Audi A5 3.0 TDI 2010 review
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Audi should sponsor the Freo Dockers. Both have done the hard yards and both have really pulled their socks up in the past year without any free kicks. For those that don't know about the Dockers - it's a football team in WA. For those who don't know about WA, stop reading now.
Audi is already well known but that wasn't the case a decade ago when it was always a sidekick to BMW. Now Audi has 1.3 per cent of the Australian passenger car market while BMW has 1.7 per cent. The game is warming up.
One of the reasons is that Audi has so many models. How many? It has 57 models at last count and 14 different engines.
Compare that with Ford's range (not FPV, ute or van) with 40 distinct models and 11 engines for 9.3 per cent of the Australian car market and you can see how niche marketing can work.
It may drive Audi's spare parts men crazy but it appears to appease car buyers. One of the latest reflects this technique of identifying a sometimes tiny niche market and then slotting into it with a specific model. In this case, Audi's A5 Sportback.
Echoing the gentle hatchback styling of the Mercedes CLS, VW Passat CC and BMW 5-Series GT, the Audi A5 is aimed at the youthfully affluent that want cabin luxury with styling that hints at a sporty demeanour.
Perhaps the only detraction is the nose. All Audi's share the in-ya-face full-depth grille and while it was sensational when launched, is becoming tired and fails to respect Audi's upmarket models.
This five-door car comes as a petrol or diesel and costs a lot of money. Put it up against an Audi A4 with similar engine and drivetrain specs and there's $7000 difference - enough for some punters to baulk.
The Sportback gets a fifth door accessing a huge luggage area and so becomes a very flexible machine that perhaps is an alternative to the A4's wagon. Boot space is actually less than the wagon - and only a bit up on the A4 sedan – but it's the hatchback's ability to accept various load shapes that makes it a winner.
There is an implication that the A5 is more luxurious than the A4 and that's carried through to the cabin. Seating is for four. Don't think about five. If you have three children, one stays at home.
Audi's 3-litre turbo-diesel has been around in various versions for ages and the Quattro all-wheel drive system practically draws the pension. But it's definitely not outdated and can run with the best of the pack.
This is a maximum five-star crash-rated, German-built machine with all-paw drive that is so safe it could save a small planet. Your family, presupposing there's no fool behind the wheel, should be fine.
Six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes and so on - it's all there. It doesn't get a reverse camera - it's a recommended $1165 option but the trick is you have to also specify the $4550 MMI with sat-nav - but comes standard with front and rear park sensors.
Everything about this car works beautifully. It impresses within the first kilometre by feeling confident, solid and comfortable on the road. And hear you say that at near-on $90,000, so it should.
It feels safe and that makes me more relaxed about taking the family for a drive. Volkswagens, Skodas, Audis, BMWs and Porsches are some of the very few car brands that feel secure as soon as you turn the first corner. A lot do not.
This is a big car with a long wheelbase that irons out a lot of road irregularities and, as such, loves the country. You can easily see that Audi's favourite test track is a local autobahn. The drivetrain is, however, conservative - almost pedestrian - and while it delivers an efficient and occasionally warming driving experience, there's never a lot of fizz. That's partly because the diesel spins relatively slowly and appears lazy against any high-revving petrol engine. It's also because the A5 is so well insulated from the outside world.
That extends to steering that offers very little road feel and the DSG auto - with seven speeds - that can be awkwardly hesitate at low speeds. One can deduce that Audi has placed greater emphasis on cocooning the occupants from the world rather than involve them.
Perhaps that's the idea. But in this cocoon you don't really notice the important things about driving. Like the A5's 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds - which isn't too shabby - and the way the 500Nm of torque slashes in-gear acceleration to create rapid overtaking times.
And like the way the all-wheel drive bites hard on the bitumen to ensure it's secure through the corners and has the ability to shrug away traction concerns over wet roads.
It has the looks and cargo versatility to make it more alluring than the A4 but it comes at the cost of an expensive price tag and four-only seating.
AUDI A5 SPORTBACK
Engine: 3-litre, V6 turbo-diesel
Power: 176kW @ 4000-4400rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 1500-3000rpm
0-100km/h: 6.1 seconds
Top speed: 250km/h
Fuel tank: 64 litres
Economy: 6.6 litres/100km (official), 7.8 litres/100km (tested)
Greenhouse: 174g/km (Corolla: 175g/km)
Transmission: 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, sequential; constant 4WD
Brakes: 4-wheel vented discs, ESC, ABS, EBD, brake assist
Turning circle: 11.5m
Suspension: Front _ double wishbones, coils; Rear _ multi-link, coils
Wheels: 18-inch alloy, 245/40R18 tyres; space-saver spare
Tow (max): 1900kg
Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km, roadside assist
- Three-zone climate air-conditioning
- 10-speaker 1-CD iPod audio
- 6 airbags
- Park sensors
Range and Specs
|2.0 TFSI||2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$17,990 – 23,490||2010 Audi A5 2010 2.0 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$17,000 – 23,890||2010 Audi A5 2010 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 TDI Quattro||3.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO||$18,980 – 29,987||2010 Audi A5 2010 3.0 TDI Quattro Pricing and Specs|
|3.2 FSI Quattro||3.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$28,490 – 28,800||2010 Audi A5 2010 3.2 FSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|