2014 Audi A5, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
Review and Photos by Jeff Wilson
They say that every one year a dog lives, it’s the equivalent to seven people years. During the puppy stage, this is a good thing since Fido won’t be chewing your furniture for years on end. But at the other end, years 14 or 15 seem to come up agonizingly quick.
For cars, every single person-year must be like a dozen car years, at least as far as the manufacturers would like us to believe. Sure there are those sensible enough to keep their cars properly maintained, enjoying a very long lasting relationship, but after four or five years (48-60 car years), car makers are touting an all-new model that’s infinitely better than the now-to-be-forgotten last year’s version.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule – Mercedes peddled its R107 model SL roadster for at least 17 years – but nowadays it seems harder to keep buyers interested.
Audi has done just that with its A5 personal luxury coupe. On the market in 2008, the overall look and shape of the audacious Audi has gone relatively unchanged since. That means we first started seeing this look seven years ago (that’s like 84 car-years)!
Behold this beauty and it is easy to see why the A5 has had such lasting power. Not even Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston are aging this gracefully.
The Audi is low, wide and sleek. Its lines reveal subtle curves without being flamboyant or trendy. It’s a design – nose to tail – that endures as a sophisticated and stylish piece of rolling art. Like any good Hollywood starlet, the A5 has had some minor cosmetic surgery to keep the eyes sexy (at least two updates to the LED lighting signatures up front) and some new stylish footwear (handsome wheels have always been a part of the A5’s look). These trifling updates have ensured the design continues to be fresh and eye-catching all these years on.
Buyers who purchased an early A5 must be thrilled at the lasting power of their car’s fashion, and if a quick look through autoTRADER.ca is any indication, resale values are holding up well as a result, especially when compared to the A5’s 3 Series nemesis.
Our test car is an A5 Exclusive finished in Phantom Black Pearl (the only colour offered for this trim) and is reportedly one of only 40 for Canada. With the Black Optics package and 19-inch five-rotor alloy wheels, it still turns heads everywhere and definitely attracts the envy of neighbours.
Time waits for no man, woman or car, however, and it is often below the skin where aging can be felt if not seen. And while Audi has kept the A5 on a consistent diet and exercise regime – updating the 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder by 9 horsepower to 220 this year – it falls short of the BMW 428i’s 241 horsepower or Infiniti Q60’s 330 horsepower.