Audi A5 new car review

Audi A5 S Line

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Audi A5 new car review

Refined high performance luxury coupés are a niche market and aimed at very discerning buyers who demand outstanding driving dynamics and cosseted comfort.

Brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Lexus occupy this territory and so too does Audi whose latest sleekly-styled A5 model offers plush techno-laden cabin and sharp performance and handling in an overall package very hard to resist.

The new A5 is slightly longer and a tad narrower than its predecessor, with subtle styling details giving it a potent yet classy image. Prices start at £32,140 and every A5 comes with xenon headlamps, cruise control, 17-inch alloys, climate control, LED running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and Audi’s MMI infotainment system.

There are various petrol and diesel engines in the line-up and my test model utilised the 2.0 litre 187 hp diesel mated to a 7-speed auto gearbox and in sporty S Line trim. This version is priced at £38,100 though several added options including larger alloys and enhanced technology and assistance packages took the price to £43,285. The 0-60 mph time is just 7.7 seconds, top speed 146 mph and the fuel economy 67.3 mpg combined.

Use of aluminium and other lightweight materials means the A5 is 60kg lighter, and with its revised sports chassis gives wonderfully assured handling. The engine is eager yet smooth and quiet and the power delivery through the auto gearshift feels immediate and effortless. Suspension is understandably firm but still provides excellent ride comfort and some versions have the option of adaptive damping.

Inside, the cabin has a premium look and feel, and the Audi virtual cockpit – a £250 option – replaces the analogue dials with a screen and adds a futuristic touch. Seating is exceptionally comfortable and the rear seats are roomy for two adults, with decent head room despite a sloping roofline. The boot space is wide and deep at 465 litres – the largest in the class.

Overall, the A5 S Line, with its purposeful looks and engaging driving dynamics, makes a strong statement and given that the Audi brand has cooler street credibilty than its main rivals, in latest form the A5 has a telling edge in a sector which is fiercely fought.

FOR: Audi brand status, superb driving dynamics.

AGAINST: Hard to fault!

Audi A4 Avant Quattro S new car review

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Audi A4 Avant Quattro S new car review

Additional kit pushes up the price of the Audi A4 Avant Quattro S Line – find out if Nick Fletcher thinks it’s worth it …
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The popularity of MPVs and SUVs has dampened demand for traditional estate cars, but a strong core market still remains for fast, refined and well-built estate models such as the Audi A4 Avant.

This Avant has formidable rivals from Mercedes C Class and BMW 3 Series among others, but in my view the Audi has a distinct sporting edge and cooler street image.

Avant models come with petrol of diesel engines, manual or auto gearboxes, and some with all wheel drive so there is plenty of choice, with prices starting at £27,880.

However, many Audi owners like to tailor their cars with additional kit. My test model, a 3.0 litre diesel in already highly-equipped S Line trim and priced at £39,535 had so many extras, the final price was actually £52,895.

Added equipment included head-up display, advanced parking assist, adapative sports suspension, panoramic glass roof, 19 inch alloys, and Technology, Comfort and Sound and Light and Vision packs.

The 3.0 litre 270 hp diesel engine was mated to a Tiptronic gearbox and had all wheel drive, with sensational results: 0-60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, top speed 155 mph and fuel economy of 53.3 mpg combined.

Underway, the car produced effortless performance, a smooth ride and outstanding grip and composure, aided by adapative dampers which allow the driver to adjust the set up depending whether you want firm and sporty or supple comfort.

And in city use this model is equally at home, with light precise steering and agile responses.

Visally, the A4 Avant is an eye-catcher, with elegant chiseled styling and a look of restrained potency which appeals to younger, more discerning buyers seeking a cool classic persona.

The interior is beautifully styled, using premium materials well fitted and finished. The dashboard is logically designed, dominated by a large central infotainment screen, and a cascading central console with runs down between the front seats.

There is plenty of space for five adults and the A4 Avant boasts one of the biggest boots in the class, 505 litres with the rear seats occupied, a massive 1,510 with them folded. The powered tailgate and low loading lip give good access too.

I found the A4 Avant an autstanding blend of power, comfort and refinement – I felt I could drive it across Europe without getting at all jaded.

FOR: Performance, refinement, day to day practicality.

AGAINST: Hard to fault!