At A Glance
Slick and sleek looks
Minor glitches with MMI
The odometer on our long-term A5 just turned over 12,000 miles. I've now probably put more miles on this car than any other outside my own personal ride. She and I have been all over the Golden State together. I've had her on all my favorite roads, and we even discovered a few new ones.
The car's novelty, visually speaking, doesn't seem to have worn off. It still gets looks wherever you take it. Initially I attributed this to the fact that it was still new to the market and that a lot of people probably weren't sure what it was exactly. Months later, that still sorta might be the case, but then again it could be that the A5 is just a flat-out gorgeous design. Mr. da'Silva knocked this one out of the park.
I've also become a fan of the LED running lights, not only on this car but across the Audi model range. Some say they've become played out, but they're dead wrong. It's become one of the most recognizable styling cues in the automotive kingdom and one that you can see coming from a mile or two away, day or night. What other car make can you instantly identify from that kind of distance? In terms of expanding brand awareness, it's huge. And whether you like 'em or you don't, it's hard to deny they attract eyeballs like so many moths. And the car becomes that much more noticeable.
So I've been doing a lot of driving, some of it pretty hard driving. Other than the one instance when I ran over a rock and blew a tire-which admittedly wasn't the car's fault-the A5 has held up like a tank. The MMI system has gone down twice under my watch where it just stopped working. But given a chance to reboot-basically shutting the car down and restarting it again-in each case it came right back up. Just a minor electronic glitch, one that hasn't turned itself into an issue, so no big deal.
My only real gripe with the car-and it isn't really a gripe with this car per se, so bear with me-is the way we specced it. Someone else was put in charge of placing the order, and I'd have done it a little differently. I'd have likely skipped the Bang & Olufsen sound system and gone for the S-line package instead for the better seats and steering wheel, the bigger 19-inch "Y-design" wheels, and the better summer tires.
But that's just me. I will admit that the B&O system is a nice diversion on long drives, especially when you've got your own tunes on playback using the iPod jack inside the glove compartment or have your favorite station tuned on the satellite radio.
Rumor has it the 3.2-liter V6 is on its way out of service. This wasn't an option when we ordered ours, but the A5 is now available with the 2.0-liter turbo engine. Were we to order this car all over again, that's the power unit we'd go for. It just makes more sense. Yeah, it's got less horsepower than the V6, but the benefits are many. First among them is the fact that a 2.0 TFSI-equipped car is cheaper, nearly five grand less than the V6 when each is specified to Audi's Premium Plus trim. According to EPA estimates, the 2.0-liter turbo is more fuel-efficient than the big-displacement 3.2. But most critically, the 2.0 TFSI has more peak torque-258 versus 243 lb-ft; it's available lower in the rpm range-1500 rpm versus 3000; and it peaks for longer, the maximum 258 lb-ft available all the way to 4200 rpm.
But as I said, I've had this car on all my favorite mountain roads and then some, and it has stood up to everything I threw at it (or threw it at). Our 12-month loan will likely be at an end before then, but here's hoping we get to spend another 12,000 miles together.