2010 Audi A5: Six for the Single Guy

2010 Audi A5 2-door Coupe 2.0L Auto Premium Angular Front Exterior View

 Audi's A4 didn't make it into the press fleet yet. So, Audi sent the Audi A5, which represents the less rambunctious end of its stylish A5/S5 line--an opportunity to try the chassis and interior refinements one expects in its top-of-the-line A4, which shares the same platform.

The result is a very good coupe. Its arresting, seductive looks are complemented by a go-train that dispatches 265 hp with a splendid easy manner through a six-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission with manual override shift paddles. Drive sanely and the V-6 loafs along. In top gear it spins at 1,800 rpm just north of 60 mph. Nothing unusual about that? But Audi's V-6 does this without droning and it never fusses. Variable valve timing and a valve lift system are credited for widening the V-6's motoring bandwidth. And despite the modest output this sled scoots to 60 in about six seconds.  Jaded gear-head guys might like Audi's two-pedal driveline.

Grab the reins. Your initial impression is that Audi's steering is too light. That, however, gives way to precise nicely weighted steering once underway. In fact, on the highway, one feels tire feedback. You can detect pavement textures like Braille through the telepathic steering wheel that becomes Haagen-Dazs stiff at triple-digit speeds.

Snaking through back roads is exceptionally deft. Body roll is suppressed. This invites you to explore this car's limits, which arrive as front drift accompanied by the stability control clamping the appropriate brake. All wheel drive is available.

Audi's exhaust-pipe burble will legally intoxicate your senses in a way that Michael Phelps' Olympic-sized bong cannot. It soothingly melts your ears. Like the Kellogg mascot says, it's "GREAT!"

My 15,000-mile tester, however, spoiled the plush, sports coupe fun due to a rattling sunroof shade retractor. And the metallic-finish start button's coating was flaky. The subwoofer buzzed and the center armrest operated with the finesse of a sledgehammer.

Audi's controls are complicated but consistent. For example, knobs are flanked by four buttons. Push one and you can twirl seat heat, feet heat or fan speed as desired. One neat trick is the self-retracting front headrests. They improve rear-seat egress.

Luxury sports coupes aren't known for fuel economy. The A5, which prefers premium, is EPA-rated 18 mpg city and 27 highway. My average was high: 25.

Price: $42,000. Add the Aruba Blue Pearl Effect paint, Premium and Technology Packages and the car tops out at a $48,000.

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