So this car was given to me as a courtesy car while the A6 was in for a major service and stronic service, now I used to have a front wheel drive A4 2.0 TDI 170 so I kind of knew what I was expecting, a wheel spin happy , understeery, diesel with enough torque to happily propel me down the road to a reasonable speed.
I was given the option of a A1 1.5 tfsi black edition, Now we have a A1 1.4 tfsi in the family so I wasn’t too bothered with this and then Tom from Hitchin Audi offered the A5 TDI coupé, me being me I replied with ‘what about a S5’, I didn’t get a S5 but maybe next time 😉
First impressions were good the new A5 looks great, I wasn’t too sure about the front end when the new look A4/5 came out but as I’ve seen more on the road the new design has grown on me. This model is in a metallic Tango Red which although I’m not a huge fan of red cars, aside from the fact that it is a bird poo magnet and statistics showing you are more likely to be known by plod if you have a red car, it looks really good on the coupé platform, silver 18″ 5 spoke split ‘star’ wheels add to the chrome surrounds and grill to set it off nicely.
The interior is well designed with the standard driver focused environment we expect from Audi, everything is easy to reach and use. The new mmi (multi media interface’ system is easy to navigate and I had quickly paired my phone to get some tunes flowing, and that brings me to the sound system, I have a Bose system in the A6 and this had the most expensive sound system upgrade, the Bang and Olufsen system is an expensive option and to be honest I can’t see the value for money compared to the cheaper Bose system in the A6, although this isn’t a option in the A5. I’m sure if you were a audiophile that you could tell the difference but for me playing my morning commute playlist the sound was just as crisp, just as clear and the bass was just as deep.
Going back to the car itself then, the drive, the diesel is a bit noisy, the 2.0 I4 isn’t as refined as a 3.0 V6 but that is to be expected but I don’t remember my A4 being this loud. The TDI lump has got plenty of torque 400NM to be exact, which is available from 1750-3000 rpm which is a good range giving you peak torque low in the revs all the way to the up shift. As I found out as the car shifted when I got onto a A road on the way to work doing ****mph before I knew it, with a 0-62 of 7.7 it feels quicker than that, down shifts are assisted with a auto blip, this didn’t quite seem enough on some shifts so a bit off heel toe smoothed them out even more, The A5 rev matches nicely so up shifts are smooth as were most downshifts.
As I expected from the FWD there was lots of traction loss from the front wheels, admittedly the roads went bone dry but it was still spinning in 2nd and sometimes 3rd on dry patches of road. Roundabout and tight corner under steer was very apparent when giving it the beans. This model didn’t have the adaptive suspension, meaning that Audi’s drive select only changes steering response and throttle response, and eco mode slows the throttle down a lot and gives to constant eco reminders because I haven’t change up from 3rd to 4th at 1300rpm so that remained switched off, I prefer the Dynamic mode anyway as the heavier steering feeling more direct and sharper throttle response make for a more pleasurable drive.
Overall I was very pleased and a little surprised by this car and the engine, and as Audi always do with loaners and test drive cars it was loaded to the kilt with most of the bangs and whistles, and after I speced up the same car on the Audi configuration it came in at just under £41,000, yes you can buy a S3 for this, and one with reasonable options on it too, but the A5 is a decent platform and if you were a bit more picky on the options, which you can be as so much comes as standard then you could get one for a reasonable price.
Audi A5 S Line 2.0 TDI 190 6Speed
Engine: 1968cc I4 turbo diesel
0-62: 7.7 seconds
Top Speed: 149mph
Options: Sound and convenience package