By Miles Downard
This is the all new Audi A5, the company’s A4-saloon-based coupe. While it may look like nothing more than a mere facelift, with its slightly wider grille and pinched headlights, underneath it’s using the VW Group’s new MSB platform. That brings with it a 60kg weight saving over the old one. That’s not all, though.
The new A5 also brings with it the interior from the A4. Lazy, you might think, however given the exceptional level of design, build quality, layout and execution this is no bad thing. It’s by far the best interior of any coupe on the market right now, provided you aren’t someone who’s into ‘bling’ (this is all about sophisticated, understated class). The A5 is also deathly quiet on the move, despite the diesel lump up front, maintaining the standard set on entering the cabin.
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The niggles I did have as far as the interior goes were limited. I found it difficult to get into a position where I felt comfortable behind the wheel. The seat sits a bit high for my liking and despite the seemingly infinite level of adjustability there was no sweet spot. Then there’s the issue of space in the rear, of which there isn’t much.
On the move is where, for me, the Audi becomes less competent. From the driver’s seat I felt as connected to the road as I do playing Gran Turismo on a playstation. Perhaps the A5 would rather be doing the driving for itself, as is possible with the MSB platform on which it’s sat. And perhaps in a GT-esque coupe that’s the point. I will admit that once I relaxed into the seat and started to enjoy the cabin, my attention less on the car’s road manners, I began to enjoy the A5 more and more. Accordingly I have no doubt you could eat up miles and miles in one of these and arrive feeling as fresh as you were upon departure.
What I would say is don’t waste your money on the dynamic sports packages, all they manage to do is ruin your ride comfort and make the steering unnecessarily heavy. Rather enjoy your A5 as a comfy coupe, not a sports car. If you want some additional sure-footedness then maybe the Quattro all wheel drive system is a valid choice.
Audi claims 5.1 litres/100km, 140kW and 400 torques from the 2.0 TDI, which is there or thereabouts with the equivalent Mercedes or BMW. In the real world you’re probably looking at 9 to 10 litres/100km in my experience. Standard kit for your R619,000 base price includes tri-zone climate control, a 7-inch screen for the infotainment system and cruise control. An extra R30,000 odd will get you the Quattro one. Options can get out of control, for example sat-nav and the Virtual Cockpit dials are expensive extras.
All in all if you’re after a coupe that looks good inside and out but otherwise you aren’t too bothered, then the new Audi A5 will do you quite well. It is the only coupe that’ll offer all wheel drive at this level, so that’s a plus too. But if it’s an engaging drive you’re looking for then there are better options.