks and the LATCH system for child car safety seats. Standard driver aids include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. On the outside, there are LED fog lights and daytime running lights for improved visibility when needed. Stability control, traction control, and ABS brakes also come included.
Both the Premium and Premium Plus come with dual exhaust outlets, a tool kit with a car jack, 18-inch 5-V-spoke Y-design wheels with all-season tires, LED taillights with integrated turn indicators, aluminum trim surrounding the exterior of the windows, and side and rear windows that have heat-insulating glass. While the Premium has LED headlights, the Premium Plus gets upgraded to matrix-design LED headlights that come with headlight washers built in. The power-folding heated side mirrors also get upgraded on the Premium Plus.
Inside of both trim levels, there is a standard storage package. This means that each Audi A5 receives a storage net for each front seat back, storage on the driver's side, a glove box that can be locked, and the Luggage Storage Network that has straps and a net in the cargo area. A panoramic sunroof is standard equipment, as are door sill inlays done in aluminum, a digital rear display with the tri-zone automatic climate control system, an Integrated Tolle Module and digital compass with the auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel. There are LE lights galore (in the footwells, entryways, vanity mirrors, door handles, ambient lighting, and up on the console), front and rear floor mats, a folding front center arm rest, and inlays that are done in chic Brown Walnut Wood. The Premium Plus gets leatherette covering for the door armrests and center console.
The rear seatbacks are 40/20/20-split folding, and the driver's seat receives 4-way power lumbar support. The front seats are both power adjustable, and the seating upholstery is all done in leather in both trim levels. Also, the front seats come with a standard heating function that will help keep you warm on cooler days, especially as the vehicle is just starting to warm up itself.
What about technology? Are there any noteworthy differences between these two well-equipped trim levels? They both come equipped with Audi pre sense city, which will protect occupants if an imminent crash is detected by tightening the pre-tensioners on the front seat belts, closing the front and rear side windows and sunroof, and applying emergency braking assistance. Audi drive select, a limited time subscription to Audi connect CARE assistance and security services, Audi pre sense basic, a cruise control system, and the Home Link garage door opener also come standard. Both trim levels additionally receive high beam assist, a power closing lid for the trunk/tailgate, and Audi smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There are a few key differences with regard to technology though. The Premium Plus gets upgraded to Audi pre sense rear, traffic jam assist with the adaptive cruise control system, a top-view camera with a 360-degree view around the vehicle, the Audi virtual cockpit (which has a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster that shows Dynamic, Sport, and Classic modes), the Audi phone box with a wireless charger and a signal booster, the parking system plus, Audi active lane assist, and Audi side assist with a vehicle exit warning and rear cross traffic alert.
Compare the 2021 Audi A5 Premium Plus vs Prestige - What is the Difference?
The 2021 Audi A5 offers a lot of standard features on the Premium and Premium Plus, but a number of features do get reserved for the line-topping Prestige trim level. What gets included on this line-topper, you ask? Let's go over how the Prestige differs from the Premium Plus.
First and foremost, the exterior gets a few major upgrades. The LED lights get an additional laser high beam as well as variable light distribution. The headlights and taillights get animation added on.
Inside of the cabin, one big addition is the upgrades made to the lighting. The Prestige trim level comes with the Interior Lighting Plus package, which adds more color options and trim contouring to the doors. You also get 4-way power adjustable lumbar support for the front passenger's seat, heating for the front and rear outboard seats, sport front seats, and ventilation for the front seats.
Of course, the list of standard tech features grows on the Prestige trim level too. Parking assistant gets added on to the Prestige. The Prestige trim level also receives the MMI Navigation Plus system, which utilizes GPS signals to help you locate addresses and find the best routes to the places you need to get to. A head-up display comes included, as do traffic sign recognition, a 6-month trial subscription to Audi connect PRIME and the Audi connect Plus online services, an a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound.
Other than that, you will not find any other serious changes to the Prestige trim level. The Prestige is truly a luxury oriented trim level and is certainly going to be the trim with the biggest price tag in this line-up.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Which of the 2021 Audi A5's three trim levels should be your choice for a new vehicle? Is there one that surpasses the other two in terms of value? As far as we are concerned, the best way to go is the middle of the line. The Premium Plus trim level offers a decent balance between standard features and power. For the price you will pay, you will get a lot out of the Premium Plus.
The Premium Plus gives you everything that there is to like about the base Premium trim level, from the standard 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen to the forward collision mitigation system that warns you about impending frontal accidents and helps you mitigate them safely and efficiently. The additions that you get on the Premium Plus really are stellar though. The digital instrumentation panel is current-gen and easy to use, and the signal booster with the wireless charging pad will likely come in handy for people who are on the go a lot. The standardization of the blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert is really helpful too.
The Premium is a decent enough base trim level, but it does not quite go above and beyond to give you every single feature that you could possibly want. Still, it is definitely a nice option with a solid affordability factor to it. The Prestige likewise has a lot of great features (such as the upgraded Banf & Olufsen premium sound system. However, some buyers might find it a tad difficult to justify the price tag of the Prestige trim level.
The Premium Plus fits nicely into many buyers' budgets without skimping on the standard features list. It strikes a respectable balance between power too with the option of equipping either the 40 or 45 TFSI. It all depends on how much power you desire from your vehicle's engine. The standard all-wheel-drive system is definitely nice, and you can get that on any of the vehicle's three trim levels.
Whether you decide to go for the coupe, the convertible, or the Sportback, the A5 really does have a lot to offer. All of its trim levels are well equipped for this segment, so there is no going wrong here. But the best choice for the most potential buyers is likely going to be the Premium Plus trim level. It packs in just enough features without jacking the price tag up too high. It gives you plenty of remaining options that will allow you to customize the 2021 Audi A5 to your liking, which is really one of the biggest draws behind the vehicle as it is.
Whatever you decide, the 2021 Audi A5 is a vehicle known for its powerful performance, plethora of standard features, and its high safety ratings.
• Compare the 2020 Audi A5 Trim Levels