New car report; A5 door hatch.
If there's a luxury car brand that doesn't seem to be putting a foot wrong in New Zealand at present, it has to be Audi. Handling, performance and technology are equal to the very best, and for design, styling and all round desirability, it's "A" for Audi and "B" for, well.... all the others right now.
Styling for the new A5 Sportback continues the leading trend, edging Audi ahead with its sleek sloping roofline, distinctive, imposing sporty frontal treatment and well balanced design lines.
With 480 litres of cargo space with the rear seats up or 980 litres with the seats folded flat, accessible through a huge rear hatch, the A5 Sportback retains stylish good looks, and must surely be the most practical luxury car on the market today.
It's not often that we come across a car that ticks this many boxes
When the 2 door A5 first hit the streets a couple of years ago, it turned heads. The longer 4 door Sportback turns even more.
Two versions are available, a 2.0 litre TFSI, intercooled turbocharged petrol version and a 3.0 litre TDI turbo-diesel.
The 2.0 litre TFSI model is powered by a 1,984cc 4 cylinder engine producing a lively 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque. While a 2.0 litre engine may seem small for a relative hefty car, performance is impressive, hauling the 1,684kg Sportback from 0 - 100km/h in 6.6 seconds.
Running on 95 octane juice, fuel is consumed at the very reasonable rate of 7.4L/100km, and just 172g/km of C02 are emitted.
Opt for the 3.0 TDI and you'll get a 2,967cc common rail V6 diesel powerplant producing 176kW of power and a punchy 500Nm of torque. 100km/h is reached from standstill in 6.1 seconds and combined cycle fuel consumption is quoted at 6.6L/100km.
Both engines are EU5 emission compliant.
Power is delivered to the road via Audi's quattro permanent all wheel drive set-up with self locking centre differential, driven through a 7 speed S-tronic DSG transmission.
A brake recuperation system temporarily stores braking energy in the battery, and is designed to aid acceleration and save fuel.
Both models get leather interior, electric front seats, auto headlamps, rain sensing numbers, rear parking aid, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, rear parking aid, front fog lights and 18 inch alloys.
It goes without saying that the A5 Sportback gets all the expected electronic safety aids and a plethora of airbags and other safety equipment.
Setting the 3.0 TDI apart from the 2.0 TFSI are an upgraded sound system, parking aid at both ends, heated memory driver's seat, heated mirrors and i-Pod preparation.
Option list includes some clever stuff
Features aplenty on the option list include a very useful safety device which detects vehicles in your blind spot on either side. In the event that you are travelling in the centre lane on a 3 lane motorway for example, a warning light on the door mirror will illuminate if there is another vehicle travelling in the same direction to either your left or right. Simple but clever, it adds $1,500 to the retail price..
Pricing starts at $89,900 for the 2.0 TFSI to $109,900 for the 3.0 TDI.
An S Line sport package is available for both models, but they don't bonth include the same upgrades.
For the 2.0 TFSI, the S Line package includes a Sports front bumper, Sports grille and badging, rear spoiler integrated into the boot lid and S-Line door trim strips, adding $6,000 onto the base model's retail price, taking it to $95,900.
The S Line goody bag for the 3.0 TDI gets even bigger, adding 19 inch alloys and Adaptive Suspension with Drive Select, taking the retail sticker price out $8,000 over the standard car, to $117,900.
Don't try adding the suspension pack and nineteens to the 2.0 litre car though. The wheels would add $2,000 and the suspension $3,850, so by the time you've added the S Line package, you'd tip the 2.0 litre car over $100k.
Unbraked towing capacity for both models is rated at 750kg, while braked trailers of 1,900kg for the 2.0 TFSI and 2,100 for the 3.0 TDI can be pulled.
The A5 Sportback is a great looker, a comfortable family cruiser, a useful cargo hauler and has all the grunt you need.
With either of these excellent powerplants matched to one of the world's best transmissions, an A5 Sportback would be a very satisfying addition to any driveway.