BMW 435i coupe 2014 review
We turn the spotlight on the BMW 435i and ask the big questions, including the most important: would you buy one?
Browse over 9,000 car reviews
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
Sorry, there are no cars that match your search
What do you do if your arch-rival launches a two-door sports coupe with some cracking new engines and transmissions? If you're Audi and your rival is the BMW 4 Series, there isn't a lot you have to do – because the A5 is still one of the finest-looking cars on the road.
And that is what the Audi A5 S-Line Competition is really about – looks. Despite the name, there's no fire-breathing engine under the bonnet, no extra mechanical mods to make it feel racier. The Competition is really all about stealing sales from the BMW...
The S-Line Competition is the third in a line of limited editions. For $83,300 - a tick under ten grand more than a standard A5 coupe with the same drivetrain – you get the S-Line mods which lower the suspension and adds things like aluminium kickplates and interior restraint in the form of embossed logos.
Powered by the same 2.0-litre petrol TFSI engine as the standard car, you can choose between the six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic driving all four wheels.
A5s already have the specs to match the price. Included is three-zone climate control, leather and perforated Alcantara trim, keyless entry and start, park assist, MMI with sat-nav and 10-speaker stereo, cruise control, power windows, mirrors and Xenon driving lights with LED daytime running lights.
The 7-inch MMI screen sits high up in the dash cowling while the MMI rotary dial and separate volume knob live in the console. As with the A4, the shortcut buttons are a bit plasticky but do a good job once you remember what they all do.
There's the usual grumble about the proprietary USB connectivity for smart phones, but the Bluetooth streaming does a good job of playing the music and the phone functions are pretty good. Added to the list is full voice control.
The Competition's headline mods are those lovely, titanium-finished 20-inch alloy wheels. Already a head-turner, the wheels with the gloss black sill extensions, rear diffuser and rear wing add a little bit of studied aggro to the clean, garrotte-wire sharp lines.
It still looks as fresh as the day it was released to the world.
Inside is a mix of Alcantara and leather, with S-Line logos on the headrests and the standard A5 interior, which should be very familiar if you've driven an A4. It's a lovely place to be, but could do with a splash of colour. Apart from that, it's ageing very well indeed.
Six airbags, ABS, brake force distribution, traction and stability control all add up to the not-unexpected five-star ANCAP rating.
Quattro all-wheel drive and reversing camera add to the package.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
Audi's 2.0-litre TFSI knocks out 165 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. It's a smooth engine and incredibly quiet, even when smacking the tacho needle against the redline.
The six-speed manual has a light clutch and an easy, short throw which perfectly matches how low you sit.
“Audi S-Line” used to be a short way of saying "shake your fillings out." It's a cliche that is now unfairly applied to Audis and is becoming steadily more undeserved.
The A5 is a very impressive balance of ride and handling. Over some very patchy surfaces, the huge 20-inch wheels shod with what are normally very noisy Continental tyres barely make a peep and you don't feel much either, either through the wheel or the seat of your pants.
It handles the urban environment with refined accomplishment, but be careful of those wheels - you sit low in the car and can't always see as well as you might like, which led your now-humbled correspondent to an embarrassing exchange between gutter and wheel.
In cruise mode, the cabin is quiet, but you can hear tyre rumble on all but the smoothest of surfaces and there's a faint rustle at speed from the mirrors. You don't hear the engine bouncing off the redline, so you won't hear it on the highway.
Foot to the floor Audi A5 is entirely predictable. Gigantic grip allied with super power delivery and slightly slow but light steering means you can sweep through even tight bends at huge speeds before very gentle understeer sets in.
Yes, the steering itself is quieter than a politician caught with his hand in the public purse, but that's sort of the whole car's vibe. It's well insulated, very refined and could probably do with a kick up the backside.
With a name like Competition, a bit more fire in the belly in the form of a loudmouth exhaust or a noisier intake - something - would be in order.
It's a small quibble really and it's highly unlikely the target market will care about that.
|1.8 TFSI||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$26,800 – 42,990||2014 Audi A5 2014 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|1.8 TFSI Sport Edition||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$34,320 – 40,810||2014 Audi A5 2014 1.8 TFSI Sport Edition Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$33,550 – 39,930||2014 Audi A5 2014 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI Sport Edition||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$35,200 – 41,910||2014 Audi A5 2014 2.0 TDI Sport Edition Pricing and Specs|