I was accused by a mate the other day of not living in the real world after rubbishing him for saying that the ‘car is dead’. Though he’s wrong about the car being ‘dead’ – he was whingeing about London traffic – he’s right that I don’t live in the real world, and my feelings for this 2.0-litre 211bhp A5 prove it.
I was in the enviable position of only ever having driven diesel A5s before, see: 2.7s and 3.0s. Glorious they are, too – fast, frugal and well suited to this gorgeous coupe. The little buzzy high-pitched 2.0-litre petrol turbo just didn’t do the business in the same way for me. If you tried it first, it might be OK.
A car that looks as industrial and Bauhaus and Jules Verne and chunky as this needs a low-revving, effortless big turbodiesel. But I don’t live in the real world, I only drive these cars and rate them. The A5 210bhp TFSI is a significant £3,000 less in base form than the 2.7 diesel: £28k plays £31k. And it’s only £26k for the 180bhp TFSI model.
But, says I, speaking from a parallel universe not in any way related to the real world, I’d think very seriously about the repayment difference every month between this car and one of the diesels. Though the petrol engine is nippy, quick to rev and by no means lacking in character, it’s just not the right character for the A5. The sound is too lightweight and buzzy, and though the ride is a bit better due to the lighter engine, it’s not enough to make up the difference.