Friday, September 18, 2009

Behind the wheel of the Audi A5, an AutoWeek Drivers Log

The Audi A5 is powered by a 3.2-liter V6.

MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: I have an extremely difficult time pointing to another new car that I like as much as the Audi 5 lineup. The S5 is spectacular, and its little brother here is no joke, either. Cutting-edge style, one of the best interiors and driving positions available, solid and high-quality controls, quattro awd--a top-to-bottom winner in my book. The 3.2-liter V6 is not overwhelming, but it makes the A5 quick enough for almost any scenario short of a track day outing.

Clutch, brakes, shifter and steering are all top-notch, though the speed-sensitive steering leans toward the light side, at times feeling over assisted. Just about my only gripe. I have a suspicion this car will understeer a bit much on a track, but the balance allows for plenty of public-road-fun.

The only other car that caught my eye as I drove the A5 was a brand new BMW 1-Series driving past me in the opposite direction. Now that would be a fantastic one-two punch to have parked in your garage.

SENIOR EDITOR (NEWS) BOB GRITZINGER: I can point to one car we recently had in the AW garage as a close A5 competitor: the 2009 Infiniti G37x coupe. At $47,845, it's a bit less expensive than this A5, and at 330 hp it's considerably more powerful. The G's automatic gearbox detracts, but for most driver/commuters in the world today, an autobox is just fine.

The Audi has several other advantages, however, including its lighter weight (by 165 pounds), its superior, time-tested quattro awd system, and the inherent value of the Audi rings. That third one is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

Both cars are near-perfect all-weather luxury coupes, providing the owner with a year-round sports car capable of carrying a few extra passengers when necessary. The Audi seems a tad more precise in the steering and handling, but overall it'd be a close shave between the two cars, I bet. The Infiniti gives you more punch under the hood, but isn't quite as quiet and refined as the Audi. Both interiors are well-equipped and comfortable, and both cars are lights out in the styling department.

If I was buying in this range, I'd be hopping back and forth between dealerships trying to make my call. Choice is a good thing.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Personally I prefer the smaller Audis with the 2.0-liter turbo and the paddles, but I don't think that combo is available on the A5. That's a shame. That combo offers plenty of power and a lighter front end, and feels better balanced overall to me. I know the turbo four is coming to the A5 in Europe, not sure about here.

This car is gorgeous but not overly flashy and indeed offers a fine balance between sportiness and refinement. The ride is firm without beating you up (I left the suspension setting in auto) and the engine power band is a smooth one. The car's fine ride, smooth power and good looks make it tough to beat.

It is tough to find an interior this nice at nearly any price--there is not a hard shiny tacky plastic piece anywhere. The seats are superb as is the driving position.

This is a terrific car.

2009 Audi A5 3.2 quattro

In Fleet: March 12-26

As-Tested Price: $53,315

Drivetrain: 3.2-liter V6; AWD, six-speed manual

Output: 265 hp @ 6500 rpm, 243 lb-ft @ 3250-5000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,682 lb

Fuel Economy: (EPA/AW) 20/19.4 mpg

Options: Audi drive select ($2950); Audi navigation system with color driver info display, Audi music interface, voice control ($2390); technology package including Audi rear parking system, adaptive headlights, advanced key keyless startup, Audi side assist ($2200); premium package including Homelink garage door opener, Xenon plus headlights, LED daytime running lights, autodimming & manual folding exterior mirrors, autodimming interior mirror with compass, heated front seats, memory for driver seat and mirror ($1900); genuine Milano leather seats ($1000); 19-inch alloy wheels w/ summer tires ($900); premium sound ($850); price increase credit (-$400)


Post a Comment


Powered By:

Autos Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Site Info

Auto Show Log, brings you test reports 24/7, interviews with experts and representatives of the automobile industry, and specials from the world of luxury cars and tuning.


Auto Show Log Copyright © 2009 BT Designed by Pie BT
    DISCLAIMER! We do not host or upload any of the files that are available on this Weblog. We merely search on INTERNET and index popular files openly available to anyone.