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2009 Audi A5 Long Term Update - Live Long & Prosper

Les Bidrawn
Jan 13, 2010
Photographer: Henry Z. De Kuyper

Our A5 continues to seduce drivers with its smarmy blend of substance and style. You can hear it, the moment they sit behind the wheel, a sort of half-gasp as they scan the cockpit.

"Oh yeah...this is nice"

Epcp_1002_01_o+2009_audi_a5+photo Photo 2/2   |   2009 Audi A5 Long Term Update - Live Long & Prosper

New drivers will typically just sit there taking it all in, the glow of the instruments, the contours of the steering wheel, the snugness of the seats. And after the engine's been started, a deep resonance seems to melt drivers into the vehicle itself, almost like being absorbed. It's a sensation worth remembering.

Pretty sexy, ain't it?

We've often thought the cars from Ingolstadt were crafted around the driver, like he or she was a central and integral component. It's a type of mechanical interface that almost borders on a biological connection. It's a characteristic unique to Audi cars. No one does it better.

With some 12,000 miles on our A5 it would be fair to say we've come to know the car intimately. Unlike a spouse or sibling however, the Audi exhibits none of those endearing little foibles or character flaws. It stands there day after day, a paragon of perfection, mocking you for your inherent mortality.

I realize this after tweaking its tough, synthetic rubber dash. I compare the organic-looking texture to my own skin. Ten years from now it will look exactly the same while liver spots and wrinkles begin their inevitable march across my body. The A5's muscled flanks will remain taut while mine begin to recede, its engine still capable while mine sputters.

Like most Audis, the A5 sports a superb build quality. It's the kind of car that's going to last through multiple owners, each one treating it with new car reverence. You can just tell. I like the thought of that. This A5 is beautiful now and will be for years to come.

In some ways, this A5 is something of a collector's item as it's most likely the last we will see of its six-cylinder engine architecture. In truth, we're just fine with that as the replacements are every bit as good, probably better. Either the 2-liter gas turbo, the 3-liter turbo diesel or the hotrod turbo in-line five will most likely find themselves living beneath the A5's long hood. Offering both better performance and efficiency, we'd gladly trade our V6 for any of them. And it's not like the 3.2-liter is a wanting motor. Its 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque pull it along beautifully, especially in the upper rpm range. Considering the car's 3,800 lb curb weight, that's quite good. And it's a very smooth mill too with a great voice. It's just that there are better options that will leave the A5 an even better ride.

If we could re-order this Audi we most likely would have dipped into the S-Line bin for a few sportier bits. Both the S-Line seats and steering wheel are pieces worth a year of nothing but PBJ sandwiches. As it stands, the A5 can handily out-handle the seat bolstering and leave the driver sliding to and fro. And the S-Line steering wheel. Fhugettaboutit. Its awesomeness has yet to be charted.

We did have a few weird moments, something akin to computer glitches. Every few months the nav screen will wig out leaving it useless. Once the car is restarted it's back to normal. The same sort of thing happened with our former longterm Q7. One morning its suspension dropped to the axles, leaving it undrivable. A quick restart and it was fine. Chances are both of these issues were resolved on the next scheduled service.

And speaking of service, Audis tend to be somewhat more expensive to maintain than the average car. Our first major scheduled service will run $800 while issue like a standard brake job costs upwards of $1,200. Compared to BMW's free scheduled maintenance that's a bitter pill to swallow.

It's been said "you get what you pay for". In regards to the A5 it means a sexy, luxurious and technically proficient ride. You could say it's worth every penny.

At a glance Plus +
Outstanding nav inerface, timeless design

Minus -
Rear seats somewhat smallish

Total mileage:

Fuel Ecomnomy:
18-22 mpg

By Les Bidrawn
242 Articles



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