“Shhhh…he can hear what we’re saying!” whispered my two back seat passengers. I sure could…the Audi A5 Coupé was so quiet.
I even nearly pinched myself to check out that Audi hadn’t delivered an e-Tron A5 for the week’s test (there isn’t one!). But, no, this was indeed the ‘ordinary’ A5 Coupe, as requested.
Setting off gently for the first time, I did find the car extraordinarily quiet. After a while, I reckoned that this was an impression, having previously been in my own old and relatively noisy family hack.
Nonetheless, among the A5’s many admirable qualities is its calm ambience at any speed. Sure, when revved hard, the usual combination of engine and exhaust noise, along with some road noise through the tyres, becomes apparent. Nothing wrong with that — electric cars are hardly, if at all, quieter at motorway speeds.
The A5 is yet another Audi that provides its driver with plenty of feel-good factor.
Before you even get into it, you’re presented with a handsome coupé that came in Audi’s Floret Silver metallic (£675 option) in the case of the test car.
The front seats empathised in their black and Titanium-grey leather.
Above the passengers was the £1400 optional panoramic sunroof that looks cool: but do we need them? They are perhaps unnecessarily heavy items.
As ever, the cabin is a master-class in design and comfort…but, before getting carried away by this, you can apply the same comment to several other marques, so perhaps it comes down to a matter of personal taste.
Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to be in charge of the A5, with the hand controls feeling nicely tactile and firm.
The instrumentation continues Audi’s own digital tradition of offering different types of display, allowing easy access to information about the particular journey you’re on, past performance and so on. Of course, the same is now offered by the many car manufacturers, but this in no way diminishes Audi’s ‘Vorsprung’ contribution; in fact, it’s a compliment to Audi.
Those back-seat passengers: the A5 being a coupé, access to the rear requires a little agility, even though the doors do open quite wide; getting back out, however, requires a bit of planning as to what to get hold of in order to lever yourself away from your seat, before twisting about and wondering where to put your feet on the terra firma outside.
That’s coupés for you, not just the A5!
In general, if its manners can judge a car, this Audi is a real gentleman or lady; edging along in city traffic, it’s “just relax.” On the open road, it’s “OK, what do you want…some fun? Well let’s go then!” and it easily can. Our 2-litre 150 PS model may not be hugely rapid (0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds through the smooth 7-speed S tropic auto box), but A to B on quiet roads is one place where you can get your money’s worth. Secure handling, smoothly powerful braking…they’re a given, these days, in pretty much every new car built, but still extremely important.
And the motorway? So-o-o-o smooth; dare I say it? It made me feel a touch superior…
Other snippets: air-con — pretty much faultless. Night instrumentation and vision — smart and precise. Voice control — yippee…the A5 understood what I wanted! Economy — around 450 miles all-told this week, about half of which were on relatively quiet motorways, ended with an indicated 49.5 mpg; I’d hoped for the magic 50 mpg, but last-minute traffic scotched that. But that’s a more than handy figure and could compute to a range of more than double any electric car…yeah, OK, petrol costs more than electricity.
The test A5 included the options mentioned along with Audi’s Comfort and Sound pack at £1395, storage pack at £150 and the particular alloys fitted at £150.
All the ‘prestige’ marques closely study their rivals’ prices, meaning that this Audi A5 Coupé is competitively priced at £42,830.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
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