Latest update: Audi A5 Coupe long-term test
30 March 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
|P11D price £36,425|
|As tested £39,805|
|Official consumption 67.3mpg|
|Our average consumption 52.4mpg|
3rd report - They're different. I promise!
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Audi A5 Coupe. We only had the keys for a month, but during that time the car continually impressed with its stylish kerb appeal, luxurious interior and polished road manners.
For fleets it ticks many boxes, especially when paired with the 190hp 2.0-litre in our test car. It offers some compelling running costs as well as CO2 emissions of 111g/km, which helps keep BIK tax bills nicely in check.
During our test we've been pretty satisfied with the fuel economy, an average of just over 52mpg is a solid performance over the month's loan and, although I spend a great deal of time on the motorway, even on shorter trips around town there wasn't too much of a drop off.
There is, however, one aspect of the Coupe that could prevent fleets from considering the car and that's the absence of rear doors. Coupes are not known for their practical credentials and even though the A5 has a capacious boot, measuring 465 litres and plenty of interior space throughout (except headroom in the rear for adults), the absence of two more doors, however, make it a much less practical choice as a family car.
Enter the five-door Sportback.
Audi has swapped our Coupe for its more practical sibling and, although they look similar - the same Ibis White paintwork doesn't help - there are more differences between them than those extra doors.
For starters, our Sportback model comes in S Line trim which, over our Sport trim Coupe, gets standard, larger 18-inch alloy wheels, sharper exterior body styling, a firmer sports suspension, LED headlights and a sports steering wheel. The Sportback also offers 15 litres more room in the boot and is ever so slightly taller and longer than the Coupe.
Under the bonnet of our test car is the same 2.0-litre TDI diesel - however, CO2 emissions fall two grammes to 109g/km. The S Line suspension is also lowered by 20mm over Sport cars, which aims to make the model feel sportier and more engaging behind the wheel - we're looking forward to putting this to the test over the coming months.
So, we bid a fond farewell to the Coupe and although I'll miss those sweeping curves, I think my friends and family will be pleased to no longer have to scramble to get to the rear seats.
2nd report - Engaging sport mode
The nation's M-roads and I have become very well acquainted over recent weeks, and although great (most of the time) for getting from A to B quickly, journeys can be boring at times to say the least.
It's lucky I've spent most of that time behind the wheel of our long-term A5 Coupe, which has proved more than up to the task. Under the bonnet the 190hp 2.0-litre diesel is quiet and smooth, while wind and road noise in the cabin are both well suppressed too. We've also become big fans of the seven-speed automatic 'S-Tronic' gearbox, which provides slick and timely gearchanges, even under hard acceleration and braking.
The suspension is a tad on the firm side as our car comes with the optional (£325) Sports Suspension. However, on the motorway this matters very little as ride quality has still proved to be excellent, verging on 'wafting' - something usually reserved for its saloon stablemates the A4 and A6.
My 118-mile commute home usually involves the M25, the M11, A14 and A1, but on a recent occasion I decided to take the 'scenic' route to get to grips with the A5 Coupe's sportier side.
Equipped as standard on our test car is the Audi Drive Select system, which allows you to choose from five different modes - efficiency, auto, comfort, dynamic and individual - and it makes tangible differences to the suspension and engine settings to suit.
So with dynamic mode suitably selected, along with S mode on the automatic gearbox, I started my journey home. Even without Audi's excellent Quattro four-wheel drive system there's plenty of grip available and the A5 Coupe is graceful and surefooted in the corners, barely loosing composure even when hard on the throttle. Because of the car's low profile, bodyroll is kept to a minimum and the 400Nm of torque provided enough pulling-power, especially in S mode which delays upchanges for more grunt, to make the odd tractor overtaker - a frequent task in Lincolnshire - a cinch.
The significant improvement in ride quality over the previous generation is felt when you tackle the first (of many) potholes, and although not quite up to German standards in precision, the even weight distribution and loss of up to 60kg on this new model means the A5 feels really agile.
The A5 Coupe neither sounds or drives like a sports car, but it can be a lot of fun when asked, and the engaging drive made my journey home a pleasure for a change. It did, however, take nearly twice as long, so it's doubtful I'll do it again in a hurry. A big shame.
First report - Curve appeal
My parents always taught me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I defy anyone to claim that this latest addition to our fleet, the Audi A5 Coupe, is anything other than a great looking car.
Those swooping curves, chiselled lines, new single-frame grille and slimline xenon lights are just some of the features that make the A5 Coupe a real head-turner. It's certainly been getting a lot of attention in the BusinessCar car park and around my village since its arrival last month.
There are a number of engine choices in the range. Here, we're driving what is sure to be one of the most popular choices, a 2.0-litre diesel with 190hp and 400Nm of torque. Paired with the engine is the firm's slick seven-speed auto gearbox, called S-Tronic, which we've already tested on numerous occasions and have always found timely and smooth.
We've only driven a few hundred miles so far, but early impressions are very good indeed. The A5 has proved comfortable and refined, with an engine that never struggles to pick up speed quickly.
Officially, the 0-62mph sprint is achieved in just 7.7 seconds, while running costs are pretty good for our test car too, with the car achieving 67.3mpg combined and emitting 111g/km of CO2, placing it in the 21% BIK tax bracket for the current year. We're averaging 50mpg so far, which seems low, but with only 1,500 miles on the clock when the car arrived and me yet to tame my right foot, I'm confident this figure will rise.
Proving that beauty is more than skin deep, the sophisticated cabin is spacious, while fit and finish overall is also excellent.
Being a three-door, it's not the most practical car around, with rather limited rear headroom and, despite the wide door openings, the back seats aren't that easy to scramble in and out of either.
However, the boot is 10 litres larger than the old car, up to 465 litres, and the rear seats can now be folded down in a 40/20/40 formation, which is very useful if you need to transport particularly large items.
Up front there's lots of space to stretch out and plenty of technology on offer as standard to make life that little bit more comfortable, including cruise control, keyless start, three-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
An Audi test car without options is like Christmas without a mince pie, and our test car has kit worth £3,200. Surprisingly, the stylish Ibis White paintwork is standard equipment, although it's proving a pain to keep clean on filthy winter roads.
Among the headline options are the upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels, which although striking, add CO2 and worsen fuel economy a tad, to 111g/km for our car versus 105g/km on the standard 17-inch, and 67.3mpg versus 70.6mpg, respectively. It's not worth the compromise in our book.
The Technology pack is the priciest option at £1,100, and it includes an upgraded sat-nav system, with a larger 8.3-inch screen, that adds touchscreen functionality to the standard rotary dial controller as well as wireless phone charging, and in-car wi-fi - well worth the investment.
So early impressions for the Audi A5 Coupe are very good indeed. It's proving a comfortable, stylish and luxurious addition to the BusinessCar fleet.