Tech Check: A close look at the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback's class-leading tech
Now, my full review of the Audi A5 Sportback, I called it a baby A7.
That wasn't meant to be disparaging.
What I meant is that, despite the fact that this car shrinks down the A7's five-door coupe esthetic, it still packs really big tech.
We're going to dive right in to it now.
Let's start with the NMI plus interface in the dashboard.
In my opinion, this is one of the best infotainment systems in the business.
It's got Crispin videographics.
A really slick interface, with almost no lag, and it's just very easy to understand.
You navigate it with the [INAUDIBLE] controller down here on the center console.
It's really easy to reach front and center here and I like that you can use the shift lever as sort of a wrist rest.
It's got the knob in the middle that you can twist.
You can also nudge it in different directions as well as right on the surface, we'll get back to that.
We've got these rockers on either side that bring us to different parts of the interface quickly.
We'll pop into the map and you'll see the NVIDIA graphics at work.
We've got this really crisply rendered map with 3D information And it's 4G LTE connected, so if we pop over into this menu, you can turn on things like traffic data as well as Google Earth satellite imagery.
It's really cool looking.
Now, you can interact with the map and navigation with really good voice command, or you can use the touch controller to write destinations in using your fingertip.
Now beyond navigation the other parts of the interface that I really like are the things like search Searching for a radio station, or entering a contact for making a hands-free calling.
Everything is just a little bit simpler and a little bit easier to understand than BMW's I drive system or Mercedes Benz's command.
Now, the party doesn't stop in the dashboard.
If you come over here, you'll see we have Audi's virtual cockpit.
That's basically a large display that takes the place of the instrument cluster.
And it allows you to do things like show your ground speed, and your engine speed.
But you can also extend the view to show a whole lot more information.
You can actually do most of your informative functions right here.
Things like searching for your audio source or changing radio stations, finding a contact to make a hand-free call to.
You can even search for your previous destinations, find a destination, and then navigate to that destination, with turn-by-turn directions, and that satellite map.
Right here, in the instrument cluster.
Now the cool thing is that you do all of that with this bank of buttons on the steering wheel.
So not only do you not have to take your eyes off of the road very much, you also don't even have to take your hands off of the wheel to do most of the [UNKNOWN] functions you do in the car.
Now most of what we've talked about is part of a technology package upgrade on most A5 models.
And if you don't get that package, you stepped on the conventional gauges in the instrument cluster and a smaller display without navigation in the main screen.
What's interesting though is that Apple car play is standard, so even without Audi's technology, you gain access to things like Apple maps and all of your smart phones streaming apps Out of the box.
Unlike BMW's system however, Audi does also support Android Auto.
So if you're a member of a family that has more than one type of smartphone, everybody can gain access to their apps and maps just by plugging into the USB connection.
Now most of what we've talked about today also applies to the A4 sedan, as well as the A5 coupe, but we've been specifically talking about the technology in the dashboard of the 2018 A5 sportback.
Check out our full review over on theroadshow.com for even more details about things like the driver aid technology and for an idea of what it It's like to live with and drive this thing.