Road Test : Audi A5 Sportback - 2.0L TDI
Review by Tristan Tancredi - 5 September 2012
Audi has provided the Australian public with both the Sportback and Coupe models as a part of their A5 range. Enticing fans of the German automobile company with a wide pricing net, Audi has released both the Sportback and Coupe with an array of model variants.
Starting at around $66,000 is the 1.8 litre TFSI in both Sportback and Coupe variants. At the top of the A5 pecking order is the 3 Litre TFSI Quattro which prices in at around the $100,000 mark.
We were given the 2.0L TDI Sportback, the entry level diesel on the A5 ladder. Despite lacking the higher spec class of the Quattro variants, the 2.0 TDI Multitronic priced from $68,700 still offers plenty for the executive car range.
Once inserting the key into the dash ignition and releasing the electromechanical parking brake, the Audi A5 Sportback was ready for some on-road tests.
Audi Drive Select alters the technical components of the vehicle to cater for specific on-road driver characteristics. With a simple click of a button, drivers can change the set-up configuration of the vehicle from Comfort, Auto or Dynamic (Sporty). There is also a function whereby individual driving characteristics can be translated into the drivers own personal profile, to make the technical components as laid back, or on edge as possible.
If it is speed and agility you are after, consider the Quattro range. The 2.0 litre TDI, whilst fuel efficient and completely capable across all on-road conditions, doesn't have the "fun" factor that say the 3.0litre TDI quattro would have. Mind you, that added "fun" factor costs almost $30,000 more.
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering borders on a little light, yet we had minimal problems with on-road comfort, steering and balance. Winding roads, or long freeways, the A5 feels at home. If anything, both the brakes and the accelerator are quite sensitive and take some time to adapt.
Multitronic transmisssion drives the 2.0 litre TDI.
The Sportback range comes in a range of Diesel and Turbocharged FSI engines. Despite aching to sit behind the wheel of a 3.0 Litre TFSI Quattro, we spent a week with the highly capable 2.0 TDI Multitronic Engine.
The 2.0 TDI Multitronic Engine provides 130 kW of power at 4200rpm and maximum torque is at 380 Nm at 1750-2500rpm. Unlike the Quattro (4-Wheel Drive System), the 2.0 TDI is Front Wheel Drive only.
The 2.0 Diesel Engine maintains a specific Audi-esqye growling, dieselly noise throughout the cabin, especially with the foot planted to the ground. With the foot planted the car can reach 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds. Not exactly breathtaking, but very capable. For comparisons sake, the 3.0 litre TDI Quattro reaches 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds.
A Start Stop System, standard across the range, limits fuel consumption. The 2.0 TDI sets the benchmark for fuel conservation within the A5 range, drinking a combined 4.8 litres per 100kms.
You would be a brave person to criticize the look of the Audi A5. Well, brave or very, very picky. The A5 is a beautiful, stylish, modern Sportback.
The updated frontal design is beset with fog lights and the trademark Audi Front Grille. Sleek style lines run the length of the vehicle and combined with 18" Alloys with 5-Spoke wheels create the ultimate head-turner.
A low on-road stance, with a pronounced stylised structure merge this classy, elegant shape with a sporty, sexy feel.
Down back and a wide boot opening width of 1,000mm makes loading and unloading equipment quite simple. The rear seats can be split and folded down extending the luggage capacity from 480 litres to 1283 litres.
A host of safety features are fitted into the A5.
Inclusive in the safety package is: Airbags for driver and front passengers, side airbags for front and rear passengers and a head airbag system. Crumple zones in the body of the car to reduce impact in the event of an accident are also included.
Other safety features include; ESP with ABS, ASR, EBD, EDL and Brake Assist.
It's all class inside the A5 Sportback. Leather Trim Milano Electric seating welcome the driver and front passenger and offer terrific comfort and lumbar support. Despite a low drivers seat position, views to the mirrors and the road ahead are adequate.
High Quality leather lines the steering wheel and front dash and creates and sporty yet classy modern feel.
A multimedia dial system controls the Navigation and Media Settings. Positioned cleverly in the centre console, the Audi dial system is simple to use, well positioned and extremely user friendly.
Every multimedia aspect of the Audi, whether it be Bluetooth, Navigation, Radio or even Settings is presented on the 6.5" colour screen. The greatest plus to this set-up is the user-friendliness. (Even my technologically impaired relatives got the hang of how to use the media system).
A standard 10-Speaker Audi sound system is adequate, but for top class, refined sound an upgrade to the Bang & Olufsen Sound System is recommended ($1,600).
Audi has cast a wide net in a hope to get a slice of the premium sedan market. Priced from $68,000 to $100,000, the A5 is targetted at those with a bit of cash to throw around.
The 2.0 litre diesel is a very capable car yet we were left wanting a little more. The 3.0 litre TDI Quattro, despite costing a fair bit more, would be the pick of the A5 Sportback range.
High quality German Engineering is a given with any Audi, and the A5 Sportback is no exception. Take one for a spin and find out.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Audi dealer.
Updated Exterior Design
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