Typical Euro sporty drive feel with a half decent exhaust note (when you can hear it). Photo Gallery
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Audi A5 1.8 TFSI Sportback and answers the big questions.
We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?
What is it?
This is Audi's entry point for the classy A5 range comprising more than 20 variants in sportback four door hatch, coupe and cabrio variants. It also ushers in a new 1.8-litre, turbo petrol four cylinder that's economical enough to win Luxury Car Tax concessions - gotta like that.
The price is $66,690 but there are plenty of options and option packs to hike that.
What are competitors?
Very few actually. The Sportback could be termed a four door coupe by other manufacturers. The gorgeous Volkswagen CC would be the closest competitor.
What's under the bonnet?
There's a small capacity force fed petrol 1.8 under the bonnet of this particular model. It has direct injection and turbocharging as well as variable valve lift and timing to boost efficiency as does auto stop and start, recuperative energy from the brakes and a CVT eight step "auto" transmission with sport mode. It's good for 125kW and 320Nm from a low 1400rpm.
How does it go?
Really well with plenty of kick in the mid-range and a strong top-end. But the stop and start system causes rather lethargic acceleration from a standstill. Takes too long to fire up and start driving the car.
Is it economical?
Impressive at 5.8-litres/100km. We saw better at a steady 90kmh on the freeway but you can average in the 7.0s combined without trying - of 95 octane.
Is it green?
Yes, passes Eu 5 emissions and has a swag of economy technology that also cuts emissions.
Is it safe?
Is it comfortable?
Comfort levels are high with sporty, well shaped seats and leather upholstery. Electric front seat adjustment is handy and the driving position offers plenty of options. The cabin is roomy enough for four adults and the load space under the large hatch is big.
Good audio, plenty of driver assist technology, Bluetooth phone and audio. Pretty much all you need.
What's it like to drive?
Sporty with a firm, well controlled ride, sharp steering response, powerful brakes and grippy rubber. Typical Euro sporty drive feel with a half decent exhaust note (when you can hear it).
Is it value for money?
Tempting especially with the discounted Luxury Car Tax thanks to low fuel consumption.
Would we buy one?
Probably not, we'd go for the 2.0-litre diesel A5 Sportback for a couple of grand more. Keep it for years, spend little on fuel, surprise other drivers with striking turn of speed.
2012 Audi A5 TFSI Sportback
Price: from $66,690
Warranty: 3 year roadside assist
Engine: 1.8 litre, 4 cylinder, 125kW/320Nm
Transmission: 8-speed, constantly variable transmission, front wheel drive
Volkswagen CC - compare this car
Price: from $56,490
Engine: 2.0-litre, 125kW/350Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automated manual, front-wheel drive
BMW 3 Series coupe - compare this car
Price: from $66,500
Engine: 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, 135kW/380Nm
Transmission: 6-speed, manual, rear wheel drive
Volvo S60 T5 - compare this car
Engine: 2-litre 4-cyl, 177kW/320Nm
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch auto