Audi A5 Coupé review

Audi A5 Coupé
The Audi A5 Coupé is a beautiful car, both inside and out.

The signature design element of the body is the wave-shaped shoulder line which starts at the nose and flows along below the windows through to and over the broad hips to a small lip on the rear. The nose has just the right dimensions. Aggressive, but not brutal. The rear is curvy, yet simple and elegant. With a drag coefficient of 0.25, the A5 Coupé is also the segment leader with respect to aerodynamics. It looks the part. This car drew people to look at it appreciatingly.

Audi says: “The new generation of the A5 Coupé is athletic, sporty and elegant, while its design goes hand-in-hand with sophisticated aerodynamics. Under the skin the Audi A5 impresses with an all-new chassis, powerful engines, and innovative infotainment features and driver assistance systems.” That about sums it up.
The interior is… well, a cockpit. As you get to spend time in it, you appreciate the materials, the layout, the dimensions. It is a very satisfying place to spend time at the wheel, whether just going to the mall, or pushing over a mountain pass at a good pace. The A5 easily transforms from luxury conveyance to sporty car at a press of the “Dynamic” button. On a mountain pass with the sport mode selected this car is a load of fun.
Our test car was equipped with the optional Audi virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT display which is highly adjustable to suit the driver’s needs. This is the future of instrumentation for cars.

Audi A5 cabin

Audi is a world leader in car cabin design. In the A5 the interior is exciting and relaxing at the same time. I loved the little details. As with all coupés the doors are a little long, so there is an arm that extends forward and holds your seatbelt for you. Pretty cool hey? Subtle lighting brings up the ambient light in the cabin at night just enough to see what you need to without distracting you.

The comfortable and supportive front seats are electronically adjustable and have two memory settings (extra cost item). Leg room at the back is acceptable, but not for very tall passengers. The boot is large. As a result the car is both a good family car, bearing in mind the two large doors, and an exciting sporty car.

In 2007 Audi introduced the A5 to the world. This year the second generation of A5 and S5 based on the B9 platform which it shares with the A4 is being introduced. The 5 comes as a coupé, sportback and convertible, and with a choice of three engines: two TFSI and one TDI unit. Their power output has been increased and is now between 140 kW and 185 kW. The sportback and coupé are on our roads already but the Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet will only be available later this month.
The TDI we drove has a four-cylinder 2.0 TDI producing 140 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque with a claimed consumption of 4.1 L/ 100 km. We got 5.9L/100km, which is still very good.

Audi A5

These cars have all the driving safety aids, whether passive or active, of a top class car. Fortunately there is a comfortable setting for normal driving, as well as the eco and dynamic settings, which results in a smooth restful ride. If you are feeling a little restless you just select “Dynamic”. It also has an auto mode which switches between the modes as well as a personal setting which allows you to choose how it will behave.

The car we tested was the Audi A5 Coupé 2.0 TDI 140 kW Stronic Sport at a base price of R 653,000 excluding extras, which in this case included S-line trim, panoramic sunroof, Navigation with MMI, parking plus, rearview camera, three-zone aircon and special Mythos Blue paint.

The range starts with the A5 Coupé 2.0T FSI 140 kW S tronic at R 589,000. The top model is the S5 Coupé 3.0T FSI 260 kW quattro S tronic at R 928,000. The top Audi S5 Cabriolet 3.0T FSI quattrotiptronic comes in at R 1,028,000. The base A5 Cabriolet 2.0T FSI S tronic is R 689,000 without extras.

To these prices you need to add quite a few thousands to pay for the ‘optional’ equipment.

The cars all have a 5 year/100 000km Audi Freeway Plan and a one year unlimited warranty.

BMW X5 xDrive 40d review

BMW X5 4.0BMW X5 xDrive 40d

Classy, cool, collected… that sums up the X5, BMW’s mid-size SUV.

We tested the 40d, which is actually a 3.0 litre but with not one, but two turbos. We were quite blown away! Actually its total overkill, but what the hell, if  you’ve got it spend it and watch the other guy in your dust.

The X5 is not a Jeep or Land Cruiser wannabe. Its more at home on roads, tar or gravel. It functions like a performance car on tar and rally car on gravel. Amazing road holding and handling.

BMW X5 4.0d

BMW X5 xDrive 40d

Fast. What is fast? This car goes like the wind. Fuel consumption is even something to smile about. Astoundingly good compared to SUV’s of only a few years ago. Expect under 8 litres/100km unless you go racing.

BMW-X5-4d-Ongegund-002I liked the interior and found the seats to be very comfortable and supportive. This is like  a little luxury limo. You are cosseted in safety, comfort and relative quiet. Nothing to complain about. Even the fiddly multimedia control paddle has been improved.

A first for me was the 3D park sensors. A combination of sonars and four cameras create a 3D image of the car and its surroundings. This is the best parking aid I have used. Works like a charm.

The BMW X5 is a vey good SUV. It is not an off-roader. Think of it more as a sport station wagon.

Also look at the Audi Q5, Lexus , Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes ML, Mitsubishi Pajero, VW Tuareg and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

X5-4-Elim-Onrus-262List price for the basic model is R986 000. The car as tested had the following extras: aluminium running boards (R5 400), tow hitch (R9 900), surround view (R9 600), lumber support (R4 500), active cruise control (R17 900), comfort access (R10 800), hud (R14 700), B&O sound system (R32 000), rear seat dvd (29 100). That’s pretty much R120 000 for the extras.

To me it is a lot of money for a car, but then it is a lot of car for the money. Get the 3.0d.

You get a five year / 100 000km maintenance contract and BMW on call support.

 

VW Jetta 1.6 TDi review

VW Jetta 1.6 TDi

Volkswagen have been building small family cars for a long time, and it shows. They know how. The ‘new’ Jetta is very very competent.

It’s got a fairly roomy, comfortable and well thought out interior, it’s got a huge boot, it’s got good road manners, acceleration and speed, it’s got frugal engines, it’s got style,it’s got god build quality, in short it’s got what it takes.

In my opinion Volkswagen group car interiors are top flight. Some may say a little sombre, but I like them. The Jetta cabin is to my mind just right. It is a little plastic especially at the back, but up front it’s pretty good. You feel good sitting in the Jetta.

The 1.6 DTi engine is a little noisy at times, but it delivers very good power, torque, economy and all round performance.

Styling

The new Jetta looks good. It is no longer a Golf with a boot tacked on, but a car in its own right. It has a classy interior and smart flowing lines.

Good points

The Jetta’s biggest selling points must be its huge boot and classy interior.

Roadholding and handling are on a par with the best of its competition which includes Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze. It is a pleasure to drive.

As is tradition with a Jetta, the boot is enormous for this size car. The overall impression is of quality.

Bad points

A little on the expensive side for what you get. Seems a little tighter or smaller than its peers. Needs kitting out with optional extras which quickly adds to the price.

Summary

VW offer 7 Jettas. From the 1.2TSI  Trendline at R222 000 to the 2.0 TDi Highline at R297 200. We tested the 1.6 TDi Comfortline DSG at R274 000.