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Audi's 2014 A5 quattro coupe offers luxurious yet sporty accommodations

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If there’s one carmaker that gives BMW fits, it’s Audi with their shapely line of crossovers, sedans and coupes, particularly the A5/S5/SR 5 models.

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For this review we had the privilege of checking out the mild A5 2.0T Coupe quattro, a handsome, slick looking two-door that holds an allure among those who want to make a statement. After all, coupes have always offered a certain amount of sexiness for both genders of folks. It’s also offered in a Cabriolet (convertible) model.

Of particular attraction are the ice blue LED lights that encircle the front headlamps. Audi started this trend a few years back and it’s now being copied by mostly all carmakers. These LEDs quickly grab the eyes of oncoming motorists.

The A5 quattro’s glamour follows through to the interior, which is extremely eye-catching and supportive Alcantara leather sport seats with sexy perforated suede inserts. The base models come with Premium trim level but can be upgraded to Prestige and Premium Plus package that was on my tester.

A shallow dash offers excellent road visibility and low profile rear headrests allow an uncluttered rear view despite the pinched roofline.

The test car came with the upgraded S-line package that adds an embroidered emblem onto the headrests of the seats plus Piano black inserts, robust flat bottom steering wheel, aluminum optic pedals, heated front seats and four way lumbar support.

The comfy seats compliment the entire dash, console and vertical stack. A small mouse controls certain audio and GPS nav functions while HVAC controls are simple and easy to operate.

The back seats are comfy but there’s scant legroom especially if the front seats are racked well rearward. Ingress/egress is a squeeze as it is on most coupes.

As for the powertrain, the test car came standard with an upgraded from last year 220-hp, 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 258 lb/ft of torque. This raspy engine coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission gets EPA mileage estimates of 22 city, 32-highway mpg. Audi claims this combination produces a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds while the optional 8-speed Tiptronic automatic trans can do it in 6.1 seconds.

If this engine is too calm for your tastes, opt for the supercharged 6-cylinder S5 version with 333-hp or better yet, the RS 5 8-cylinder that puts out a hot 450-hp and has compression ratio of 12.5:1.

The base 4-banger builds revs quickly and was lively with a linear power curve. It was no slouch by any means. And the 6-speed manual trans shifted smoothly while the clutch had medium pressure.

Ride and handling were typical Audi meaning a crisp road feel, tenacious traction with the quattro option that works in concert with a sporty suspension for superb handling. The A5 can be tossed through the turns while remaining poised throughout.

Now comes the depressing point; price. Why must all good cars cost so much? The A5 quattro started out nicely equipped at $39,000 but quickly escalated to $51,345 with delivery. Why?

Well the S line competition package adds $4,300, the Premium Plus another $3,100 and Audi’s MMI nav plus package that includes Audi parking system with rearview camera and Audi Connect with online services are obviously pricey options.

This is a premium price for a premium luxury car, but comparable to BMW 3 and 4 Series coupes. But rest assured, the A5 rides considerably better than the 3 Series even with the sporty S line suspension.

To check out an A5 of your choice, stop by Knopf Automotive on Lehigh Street in Allentown.

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