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Audi A5: At last a Coupé you can live with

If you want a car that's sleek, economical, sophisticated and arrives with a definite badge appeal, the Audi A5 is well worth considering.

The A5 is one of those cars you see on the motorway and think, "That looks great, but is it practical?"

Well, the answer is, yes, it does look great, and, yes, it is practical.

Okay, it is a coupe, so the rear seats might not be great at accommodating a brace of six-footers.

But for those owners who don't regularly need to seat tall people in the rear - which is most - then that's not really an issue.

That said, the sloping roofline of the latest model is lower than before, so it looks even better but has a smidgeon less headroom.

There's a real sense of presence on the road, as if it's a motor that means serious business.

The car - it's based on the Audi A4 saloon - first appeared in 2007, and was an immediate hit.

It was the subject of a well-executed facelift in 2011, and a further refresh in 2013.

Late in 2016, the completely redesigned and much-anticipated second generation arrived, based on Volkswagen's MLB Platform. This built solidly on the car's reputation, bringing it right up to date in terms of technology and, importantly, efficiency.

The trim levels are familiar to Audi owners. As standard, SE and Sport models come with 17-inch alloys. Sportier S Line models are adorned with 18-inch versions.

Standard SE kit includes the Audi Smartphone Interface connection with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and the front and rear Audi Parking System Plus, Audi pre-sense City braking and the Audi connect Safety and Service package.

Sport models have more including an LED interior lighting pack, electrically adjustable leather sports seats with four-way lumbar support.

S line models include sport suspension, LED front and rear lights with dynamic rear indicators and front sports seats upholstered in leather/Alcantara.

Overall, the cabin has been subjected to a tasteful remake that fuses tradition and technology in a driver-friendly way.

Three petrol and two diesel engines are offered for now. The petrols are a 2.0 litre TFSI with either 190 PS or 252 PS, plus a V6.

The diesel powerplants are 2.0 TDI and 3.0 TDI. There are six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic gearboxes available.

There's also a bucket-seated S5 model with a turbocharged 3.0 litre engine mated to an 8-speed automatic box.

There is, of course, a shed-load of technology inside, including Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument panel.

Despite the sloping roofline (common to all coupes), there is plenty of space, with bags of storage areas dotted around the cabin.

Boot space is decent at 464 litres, and there's a handy 40:20:40 split system for the rear seating that opens up a reasonably cavernous load area. It's obviously no estate, but for day-to-day use is perfectly fine.

You'll pay from £30,700 for an entry-level car, rising to £41,375 for the 3.0-litre quattro diesel.

The range-topping S5 is in a league of its own, starting at £47,000. For your money, of course, you are rewarded with a huge amount of goodies including a set of lovely quad oval tailpipes.

There are also partly-polished 19-inch alloys, S sport suspension and specially tuned brakes.

The S5 cabin boasts Nappa leather sports seats, special sat-nav and a three-year subscription to the Audi connect suite.

All in, if you're in the market for a slick and impressive coupe, the A5 may well be the car for you.

Belfast Telegraph

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