Driven - May 2017

A futuristic machine : New Audi A5 Driven Review

New Audi A5 Driven Review

As journalists, we drive a fair number of new cars and because of this, I feel that sometimes we become a little numb to the latest technology and gadgets that are found in vehicles today. I realised this while driving the new Audi A5 on test when some friends of mine lost their minds at how this hot coupé had a little mechanism which passed the seatbelt to the front occupants, something that’s been around for over a decade in premium coupés.

2017 Audi A5 South Africa

If that got them excited, you should’ve seen their faces while giving them a demonstration of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. At this point the new A5 could have started to hover and they would not have been surprised.

There are no “slow” versions of the Audi A5, I can confirm this having previously driven all if the variants in the range on the South African launch. On my week long test, I had the very pleasing 140 kW petrol motor, we could call this the “entry level” model, but it is by no means an entry level car.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

2017 Audi A5 South Africa

The new A5 gives of a very sporty and dynamic presence and this is accentuated when  entering the cabin. It is very driver focused, very intense and you feel like you are jumping into the cockpit of a futuristic machine rather than a vehicle which takes you from A to B.

There are many features I enjoy about the interior, from the optional Virtual Cockpit to the large square drive selector which fits nicely in the palm of the hand. If you are familiar with the previous A5, you will notice the new long streamlined dash which gives of a feeling of more space inside the cabin. Audi definitely designs some of the best interiors around and it gets better at night – opening the door reveals a glow of lights from various locations.This gets better when the ignition is started and a mix of red and blue fills the interior, followed by the drivers selected colour preference. Visually it’s fairly fantastic.

The new A5 delivers then in the design and visual elements, but does the driving experience match the pretty lights?

I have to say, it really does. 140 kW and 320 N.m means that this car is no slouch, it accelerates nicely, although you won’t be running with Golf GTI’s from a standstill. Mid range power and torque is also delivered smoothly, overtaking and the like is a breeze and there really is ample power for the daily commuter.  A decent engine tone even comes into play when you “give it some” as we say in England.

2017 Audi A5 South Africa

This 2.0-litre variant is definitely the most easy going out of the bunch but, if you want more of  a hair catching fire type of vehicle then one must look at opting for the 180 kW 2.0-litre Quattro or even the glorious sounding S5. The former provides the same comfort and experience but with that little extra grunt. If performance is not high in your priorities and you just love the look, feel and drive of the new Audi A5 then the 140 kW option a very good option to go for.

In terms of pricing, the new Audi A5 has a list price of R623 000 and when specced, can be as high as R795 000 like my test vehicle. Options like the S-line package, Audi Virtual Cockpit, Electric front memory seats and LED headlights are a must but there are options one could do without. This might sound like an expensive vehicle but a BMW 420i which produces a very similar power output and specced to the same level comes in at R770,000.

The difference here is that Audi charge R10k for automatic A/C whereas as on the BMW it comes as standard. Audi also offer Carplay and Android Auto for R5 000 whereas BMW believe their infotainment system is good enough. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is also much more advanced than BMW’s optional Multi-functional instrument display but it is also quite a bit more expensive.

At this level of pricing there really isn’t much in it and from a driving perspective it’s really down to what you prefer. Audi have done a great job with the new A5 and if you decide to go this route you will be a very happy driver indeed.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!