Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

{Elegant and Economical} {Turbo-Diesel Has No Genuine Rival }; Luxury Coupe Delivers Outstanding Performance

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

{Elegant and Economical} {Turbo-Diesel Has No Genuine Rival }; Luxury Coupe Delivers Outstanding Performance

Article excerpt

UNDERSTATED confidence commands respect. That encapsulates Audi's A5.

An exciting drive wrapped in an elegant yet sporting persona. There's nothing obscenely flashy about this two-door coupe, just good looks and performance to match.

To use a human analogy, the A5 is Pat Rafter.

No matter how hard you try you cannot hate the sleek coupe with the four-ring badge.

The A5 arrived here late in 2007 yet Audi has slowly delivered more powerplant options, the most recent addition a potent turbo-diesel.

Undercutting its petrol siblings (courtesy of the Federal Government's luxury car tax "green clause") yet faster and at the same time gaining an advantage in fuel consumption.

The A5 TDI adds another impressive string to the Audi bow while Benz and BMW still only have petrol versions available in the genre.

Audi has made no secret of its desire to become Australia's biggest selling premium brand by next year. With strengthening products and impressive driving dynamics it's simple to see why Aussies are backing the four rings in droves.

Comfort

The cabin is beautifully finished with cues to attention to detail. Up front there's ample space, with dials and buttons within easy reach.

There are two cup holders in the centre console, and the electric seats with lumbar support boasting premium soft leather are a pleasure in which to park your rear end.

The back is a different story, with limited leg and head room. If the front passengers are tall, rear leg space is minimal.

It's the price you may for such beautiful coupe lines on the exterior.

Three-zone climate-controlled air con makes it easy to keep all passengers happy.

Our test machine boasted the optional S line sport package $5850, which adds firmer sports suspension and bigger 18-inch alloys.

That contributed to a firm ride, which performed well throughout our examination but potholes and rutted road sections did unsettle the luxury coupe.

On the road

The direct injection 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is an absolute gem. It's remarkably quiet for an oil-burner and most would struggle to detect the different note from a petrol.

But most impressive is the mumbo it's packing.

The turbo-diesel generates 176 kW of power and a massive 500 Nm of torque. That's more than many of the bug-heavy four-wheel drives getting around.

When you squeeze the trigger it will shoot you from standstill to 100km/h in just over six seconds. And it's quicker in the sprint than the V6 version.

But the fun isn't just in a straight line. Equipped with quattro all-wheel drive and mated to a sporty six-speed tiptronic transmission, the A5 felt adept on all surfaces.

You can choose between three driving styles - comfort, automatic and dynamic. The latter injects some excitement by holding gears higher into the rev range and sharpens throttle and steering responses. …

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