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Blue is the colour: Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI ultra S line S tronic 190PS long term review 1

Blue is rising in popularity as a colour for cars. Handy, then, that our Audi A5 Sportback long term review car is in blue. Midnight blue. More here
Audi A5 Sportback side in Leeds 800px
Audi A5 Sportback in blue: curving roofline, sharp creases


11 November 2017

I’M trying out Audi’s sharp-suited A5: all crisp lines, sharp creases, encased in a flowing coupe bodyshape. It’s the 190PS 2.0-litre diesel – clean Euro 6 diesel I hasten to add – in S line spec and it’s blue.

Moonlight blue, metallic.

There are four further types of blue available in the Audi A5 Sportback range. For the record, the Audi A5 Sportback also comes in Scuba blue, metallic; Palace blue, pearl effect; Nogaro blue, pearl effect; and on the S5 model there’s Navarra blue, metallic.

But this Moonlight blue is lovely: somewhere in between a black and a deep blue it engages you to look more closely at those brilliantly chiseled surfaces and how it’s incorporated in the curved silhouette of the Sportback shape.

Equally, it turns out, blue is becoming the colour.

So fortunately I’m bang on trend.

PPG has spent more than 80 years providing automotive coatings and paints around the world. They are car paint specialists, so they should know.

Increase in colour preference for blue

In 2016, PPG reports that blue increased by 3% as a colour preference for luxury, executive size and compact cars.

But blue has different applications depending on where you are: In North America, blue is popular for luxury cars; in China blue is seen most commonly on city cars; meanwhile in Europe, consumers prefer blue on sports cars more frequently than any other car type. So the Audi A5 Sportback isn’t quite a sports car, but it is a coupe. So that’s alright by me.

PPG’s top colour choices in Europe

  • White – 32%
  • Grey – 18%
  • Black – 17%
  • Silver – 9%
  • Blue – 9%


Jane Harrington, PPG’s manager of automotive colour styling comments:

“While we know that automotive colour trends are inspired by multiple industries, they are unique compared to fashion or home décor since the trends evolve and change slowly over time instead of significantly year-to-year. While white, black, grey and silver continue to be popular colour choices, we’re seeing a steady increase in the desire for cars in varying blue and brown shades.”

So now you know the colour, the interior is decked out in black upholstery with highly comfortable front sports seats that come with the S line package.

The engine is Audi’s 2.0-litre diesel in 190PS power mated to a seven speed auto that shifts smoothly through the gears.

You can have the auto box in standard or if you shift the gear selector back, it whips into more attentive sports mode.

As I’ve been travelling some miles recently, I’ve had the A5 Sportback’s Drive Select system in Efficiency mode.

Using Audi Drive Select

To recap, Audi Drive Select allows you to choose the character of the car that most suits your mood by integrating many of the technical components that determine the quality of the driving experience, such as engine, and transmission responsiveness, steering weight and so on.

You can select ‘dynamic’, ‘comfort’, or leave it in ‘auto’; tailor a combination of settings with ‘individual’; choose the Efficiency programme. The latter ramps up the car’s ability to save fuel by minimising consumption parameters such as change points on the auto box.

If you are doing lots of miles on the motorway, this is perfect. Select cruise control and away you go for a highly relaxing drive.

But when you come off the motorway onto a nice A-road for example, you can slip the gear selector back into Sport mode and make full use of the Sportback’s performance: official figures are 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. But with 400Nm torque available, the mid-range performance is brilliant as the turbo helps swish the Audi exhilaratingly along.

Which is a long-winded way of saying you can have your cake and eat it – lots of economy, performance at the flick of a lever. I’m really enjoying that.

The best fuel consumption I’ve experienced so far is 63mpg on a single journey. Not bad when you consider the overall official fuel figure is 68.9mpg.

It’s all part of the A5 Sportback’s engaging character – you can drive it many ways.

But one thing it won’t do, is leave you feeling…well, blue.

Audi A5 Sportback rear in Leeds
Audi A5 Sportback: rear hatch gives additional practicality

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI ultra S line S tronic 190PS

  • Power – 190PS
  • Torque – 400Nm
  • Transmission – seven speed dual clutch auto
  • Top speed – 146mph
  • 0-62mph – 7.9 seconds
  • CO2 emissions – 112g/lm
  • Company car tax band 2017/18 – 24%
  • Fuel consumption (official) – 65.7mpg
  • Fuel consumption (actual) – 53.1mpg







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Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton

Ralph Morton is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Business Car Manager (now renamed Business Motoring). Ralph writes extensively about the car and van leasing industry as well as wider fleet and company car issues. A former editor of What Car?, Ralph is a vastly experienced writer and editor and has been writing about the automotive sector for over 35 years.

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