When we learned that Audi would be selling the new A4 and A5 with a manual gearbox in the U.S., we rejoiced. It’s not often that premium manufacturers sell manuals in this segment in America anymore, with Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and Lexus all having left the three-pedal ‘box behind. That left only Audi and BMW with a manual gearbox option in this space. Now, though, it’s going to only be BMW, as the Audi A4 and A5 will be losing their manuals for 2019.
According to Car and Driver, 2019 models of both the Audi A4 and A5 will be automatic-only. This is due to sales, apparently, as only five percent of customers actually spec’d their cars with row-your-own gearboxes. This is sad to hear for multiple reasons. Not only was it awesome that Audi was actually selling a modern premium sedan/coupe with a manual but it was actually faster with it, as Car and Driver tested a quicker 0-60 mph time with the six-speed. More importantly, though, it was a damn good manual and made the A4 even more fun to drive.
We recently tested the A4 with a manual, albeit briefly, and it was far more engaging and entertaining to drive than the automatic car. It was also a really good manual, with great clutch engagement and a slick shifter. It was a joy to use.
So if you’re in the market for a manual-equipped Audi A4 or A5, head to your dealer now and snag one while you still can. Admittedly, there will be some early model-year cars left on dealer lots for awhile, likely at nice discounts as well, so there’s still opportunity for you to get one.
If you can’t though, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is still a great gearbox and is still fantastic to use. So it’s not as if you can’t have fun in an A4 or A5 without a manual. It’s just sad to lose the option.