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2008 Audi A5/S5

2008 Audi A5/S5

Acura TL

Jaguar XJ

Audi A5/S5

Liocoln MKZ

BMW 5 Series

Mercedes-Benz C Class

Cadillac CTS

Saab 9-3

Infiniti M35/M45

Volvo S80


In luxury mode, many drivers think in terms of sedans. Their four-doors make for easy entry to leather-clad rear seating with plenty of legroom that can be fitted at times with pull-down lacquered tables for chauffeured work on the road.

2008 Audi A5 Interior
2008 Audi A5 Interior

Audi's new A5 definitely isn't one of them. It has evolved from an essentially sports car tradition into a sleek, trendy and luxurious coupe. With its driver's car DNA, its not surprising Audi would offer its A5 four-seater with a gutsier S5 counterpart for more thrill on the road. (Think of the A5/S5's birthplace in Germany with an unregulated Autobahn beckoning for an unbridled test run that would be limited to 130 MPH in the U.S.)

The A5 series, new for 2008, has a muscular look and feel fitted with a 3.2-liter base V-6, 265-horsepower direct injected engine. The S5 gets a 4.2-liter V-8, 354-HP powerplant. Both have Audi's permanent Quattro all-wheel-drive system and six-speed manual as standard equipment. A Tiptronic six-speed automatic is optional. Both run on premium fuel. The automatic A5 getting best mileage of 18 city/27 highway mpg.

Among other vehicle stabilization and advanced driving technologies, such as four-wheel ABS, there's a fading brake support function and emergency braking warning to keep things under control. The more demanding S5 has larger brakes, announced with S5 badging on the calipers, rally-style bolstered seats, and a stiffer sports suspension than the A5. A more dynamic S-line sports suspension is an S5 option.

If rear parking assist, leather seats, wood inlays, audio symphony or Graduated Audio Level Adjustment (GALA) that matches volume with vehicle speed isn't enough, there's an optional Bang & Olufsen 505-watt premium sound system with 14 speakers. Expect to pay $39,900 for a base A5, or $50,000 for an S5 before options.

If city driving doesn't cut it for excitement, having room to haul two snowboards or four pairs of skis allows for having a great time in luxury style. After all, if you've got it why not flaunt it.