Audi A5 2L TFSI Quattro long term test

Audi A5 2L TFSI Quattro long term test

It is great to be able to test 2 almost identical cars with different drive trains.

The A5 is a pretty rare beast these days. A 2 door coupe with room for four adults in comfort. The driving position is one of the finest I have ever come across. Even with my bad back the firm seats provided perfect support. One big annoyance for me is that the seatbelt top mount won’t go low enough so the seatbelt keeps riding up onto my neck. Uncomfortable and dangerous. When will car makers realise the taller a driver is the lower the top mount need to be? I have a simple cure – I tuck the seatbelt under my collar. Visibility is excellent with very few blind spots. The xenon headlights are pretty good and night driving is a pleasure. The car is very low – like cars from the 80s and 90s. This helps with road holding of course but overtaking is more of a challenge as even gentle slopes become crests.

The sound system is pretty good with a subwoofer pumping out plenty of bass. There is an SD slot but no USB – are you serious Audi? Barking mad in this day and age! I am not a great fan of Audi’s audio display. It looks a little old fashioned to me with it’s orange graphics. The controls aren’t very intuitive and the volume control doesn’t work on the steering wheel when the ignition is off. The cup holders on the central console are a work of art. They will hold cans and they have grips which will also hold narrower 500ml bottles and red bull cans.

Ride/Handling

The ride is very firm almost to the point of being jiggly on some surfaces but it does make for pretty flat cornering which I love. The steering offers plenty of feel on the older hydraulic model but with the newer electric version less so. The steering is reasonably heavy which is much better than being too light.

The four wheel drive system is very unobtrusive but helps get the power down on wet roads. In snow it give a lot more traction but remember braking will be identical to the FWD version – you have been warned! The 245 section tyres offer plenty of grip but of course can aquaplane more readily in wet weather.

There is a little wind noise from the mirrors at speeds in excess of 90mph. Other than that the car is pretty quiet and the built in hands free system works very well.

Braking is very good – there is plenty of feel and the brakes are pretty fade resistant.

The manual gearbox is a joy to use. Nice feel and short throw. Clutch action is good. It gets a bit stiff when cold but soon warms up.

The car has the dreaded electric handbrake but it seems to work well. It refuses to auto release when reversing unless you have your seat belt on. A typical Audi  annoyance.

The engine pulls well and delivers a nice amount of performance without being scary.  0 to 60 times are around 6.2 seconds – not bad for a big 4wd car. Very similar to a Porsche Boxster and a top speed of 153mph. The engine sounds quite nice for a 4 cylinder with a lovely turbo whistle on full boost. There isn’t much low down torque until the  turbo kicks in – you need to change gear quite a bit for overtaking. The DSG box is better in this respect and faster in day to day use. Of course there is a penalty for this. Driven hard the DSG model returned 26mpg average. The manual gearbox version was much better averaging 33mpg which is very good for a car of this type. Chipping this engine would make a lot of sense – it would increase drivability which would mean less gear changes needed.

Overall a nice car – not in the same league as a Jaguar XF but better than other cars in it’s price range. On my Speedshift scale I would rate it as an 8 out of 10. Without the 4wd and with a turbo diesel engine I would say you are better looking elsewhere.

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