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TAKE 5

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Aug 10, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

By Harold Osmer Yes. Buy one. I suppose now you'll want to know why. The Audi A5 is a terrific car. The looks are just this side of aggressive with an artistic blending of lines and curves that certainly appeals to the eye. My neighborhood is home to many high-end imports and I thought this car would blend right in. No way. The Audi A5 stood out so far as to attract conversation at traffic lights. Is the neighborhood that sharp or is the car that good? A bit of the first, and a lot of the latter.

Audi's aluminum block 3.2L V6 produces a smooth 265 hp @ 6500 rpm and a very useable 243 lb-ft of torque @ 3250 rpm. With dual overhead cams, two-stage intake manifold and the Audi Valvelift System, the engine wizardry seems endless. That's all fine and dandy, but the real trick is how the A5 drives. Our test vehicle had the optional Audi drive select system ($2950) which enables a driver to switch between car response modes with the touch of a button. Positions are Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic. A dash selector makes the change simple. Change occurs inside of a few seconds. It works like a charm. We used Auto most often. For the more particular, the same drive selections can be accessed through the menu driven control panel. This panel further enables a driver to independently separate the engine, steering, and suspension settings to Comfort, Auto, or Dynamic modes. We predictably found the Dynamic mode to provide ultimate vehicle response and handling.

Audi's 6-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission shifted smooth and accurate every time when in automatic. Slipping into Tiptronic® mode gave us more control. The console mounted shifter was perfectly placed for rapid shifts during our twisty-road testing. Our A5 produced decent engine braking in both auto and Tiptronic® modes. Interior appointments on the A5 are impeccable. Our cinnamon brown leather seats matched well with the black, silver, and wood touches inside the car. All controls were where you expected them to be. Yes it sounds basic, but it's surprising (and sad) how many manufacturers miss this point. Audi's switches had positive feel, both front windows had full-up and -down features, and the heated seats were adjustable enough to accommodate a wide variety of body sizes.

The A5 is a two-door coupe. As such, the rear seat is tight for full sized adults on long excursions. But at least you can fit them in for short jaunts around town. The rear seats fold down to give a large carrying capacity for extended trips. An optional Technology Package enables users to operate cell phones, iPods, and other devices with the onboard control systems. This feature was offered on higher end Audis in recent years and is a welcome addition to the A5. Audi claims 0-60 times at 5.8 seconds. OK. We didn't actively verify their findings, but are inclined to believe them. Braking is superb. With vented disks at 12.6-inch on front and 11.8 on the rear, the A5 encourages you to check your mirror before hitting the brakes too hard. Bitchin' styling, solid performance, controls where they should be...doing what they should. The Audi A5. Yes. Buy one.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT You'll want to take this stunning beauty home for keeps. For more information about Audi products, go to www.audiusa.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2009 Audi A5 3.2 auto quattro Price: Base $42,000, as tested: $55,480 options include: Quartz gray metallic paint($475); Audi Drive Select ($2,950); Audi Navigation System ($2,390); Technology Package ($1,800) EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 17/26 miles per gallon Engine type: 3.2L V6, DOHC, Audi Valvelift System two-stage variable intake valve lift Horsepower: 265 @ 6500 rpm Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm Curb Weight: 3913 pounds w/automatic Drive configuration: Full-time All Wheel Drive Self-locking center differential with asymmetric torque 40F/60R Transmission type: 6-speed Tiptronic® automatic Suspension: Front: 5-link with upper and lower wishbones Rear: Trapezoidal independent link w/anti-dive compensation Wheels and tires: 19-inch Alloy wheels Summer Performance Tires Brakes: 4-wheel vented discs with ABS Front Power 12.6-inch, Rear Power 11.8-inch Overall length/wheelbase: 182.1 inches/108 inches Overall width: 78 inches Overall height: 54 inches Warranty: 4yr/50,000mile Bumper to Bumper; 4yr Roadside Assistance (3rd party)

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