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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had the first extended test drive today. The good wife and I took an A5 from Exeter Audi back home to familiar roads in North Devon to see how it spoke to me and ultimately I’d have to say, we enjoyed the experience

A chat with the Salesman preceded our introduction to a Sport 3.0TDi, Meteor Grey, Star & Stone Valcona Leather, Standard 18” alloys, MMI etc. Having studied the brochures, spec sheets and update bulletins pretty hard over the last few days, our exchanges across a desk brought little new, but did help Mr Chapman and ourselves to run through why we are where we are and painted a picture of a potential future prospect. Subsequent thoughts then:


The looks

It’s an A5 – the shape is lovely. Meteor Grey has been instantly dismissed from a possible list of colours – it just looks dull. It’s not often you can say that about a metallic in bright sunlight, but even in those flattering conditions, it’s still such a dour colour in my view :(


Engine

The initially lazy power delivery took some adapting to, but once it spools up, it definitely goes… and keeps going… and pulls some more… change gear now if you like… still pulling… no change yet..? I’ll keep going then… etc etc

The motor is impressive and licence losing speeds could be achieved very easily. In fact, so smooth is the pull that you almost need to be hitting those speeds for it to actually strike you as being anything meaningful :eek:


Interior

Nicely done, but having come from a TT2, I knew it would be. It didn’t feel quite as special in there though even though there’s perhaps more to it than the TT..? My brochure given thoughts towards the whole MMI layout was also confirmed – it’s just way too busy. Surprisingly, I much prefer the look of the standard stereo and cleaner stick surround

I’ve always been a big fan of Alcantara and a warm afternoon in the A5 sticking to the leather seats really confirmed why. It brought home that it’s not just the grip and additional textures which Alcantara brings that I love, it’s the fact that I simply am not into the feel of leather. Oh and yes, the Star Silver / Stone Blue combo was as unappealing as the exterior colour on this particular demo :(


Behind the wheel

I miss the flat bottomed wheel of the TT2 – it’s not just a gimmick that thing, it’s fantastic and the more corporate look to the A5 wheel is definitely not as charming. The weighting on the A5’s steering is also a tad, erm, odd. After experiencing the Elise for 18 months where the steering not only talks to you it relays your own life story in full, by comparison this was never going to be as communicative, but even the TT2 doesn’t suffer from what I can only describe as a somewhat exaggerated artificial feel :confused:

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it’s a bigger car of course and is bound to feel different, but somehow the degree of rotation and the amount of weight required to take a bend seems disproportionate to the resultant effect. You get used to it I’m sure but where Lotus make steering a sublime experience, the A5 seems to extract much more effort for very little reward


Kit and caboodle

The B&O system sounded pretty damned good – not staggeringly exceptional, but a long way from poor. It’s easy to make it sound crap, but some tweaks in the right direction can extract a convincing tone. I didn’t get into the Nav and all that jazz as I really have no interest in any Audi system due to its functionality’s misplaced price tag :rolleyes:

The electric seats are good and the memory function makes them justifiable as this car would be used regularly by two different drivers in our household. That same option on the TT2 has no memory function and therefore next to useless IMHO


Sport Model

The Sport package makes sense financially when considering the must haves – Sports Suspension, Sports Seats and Wheel upgrade, but beyond that, it all combines extremely well to produce a very well mannered car. Barrelling into an open S bend or through a dip and over a slight bridge brought nothing but a very controlled reaction – I’d have to say that this was probably the most striking aspect of the car… aside from its obviously gorgeous lines!

quattro speaks for itself, so I’ll add nothing :cool:


Overall

Well quite brilliantly and perhaps predictably when first clapping eyes on this particular car, this afternoon brought the very same result as my extended test drive in the Mk2 TT… that was a 3.2, S-Tronic, Deep Sea Blue Roadster with leather… in an identical way to that experience, today confirmed pretty much everything I didn’t want!

It has dismissed Meteor as a choice, leather as an option and the cluttered MMI gubbins can stay away too… but perhaps more surprisingly, it appears to have ruled out the TDi as well. I totally appreciate what a great bit of kit that is, much like I do the 3.2 TT lump, but it’s just a little too languid. Yes it goes if you wind it up, it goes extremely well indeed but with my tastes leaning towards swift and smooth progress amidst the A & B road heaven of Devon that I call home, it’s just a touch too laid back… not by much, but definitely enough

An averaged 30mpg over 60 miles of varied rural roads produced nothing startling either way and I’d have to conclude by saying that were Motorways my more common domain, the Diesel would win hands down… but they’re not, so it won’t

With that squarely in mind, I think the specifically revised 2.0TFSi would be the tool of choice. The absence of 5 bags of cement in weight and the more immediate delivery from a petrol fuelled motor could well be the golden nugget

The S5’s 4.2 V8 is no doubt completely different gravy, but such a motor is not laid out for our palette. I rather reluctantly have to admit to a growing personal concern that it in the not too distant future it may not appeal to too many other people’s either. It’s a non-starter from our perspective


Summary

To say competent certainly wouldn’t do it justice – it’s a very good car and perfectly suited to the needs of our three person family. Its beauty runs from panel through feature to function without really being obvious as to why. There’s far more room than the TT for family days and it presents itself as good middle ground in our thoughts of stepping two cars (the wife’s practical car and my toy) down to one. Style still features very highly on the priority list mind you and the A5 portrays its case on that score without seemingly even knowing it :eek:

I was somewhat muted in my emotions towards the car mid way through the afternoon, but another run through some more of Devon’s undulating finest followed by seeing it across a filling station forecourt started to reignite the feeling gained when brochure browsing

I’d have to confess that the one sensation it didn’t transmit too well however was that of excitement. A Lotus with an exhaust blaring behind you and every nuance of the road being brought directly to you even at 40mph just exudes exhilaration. The A5 certainly isn’t even trying to be such a car of course, but even when pushed, it didn’t manage to set a single energized nerve tingling for me

This could well be down to the fact that I really didn’t like this particular example of the car – seeing that it left me cold on that front, it could simply have been that it would have taken some incredible performance to get a fire started…

Perhaps I can appease that reservation for myself though as the sight of a black one whist heading back across Exeter followed by a knowing wink from the Ibis model sat proudly in the showroom certainly did set the heart a flutter. Couple that with a different engine characteristic, a front end with all that cement removed and finished off with a lush interior, it could well be a very harmonious love affair… ;)
 

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Thanks for the great review. I really enjoyed reading it and welcome to the site. The A5 2.0T is an unknown quantity at the moment as there are none in the country. However, the 1.8T which I had ordered originally was surprisingly lively (I've come from a 2.0 A4 without turbo). On paper however the 2.0T looks to be pretty amazing expecially when you look at the torque combined with decent fuel economy and low CO2 emmision. Mine is supposed to be being built as we speak and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I will then be delighted to post my impressions. I think ultimately, one has to view the car, in which ever variant, as a GT. It then makes enormous sense combining practicality with desirability:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi G8OFA - thanks for the welcome and I'm glad you managed to stay awake! ;)

Yep, it seems we're both agreeing that the revised 2.0 will be the gem - especially for our needs / tastes / requirements. Of course, it could be a major disappointment, but my experience of the equivalent lump in the TT tends to suggest otherwise

For sure the A5 is 230kgs heavier than that TT, but the revisions have added an additional 70Nm of torque (25% more than the TT 2.0T), so that should help out

In the end I have to agree with your sentiment here…

. I think ultimately, one has to view the car, in which ever variant, as a GT. It then makes enormous sense combining practicality with desirability :)
…that is spot on. If I'm expecting Lotus or TT characteristics to be present, then I will always be disappointed. The A5 isn't about that so I may have to adjust my own views / desires. The fact that the A5 is a possibility kind of indicates that perhaps they already have :confused:

I have the new TTS on board a ship heading my way right now, so the real question I need to answer is, do I really want / need excitement or sensibility..? I hope I'm not growing up just yet, but other factors have to come into my decision - especially given the need for a little caution at present

Humm... decisions decisions :eek:
 

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Hi, welcome... great write-up and I echo your findings thankyou.

I got the S5, and I have to admit, until I lowered it and fitted a Milltek exhaust, it really was fantastically refined - to the point of being not very exciting to drive... it was gorgeous but no fun... a bit like having a stunning girlfriend, who doesn't come to Twickenham, drink beer and watch the rugby with you... it's all just nicey-nicey shopping and dinners!

It's surprising how quickly you get used to the 'unusual' steering, although from time to time it does seem either too heavy or too light for the conditions... Turn right at a mini roundabout from a standstill and it's really light... do the same at 20 mph when you don't have to give way and it seems really heavy... but that really is pretty minor!

You are definately a 'petrol' person! The smoothness and ease, combined with large rev range make a big difference... as does the fact that the diesel lump is so bloody heavy... this makes a massive difference to the handling and balance of the car.

...At the end of the day, it really is a delight to be in and to be seen in. It is a GT car and not a sports car and with that in mind it's in a class of it's own for the price.

I hope you get to drive a suitable petriol variant that isn't in primer-grey, er I mean meteor grey! I'm sure this will 'suit' your taste more...

As for excitement a number of us have fitted Milltek exhausts, which really do generate more smiles per mile, courtesy of the sound and they for the other petrol variants soon. Lowering makes the car sportier still, so we have found that you CAN have a GT car that 'feels' like a sports car. Maybe something to consider?

Nice to hear from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Ian - thanks also for your welcome :)

Your use of 'the stunning girlfriend' analogy was spot on! Nicely done :D Definitely nail, head and hit I think

Doing serious loops in my head now - I'm bloody useless in this state :rolleyes: Of course I feel lucky to even have a choice, but knowing myself which road to go down is sending me silly


... then I think back to the Ibis A5 in the showroom and all is warm and lovely again... ;)
 

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Welcome to the forum, great read and thanks for sharing.

As Ian has said, I think the petrol is going to be more suited to you, with more RPM to play with, superb econemy the 2.0TFSI quattro will give you a sportier feel, along with massive potential for tuning. Being a GT car I dont think its ever going to be as much fun as the TTS.

I dont envy the decision on your hands, as I would love a TTS, I wouldnt say your growing up getting an A5 over a TT, there're plenty of young people around here :).

Good luck.

Oh and Ibis is lovely, I would have gone for it myself if I had the balls, its very bold.
 

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Very nice write-up. I sense that you are also disappointed at the lack of color options available for the A5. I mean, if you like an assortment of silver and gray, it's fine, but this is supposed to be a sporty coupe, Audi, give us some color!

Anyway, no car can do it all, and as you obviously realize, a more substantial, luxurious A5 can not capture the steering and nimbleness of a Lotus. A little more responsive steering rack would be appreciated, however.
 

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The A5 can actually be tweaked with a few after market addons which may give you a few more smiles. The milltek exhaust for one. The S5 version is one most of the UK forum members are aware of but at the last APS meet the guys from milltek turned up with exhaust for the diesel and all of us there were suitability impressed by the sound quality that it gave out. You wouldnt know it was a diesel and the note was far better than the stock version.

You can of course lower and widen as many of us have. That may give you a bit more feel to the driving that you are used to. Some of us are going to APS again next Monday to have coilovers fitted which (if all is to be believed) allow the car to be lowered but remain comfortable (more than the H&R Springs).

And dont worry if you are not someone into modifying. I never have before and nor did many of the others.

Robinsons in Norwich had an ibis white for a while and it looked great in the showroom. However, I fear that it may be one that requires frequent cleaning (says he with the black car!).

There is a bright blue A5 near me which is nice. You dont see many red versions in the UK but all the release pics in red looked nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
robb - no problem, I do like a good type now and then! Thanks for your welcome :)

Indeed, I think the natural immediacy of a petrol engine will suit me and the type of roads I use 90% of the time. It's not going to be like a TTS, I'm happy to accept that because the parameters and outlook have altered since ordering that little beastie - although knowing that it's built and currently Blighty-bound really isn't helping my ability to resist! Having said that, it's no reason to make a wrong purchase and my whole A5 contemplation didn't come from thin air did it..? (it actually came from seeing a few on the road and having to then take a closer look! :D)

At 37 I perhaps should be growing up, but I hope I haven't lost all sense of adventure just yet... I still love sweet shrimps so I guess all is not lost... ;)

As for Ibis..? Lots of the TT guys are getting them, but they don't quite grab me. The A5 carries it off with a touch more style and does look stunning... but so does everything in a showroom!

I think black is favourite right now but country lanes and cow shite aren't the best way to maintain that killer look. I am super anal about my car's bodywork and chips and scratches will show terribly. Having said that, a gleaming black car takes some beating :cool: This has the advantage over white on that front as you can polish a white or silver car forever and it only really looks 'clean' whereas black delivers incredible depth of reflection

Thanks for the good luck wish - I could use some of that over the coming week... and that's not just in making the right car choice either!
 

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A word of caution...

Don't let the sales rep give you a test drive in the S5...





...I did, as did several others here, and we were all 'hooked' from that moment and doomed to spend half our driving lives trying to find a petrol station!! ;) ...I jest, the fuel isn't too bad in comparison... just a decent meal-for-two, once-a-month difference; so WELL worth it IMO. Be warned... it's a real heart-over-head thing!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
caf - ta for that and you are quite right, the Audi colour choice is a touch bland right across the board. Having said that, the TTS is available in Orange, Yellow and Blue as well as the selection of blacks, greys and silvers and I have to say that none of the really lairy colours work for me! The more subtle and subdued tones suit the class of the brand somehow

You're right on the steering - I wonder what the 'Dynamic Steering' option does and would it ever really be worth the £700 tag..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks for chipping in doubledoom... I hope your Forum name isn't a sign of car choices to come!

To be completely honest, I've never been into modding in a big way - I did fit a sports exhaust to the Lotus to make it sound more like it looked, but left my two TT's completely standard

However, I hear what you're saying and I do believe that spacers would be in order and from there, who knows with regard to lowering any further. The Sports 20mm lower look suits my eye and as I mentioned in the write up, the manners the car exhibited when pushing on amongst the dips and rises of A & B road heaven was perhaps the most striking element of the cars performance, so I don’t have any initial concerns there


Cleaning isn't a problem, I enjoy that and always make time to present my cars to a high standard (by the way, that's not intentionally why I choose the Janitor nickname, though it does seem to be quite fitting! Check this out: http://www.axdn24.dsl.pipex.com/how_to/how_to_polish_and_wax.htm ;))
 

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Janitor,
Checked out your attachment on car care on the TT Knowledge Portal. Very complete and well written. I have an 08 S5, (The Fridge), 6 speed, Ibis White w/ Tuscan Brown, loaded. While a lot of people say "white, ugh!!", when they see the car they love it. The white also lends itself to not showing the swirls.
If car washing is your hobby, you ought to look into a career as a tech writer. Very complete and understandable.
By the way, over here in the U.S. we don't have all of the products that you use but I have found suitable substitutes.
Also, don't get near an S5--it's like narcotics!!!
 

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Mr Janitor, hello and welcome :D

Guys, if this guy gets an A5, it will be WAY up there and far away the cleanest car you have ever seen :p

I've seen him in action on the TTF :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
drjer1 - White S5 eh..? I don't thinks I want to see it... it's not going to help :eek: Great colour for hiding the swirls though, as is silver of course but I think the TT has that colour nailed best

Thank you very much for the writing compliment - it's not my profession at all, I'm just keen! (although oddly enough you're not the first person to mention it)

You do have most of the products that side of the water, as usual I think that's where we got the idea from! Autopia (http://www.autopia.org/) is the place over there that guys on this side of the lake wish was on their doorstep!


I am trying to steer clear of sinful temptations of the S5... there seems to be a gang of pushers circling though! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Aiden
I thought I'd run into you here :) How's things..?

So much for sneaking in and surprising everybody with my OCD then! Ta for the comment though... I think there's a compliment in there somewhere ;)
 

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Aiden
I thought I'd run into you here :) How's things..?

So much for sneaking in and surprising everybody with my OCD then! Ta for the comment though... I think there's a compliment in there somewhere ;)
Things are good here - though I have a very dirty S5 outside :eek: - all the bad weather here :( - you would be disgusted :eek:

Try the S5, be a devil ;) You know you want to - live a little, well a lot actually ! :D You should give it a blast, see does it provide the thrill the diesel isn't giving you :)
 
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