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Audi A5 2008 Review

Normally such a claim would be treated as the ramblings of a man who wants to keep his job, or someone clearly disenfranchised with the real world.

But de'Silva is on the money here.

The Audi A5 is indeed a very pretty car that appeals with soft feminine lines and perfect balance.

Based on a modified Audi A4 sedan platform, the coupe seats four adults — though tall rear seat occupants will suffer restricted headroom — in leather-trimmed luxury.

Only two A5 models have hit Australia though more are planned, including a more affordable four-cylinder turbo model.

Because price is perceived to be the A5's biggest flaw, not because the ingredients aren't first class but because for $91,000-odd, the competition is enormous.

Both models — one's a front-wheel drive as tested here and the other is an all-wheel drive version — are powered by a 3.2-litre V6 petrol engine.

That's big by European standards are indicates a healthy fuel thirst. Yet that isn't the case.

Even after some brisk driving the front-drive A5 rarely saw more than 10 litres/100km.

Some credit goes to the efficient engine but more praise is attributed to the continuously-variable transmission.

Better known as CVT, this is an automatic that has no cogs and gears and instead uses a simple belt-drive. Audi calls it Multitronic.

The uncomplicated transmission claims better fuel economy figures than a conventional automatic.

The downside is that off the mark it is sluggish in getting drive to the wheels.

The solution is to use the transmission's “manual” mode that locks in seven preset ratios. You then drive it like a clutchless manual, changing gears with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

There's plenty of urge in this engine and excellent chassis strength so the A5 handles superbly and ride roughened bitumen quietly and with saloon car compliance.

Typically Audi, the ride is firm and positive so there's always a sense of confidence and safety.

But against the typically Audi black dashboard, the A5 gets a stylish instrument cowling that extends to dip over the centre console.

It looks better than the slab styling of earlier Audis and comes with more kit, including the central monitor that accesses everything from satellite navigation and TV to radio and climate control. That is, everything you ticked on the option list.

The A5 gets an electronic park brake — great idea and bizarrely ignored by many rivals — to create more space on the console.

The extra room has allowed the six-disc CD player unit to come out of the glovebox and onto the dashboard, making it much easier to load and unload the discs.

At the same time, the glovebox now fits more than just a pair of gloves.

In addition to seating for four, the boot is cavernous.

The space-saver spare is a disappointment, especially because it's mounted on a bit of foam and clearly shows that a full-size spare can fit.

This cheap spare also disadvantages the ability of this coupe to really run so comfortably over long distances.

 


Specs

AUDI A5

Origin: Germany

Price: $91,900

Engine: 3.2-litre, V6

Power: 195kW @ 6500rpm

Torque: 330Nm @ 3000-5000rpm

0-100km/h: 6.6 seconds

Top speed: 250km/h

Fuel: Premium

Fuel tank: 65 litres

Economy (official): 8.7 litres/100km

Economy (tested): 9.1 litres/100km

Greenhouse: 207g/km (Corolla: 175g/km)

Transmission: CVT auto; front-drive

Brakes: 4-wheel discs, ESC, ABS, EBD, brake assist

Turning circle: 11.4m

Wheels: 17-inch alloy, 245/45R17 tyres; space-saver spare

Length: 4625mm

Width: 1854mm

Height: 1372mm

Wheelbase: 2751mm

Weight: 1495kg

Towing (max): 1800kg

Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km, roadside assist

Service: 15,000km

 

What we like: Style, economy, performance, quality

What we dislike: Expensive, space-saver tyre

 

Pricing guides

$18,875
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$11,900
Highest Price
$25,850

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
3.0 TDI Quattro 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $11,900 – 17,490 2008 Audi A5 2008 3.0 TDI Quattro Pricing and Specs
3.2 FSI 3.2L, PULP, CVT AUTO $13,500 – 19,470 2008 Audi A5 2008 3.2 FSI Pricing and Specs
3.2 FSI Quattro 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP $12,700 – 18,370 2008 Audi A5 2008 3.2 FSI Quattro Pricing and Specs
3.2 FSI S-Line 3.2L, PULP, CVT AUTO $18,600 – 25,850 2008 Audi A5 2008 3.2 FSI S-Line Pricing and Specs
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$13,500

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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