Having put the car on display two weeks ago, Audi has introduced the facelifted A5 Sportback in Malaysia. The refreshed five-door fastback replaces its late-arriving predecessor, which was only introduced last year. It also brings with it a new entry-level variant.
Prices have gone up despite the arrival of the base model, the 2.0 TFSI, which retails at RM350,900 on-the-road without insurance. That’s RM11,000 more than what the previous car costed – and that was with quattro all-wheel drive. The version with quattro is now priced at RM377,900. Included is a 50% reduction in sales and service tax (SST) plus a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
As we’ve reported previously, the engine is the familiar EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder. In the base model, it makes 190 PS from 4,200 to 6,000 rpm and 320 Nm of torque between 1,450 and 4,200 rpm. It gets from zero to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 241 km/h.
On the quattro model, those figures are bumped up to 249 PS from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 370 Nm between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm, which is very slightly down on power compared to the outgoing model. The zero-to-100 km/h sprint time is cut down to 6.0 seconds and the car will max out at 250 km/h.
Both models get a seven-speed S tronic wet dual-clutch transmission, as well as a 12-volt mild hybrid system. The latter allows the car to coast with the engine off and operate the start-stop system when decelerating from 22 km/h.
The refreshed A5 wears Ingolstadt’s latest design language and bears a number of subtle changes to the handsome styling. At the front are a flatter Singleframe grille and a redesigned bumper with a full-width air intake design, along with matrix LED headlights with darkened internals, sequential indicators and segmented daytime running lights.
The svelte side profile sees few changes, with sharper side skirts being the only discernible tweaks. The rear end sports new tail lights with a similar segmented design as the front DRLs, as well as a redesigned rear bumper with a black diffuser-like insert and integrated trapezoidal exhaust outlets.
As standard, the 2.0 TFSI gets 18-inch five-split-spoke alloy wheels, while the quattro model receives 19-inch multi-spoke two-tone alloys. The quattro also comes in advanced spec, meaning that it comes with a full-width chrome frame for the front air intakes, as well as a chrome strip on the rear bumper.
Inside, Audi has taken great care not to mess with a stylish, well-built cabin. The steering wheel gets a new design with an airbag boss that mimics the shape of the grille, while a larger 10.1-inch centre display sits proud of the dashboard. The latter is now a touchscreen, so the old rotary dial has been jettisoned in favour of a small storage compartment aft of the cupholders.
Taking advantage of the new display is the latest version of the Multi Media Interface (MMI), with a more minimalist design, smartphone-like multi-touch gestures and a new voice control system that recognises natural language. Both variants come with MMI navigation plus, which also bundles in the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit instrument display.
Standard equipment includes keyless entry, push-button start, triple-zone climate control, power-adjustable sports seats with driver’s side memory, faux and real leather upholstery, a ten-speaker, 180-watt sound system, a reverse camera and a hands-free powered tailgate. Sports suspension comes as standard across the board, with passive dampers – no adaptive dampers this time.
Safety-wise, the A5 Sportback is fitted with lane keeping assist but, somewhat glaringly, doesn’t come with autonomous emergency braking. This is unacceptable at this price range, especially now that even BMW is offering the system on the 330i.
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