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Twelfth Monkey

A5 TDi auto

Not loads to say, courtesy car as mine is in for f&r pads and suspension bushing.  A handsome thing, to my eyes at least:







In terms of driving, it's resolutely unexceptional.  The ride is actually pretty good, but I think that's probably down to it having smaller wheels than is the norm.  There's something about the ride which I can't put my finger on, but which suggests adding an inch or two to the wheels would have a marked effect.  

It leans a little more than I am used to, but that's probably to be expected.  The steering suggests to me that Audi is making progress in this area, but not rapidly.  There's less slack than I've typically noticed, and little weight or feel at lower speeds.  There's a high speed slip road that I use where the increased weight is apparent, as well as a feeling of what the car was doing, but there's an underlying 'springiness' that I wasn't especially keen on.

I find the interiors rather busy places in comparison with how they used to be, and whilst the uppermost sections are finished in suitable materials, the further down you feel, the less distinguished the sense of perceived quality.   Overall, there's just too much going on for my taste:



Not a lot of room in the back, and I'm resolutely of average height:



A pity it doesn't drive as it looks.
Twelfth Monkey

Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!
Humphrey The Pug

There is so little out there that wows me anymore or gets me excited, I bet that is knocking on the door of £40k; I look at it and think "meh", like so many cars out there now.

I suppose as a contract hire or PCP, proposition it works but spunking almost 40 large in one go just seems to me to be madness.
PhilD

That rear armrest is very rectangular.
JohnC

I reckon that for 90% of the driving public for 90% of the time, the A5 would meet all their criteria comfortably.

I find my wife's car to be quiet, comfortable and of good quality. I have said previously that the steering lacks feel but it feels pretty poised in the bends and copes with most of the surface imperfections that are thrown at it mid corner (certainly much better than my old E92 on runflats). Perhaps the Quattro makes a difference to the way the car feels dynamically but I have been pleasantly surprised.

I agree that it isn't enormous in the back but it is about as good as anything else in the mid sized coupe sector and I find enough space in the back as long as I don't have a 6 footer in the front.

For my wife who wants 4WD, 4 seats and a cabriolet, there is little choice: it's either an A5 or a rarer than hens teeth 435D Cabrio. No one else does them as far as I am aware, at an affordable price. I am sure there would be a Bentley or something which would fit the bill but not the pocket.

As I see it, it is a thoroughly good car, if not exceptional, that is pretty well screwed together, looks good and does virtually everything asked of it very well.
Twelfth Monkey

Time for a rant-ette.  After a few years of being good with servicing etc, I'm not pleased at the moment.

Supposed to be ready for half three, hadn't heard anything at 320 so I rang them.  When the chap rang back, he told me that the bushes had either been damaged already or had got damaged in unpacking them, upshot of which is that they've had to scrabble around and will have some more tomorrow, so I'm stuck as I am for another 24 hours.  I have a reasonable journey to make tomorrow and was looking forward to it - now I am not.

Now - these things happen, and it might be that the parts are harder to obtain as they may not be standard, but what bugs me is that they clearly knew a while before letting me know, or they were a good way behind schedule.  In either case, I expect to be called, not have to call to find out.

First World problem, I know...
PhilD

It's very grey.
Twelfth Monkey

I generally like that sort of colour (my A3 was grey), but if it were mine, I think it'd be in something a little more distinctive.

Oh, forgot - I knew someone who had an A5 S-Line 3.0 TDi Quattro running on what I think were 20" wheels.  That rode absolutely terribly.  Thinking about it though, this is still an S-Line and the wheels are 18"-ers (I'd have guessed at 17, but looked when I garaged it), so maybe there's been underlying progress with the model's ride.
Martin

It looks very smart on the outside, the colour and wheels suit it, but the interior is very dated and I've never really liked the layout.

Pretty poor service, they definitely should have called you as soon as they knew they weren't going to get it done today.
JohnC

As long as the service isn't like the local BMW dealer I used to frequent who wanted the loan car back even though they hadn't got all the parts and hadn't finished my car. Cue inconvenience and public transport and a determination never to cross their door again!
simonp

JohnC wrote:
For my wife who wants 4WD, 4 seats and a cabriolet, there is little choice


JohnC

I knew someone would come up with something! I rather like it actually although how well it would convert into a vehicle for the long winter months is questionable unless you wear several layers of heavy clothing.
Martin

Evoque Convertible.  You just know the sort of person who is going to buy one though.

Bob Sacamano

Martin wrote:
It looks very smart on the outside, the colour and wheels suit it, but the interior is very dated and I've never really liked the layout.

Pretty poor service, they definitely should have called you as soon as they knew they weren't going to get it done today.


I think that's the previous model A6's dash.
gooner

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!


Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull in that colour. I really don't see the appeal of grey cars. I'm just glad you didn't fall asleep driving it.
Boxer6

gooner wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!


Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull in that colour. I really don't see the appeal of grey cars. I'm just glad you didn't fall asleep driving it.


Hoy!!      
Frank Bullitt

You should ring and thank them for reducing the cost of replacing the bushes as they must only want to charge you for ten minutes labour on that account - just poor service.

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
 Thinking about it though, this is still an S-Line and the wheels are 18"-ers (I'd have guessed at 17, but looked when I garaged it), so maybe there's been underlying progress with the model's ride.


I've driven a few A4 S-Lines since they facelifted the car in 2012 (I think it was 2012...) and they have definitely sorted the ride comfort out, much better damped and controlled and I'd go as far as to say it's 'good', the steering is still a bit anodyne but dynamically they are much better than earlier cars and I assume the same is true of the A5.

It's easy to see why people like them, especially in automatic form; they are hugely discounted to with replacements for the A4/5 imminent - 25%+ seems to be possible.
PG

gooner wrote:
Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull.....


And doesn't that just about sum up s many cars these days? Which is a crying shame.
Martin

Boxer6 wrote:
gooner wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!


Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull in that colour. I really don't see the appeal of grey cars. I'm just glad you didn't fall asleep driving it.


Hoy!!      


+1  
gooner

Boxer6 wrote:
gooner wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!


Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull in that colour. I really don't see the appeal of grey cars. I'm just glad you didn't fall asleep driving it.


Hoy!!      


I know a lot of people like them but for me I always like my cars to be a colour not a hue. Given how many grey/silver cars there are on the road I'm perfectly happy to accept I'm in the minority on this one!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

gooner wrote:

I know a lot of people like them but for me I always like my cars to be a colour not a hue. Given how many grey/silver cars there are on the road I'm perfectly happy to accept I'm in the minority on this one!

Yes but car manufacturers don't offer us a great choice at the moment.
Renault discontinued the fantastic yellow colour for the Scenic, Ford ditto the yellow/gold for the C-Max which comes in a very small range of colours and most other mainstream manufacturers are the same, based on my extensive research over the past 10 months whilst looking for the Galaxy replacement. It's nearly all grey, black, white, blue and the occasional bright red.


Humphrey The Pug wrote:
There is so little out there that wows me anymore or gets me excited, I bet that is knocking on the door of £40k; I look at it and think "meh", like so many cars out there now.

Me too
Alf McQueef

Martin wrote:
Evoque Convertible.  You just know the sort of person who is going to buy one though.



The same sort of knob that buys the current one then? I was walking across the entrance to a small car park with Lu on Sauturday when a black Evoque came literally squealing around the corner into the car park, narrowly missed us with no reduction in pace, and deliberately went the wrong way around the one way to avoid having to walk an additional 10 yards. Young bloke in a suit, but with a totally knobbish air that said "Estate Agent" as loudly as possible.

Seemed pretty typical to me!
Frank Bullitt

gooner wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Looks like you're all as thrilled by it as I am. 34 views and not a single word prompted - must be a record!


Not sure what else there is to say. It's an Audi diesel. Looks ok but pretty dull in that colour. I really don't see the appeal of grey cars. I'm just glad you didn't fall asleep driving it.


Grey can compliment a cars shape, and of course there are different versions of 'grey' BMW and Audi alone can probably come up with a hundred of them. Vauxhall do a lovely colour that is grey but in direct sunlight almost goes 'bronze'
Martin

Space grey is lovely in the sun, it has a nice 'sparkle' and makes the overall design more interesting as it highlights all the shapes/creases etc.  It doesn't stay looking clean as long as silver, but it's a lot better than my usual dark blue.
Twelfth Monkey

Well, it's gone.  When I drove it to a meeting and then to the dealership, I thought 'a little harsh, maybe - it's not a bad car.'   I suspect John's right in that it does more than 90% of what the vast majority of people would want perfectly adequately, as well as being a nice object in itself.

The stop/start worked very well, I thought.  Eager to cut out, but the slightest thing brought it back to life, which made it very easy to trust.  Sat at lights I knew weren't going to hold for long so I kept my foot on the brake (OK, there was a chimp in a pickup who I wanted to be ahead of when the road narrowed to one lane after 100-odd yards), and reducing pressure on the brake pedal by what must have only been 10-15% or so and the engine was back to life in an instant.

But it's amazing how natural a manual feels after an automatic, even if this particular 8-speeder did its job well.  I know I'd acclimatise, but it's not for me.  And the Beast feels so taut, feelsome and energetic afterwards, even when pootling around in traffic.


On the plus side, the technician had concluded, after consulting the guy who runs the workshop, that the bushing doesn't need doing - and might not for another 2-3 years, which halved the bill.  They also lopped £50 off for the pads as a goodwill gesture without prompting, so I'm back to being very happy with the dealership.

Oh, and I was having a natter with him outside and asked about DRC, and apparently he can't remember the last time they saw an RS4 with problems, but the RS6 does still have the occasional problem.
Alf McQueef

Sounds like good news? Mind telling us how much the bill was? ISTR brakes are hugely expensive on The Beast!
PhilD

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Well, it's gone.


Oh, shame, I really wanted to hear much more about it...


Twelfth Monkey

PhilD wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
Well, it's gone.


Oh, shame, I really wanted to hear much more about it...




You're a bad man, you are...


Alf, nowhere near an alf, mercifully.  The big expense with brakes are the front discs, which are steep. Having a look back, the history was:

New front discs and pads at 14,900 mls, bill for £1,072 after the dealer 'generously' lopped of £100 or so.  I was told that the discs needed doing as they were scored and the lip at the edge was protruding and could start to interfere with braking.  Audi UK not interested in contributing further.

Second set at a gnat's under 40k, bill for almost £1,200.  At least 25k for the second set is better than under 15k for the first...

I've therefore added another 28k on this set.  They look similarly worn to me and the lip definitely protrudes, but no such thing as an advisory comment - either informally or at MOT.  I think it's another example of a main dealer being cautious/excessively keen to spend your money* but then changing stance after pissing a few people off unnecessarily.

Pads all around were £650.  I was expecting £1,350 including the bushing, so I think I can live with that!

(*Delete as per own degree of cynicism.)
TreVoR

£650 for pads!
Twelfth Monkey

Yes.  I did look at costs for doing these via an indy that I've used for odd bits and bobs, but the savings were small - it's almost all 'parts.'
Martin

I don't think £650 is too unreasonable for an RS4.

The pads on the 535d are wearing out much more quickly than I expected, with the rears slightly ahead of the fronts surprisingly.  According to the OBC they'll need replacing around the 28k miles mark (the 520d went to 45k on the fronts and 60k on the rears iirc), but at least it's 'only' £500 for a full set of pads.  

I think a full set for the Boxster is about £600 at the OPC, but my local specialist would replace them for £380.  They want £1050 for discs and pads, so the OPC must be in the £1400-1500 range.  Thankfully there is plenty of life left in both pads and discs.
TreVoR

I think it's a bit unreasonable when branded pads (Pagid or Bosch) front and rear are £150 at the most from ECP!
Twelfth Monkey

Goes with the territory, I suspect - and I am happier with the big jobs being main dealer, I suppose.
Bob Sacamano

I really think we're bent over and slipped a fat one by dealers when they price these relatively routine jobs like new pads and discs. There's no way the Yanks would stand for that level of price gauging.

In fact I'd wager that, even in Germany, the cost would be half that.
Twelfth Monkey

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I really think we're bent over and slipped a fat one by dealers when they price these relatively routine jobs


It certainly felt that way after the first set at 14,000 miles.  I still walk like I ride a wide horse.
JohnC

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
the lip at the edge was protruding and could start to interfere with braking.  


Typical dealer shaft you shit.

You can run round the edge of the disc with a light panel hammer and take off the excess if its existence is an irritation but unless you have worn the discs down to paper thin, there is no way the outer lip would interfere with braking.

The only gauge of a discs fitness for purpose is its thickness or if it is warped. You would need the diamond encrusted pads to wear the discs down that much in 15,000 miles although at the price, that might well have been what was fitted!
TreVoR

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I really think we're bent over and slipped a fat one by dealers when they price these relatively routine jobs like new pads and discs. There's no way the Yanks would stand for that level of price gauging.

In fact I'd wager that, even in Germany, the cost would be half that.


The more irritating thing is that a lot of the "genuine OEM parts" will be made by one of the aftermarket companies.  Pagid make the front pads for RS4s which an Audi dealer would charge £300 for but you can get the same pads aftermarket for £100 or so - the only difference they come in a Pagid box without four rings on them.

Being ripped off really pisses me off!

The Volvo dealer I took my V40 used to try it on exactly the same and it is really annoying - especially when they treat you like a fool.
Bob Sacamano

TreVoR wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I really think we're bent over and slipped a fat one by dealers when they price these relatively routine jobs like new pads and discs. There's no way the Yanks would stand for that level of price gauging.

In fact I'd wager that, even in Germany, the cost would be half that.


The more irritating thing is that a lot of the "genuine OEM parts" will be made by one of the aftermarket companies.  Pagid make the front pads for RS4s which an Audi dealer would charge £300 for but you can get the same pads aftermarket for £100 or so - the only difference they come in a Pagid box without four rings on them.

Being ripped off really pisses me off!

The Volvo dealer I took my V40 used to try it on exactly the same and it is really annoying - especially when they treat you like a fool.


It is - I remember having and argument with my Lexus dealer about their labour rate being £90 an hour, and his justification being that it was comparable with other luxury marques such as Porsche who also charged £90 an hour. I pointed out that, with respect, an IS250 wasn't a Porsche. There's no real reason why an RS4 should cost so much more to service than a boggo rep version.

Then again I have also recently complained to Premier Inn that, to no doubt pay for Lenny Henry's exorbitant fees for appearing in their adverts, they have removed the free biscuits from the tea and coffee making facilities in their rooms. To be fair they couldn't argue with that. I await a free pack of custard creams with anticipation.
Martin

There's a slight lip on the Boxsters front discs which sometime results in a very slight judder (light braking from high speed). The dealer offered to skim them, but said it wouldn't effect the performance or the pad wear so I didn't need to unless it really bothered me.

I was surprised as I expected them to suggest new discs, but maybe they just did that to take the focus away from a £430 bill for new brake fluid and spark plugs!
JohnC

Martin wrote:
There's a slight lip on the Boxsters front discs which sometime results in a very slight judder


The lip shouldn't cause the judder because the pad operates inside the lip. It is likely to be a very slight warp which skimming the faces of the discs should remove. Removing the lip is just a by-product of skimming the disc.
Martin

Ah, thanks.  I won't bother unless it gets noticeable, it hasn't happened at all over the last couple of days I've been driving it.
Bob Sacamano

I love it when they say they'll skim the discs. What they really mean is that they'll send them to a little machine shop down the road who'll do it for £20 and then they'll add a whopping margin on.
Twelfth Monkey

Bob Sacamano wrote:
There's no real reason why an RS4 should cost so much more to service than a boggo rep version.


It might be one of the reasons why I'm philosophical, but the servicing itself generally doesn't.  (That said, I'm not sure you're being quite fair on them there - there's a good bit more oil (which we all know dealers do shaft you on - but a bigger engine means more oil), eight plugs, 4wd brings with it additional items which require attention periodically, DRC etc), but for a V8 that revs, the servicing costs are comparative small change.  I know a guy who has a V8 Vantage and even the basic services run to four figures.  Before anything else needs doing.

That said, I think we can all be in agreement that main dealers do not look after your financial well-being.
TreVoR

Martin wrote:
There's a slight lip on the Boxsters front discs which sometime results in a very slight judder (light braking from high speed). The dealer offered to skim them, but said it wouldn't effect the performance or the pad wear so I didn't need to unless it really bothered me.

I was surprised as I expected them to suggest new discs, but maybe they just did that to take the focus away from a £430 bill for new brake fluid and spark plugs!


It is rarer than people think for discs to warp.  They have to suffer huge extremes of temperature and abuse.

What usually happens is that a pad will leave deposits on a disc and this creates a high spot which causes the judder.  Usually, a couple of hard braking manoeuvres cleans the disc off and sorts it out.
Bob Sacamano

Discs tend to only warp if you brake hard, generate a load of heat and then hold your foot on the brakes so that the area under the pads remains hotter than the area exposed to the air. The uneven cooling can then cause warping.
PhilD

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Discs tend to only warp if you brake hard, generate a load of heat and then hold your foot on the brakes so that the area under the pads remains hotter than the area exposed to the air.


You mean "drive like a woman"?
Martin

If they were warped I assume I would feel it all the time?  Maybe it was deposits on the disc and I've sorted it out?
TreVoR

Martin wrote:
If they were warped I assume I would feel it all the time?  Maybe it was deposits on the disc and I've sorted it out?


You can't unwarp a brake disc so yes! As I said, it it very rare for a disc to properly warp.
JohnC

Brakes on autos are more likely to warp because when stopped most drivers keep their foot on the brake. If the car has had a big brake and the driver stops and keeps his foot on the pedal, the pressure can result in a very slight warping.

As Trevor says, it is unusual to get a warped disc but as they get thinner (needs to be a lot thinner) with age the risk increases.
Alf McQueef

I used to have a link to a website by some US racing company where the "disc warping myth" was discussed in great detail, basically it said it barely ever happened, and juddering was the result of uneven pad material distribution on the disc. That said, the first set of discs on the 330i suffered juddering to some extent all the time I had them (from 16k when I bought it to over 70k miles when I gave in and changed them). Doing a proper bed-in procedure (lots of stops from big speeds, pretty brutal, then constant speed for some time to cool them) helped, but never cured it. And I never sit still on the brakes. Presumably the first owner did. It never happened with the second set.

12th, that's still £3000 on brake pads and discs to get the mileage where I needed to do just the front pads/discs on the 330i (and that was done early thanks to the juddering mentioned above!). Then, I ended up paying about £700 to do the discs and pads all round, but that was more than twice a non-main dealer cost. There is no way I'm going to get away as lightly with the XFR - it just has too much shove and too much weight and the brakes look freaking massive, but I think I'll have it serviced by Jaguar and use a specialist for basics like brakes this time.

Weirdly, the hydraulic disc brakes on both of my mountain bikes decided to partially stick on today, it was only 26 degrees in the garage, but that was enough to heat the fluid up enough to partly lock and I had to let some fluid out!!
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
TreVoR wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I really think we're bent over and slipped a fat one by dealers when they price these relatively routine jobs like new pads and discs. There's no way the Yanks would stand for that level of price gauging.

In fact I'd wager that, even in Germany, the cost would be half that.


The more irritating thing is that a lot of the "genuine OEM parts" will be made by one of the aftermarket companies.  Pagid make the front pads for RS4s which an Audi dealer would charge £300 for but you can get the same pads aftermarket for £100 or so - the only difference they come in a Pagid box without four rings on them.

Being ripped off really pisses me off!

The Volvo dealer I took my V40 used to try it on exactly the same and it is really annoying - especially when they treat you like a fool.


It is - I remember having and argument with my Lexus dealer about their labour rate being £90 an hour, and his justification being that it was comparable with other luxury marques such as Porsche who also charged £90 an hour. I pointed out that, with respect, an IS250 wasn't a Porsche. There's no real reason why an RS4 should cost so much more to service than a boggo rep version.

Then again I have also recently complained to Premier Inn that, to no doubt pay for Lenny Henry's exorbitant fees for appearing in their adverts, they have removed the free biscuits from the tea and coffee making facilities in their rooms. To be fair they couldn't argue with that. I await a free pack of custard creams with anticipation.


They haven't had free biccies in years! You've obviously spent too long living it up in more luxurious establishments.
Twelfth Monkey

Alf McQueef wrote:
12th, that's still £3000 on brake pads and discs to get the mileage where I needed to do just the front pads/discs on the 330i (and that was done early thanks to the juddering mentioned above!). Then, I ended up paying about £700 to do the discs and pads all round, but that was more than twice a non-main dealer cost. There is no way I'm going to get away as lightly with the XFR - it just has too much shove and too much weight and the brakes look freaking massive, but I think I'll have it serviced by Jaguar and use a specialist for basics like brakes this time.


I reckon the first set would still have been OK after 30k or more (I'll be keeping my eye on this set, as they are nearly up to 30k now without comment from dealer), so that is an aspect of running it has been a bit galling.  Doubly so as I am not hard on brakes.  In fact, I can't recall ever having to change the discs on any other car I've ever owned.  And pads have been rare.  

Still, overall it's not been costly given the performance - the cost for brakes is higher than for all other servicing costs combined.  I reckon it's cost me a little over £2k in total for servicing, oil, wiper blades, clutch fluid, MOTs etc.  £5k over 8.5 years is under £600 p.a.  Factoring in other consumables (we're pretty much exclusively taking tyres here) and I think it's probably cost a little over £1k p.a.  I think that's more than reasonable.

I hope yours isn't too steep either!

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