New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Audi A5 Cabriolet

2010-11-11 09:00

Craig Watkins

NOT EXACTLY A Q5: Ryan was swayed by this charmer.

Confusion reigned at the thought of buying a new vehicle.

As a regular to the Kruger National Park, as well as undertaking the occasional trip to Sodwana, the natural choice would have been a 4x4 with decent height clearance.

After weeks of deliberating and research I decided on the Audi Q5 2.0T, but much to my dismay, learnt that there was a six-month waiting list. I took the advice of a mate who is currently a DP of a popular Korean brand and began putting my name down at various Audi branches to possibly reduce the delivery time.

But then, a black A5 Cabriolet 2.0T sidetracked me at one of these dealerships, causing heart palpitations and extreme excitement (sort of like spotting the woman of your dreams). I was quickly warned that the car was already sold, pending finance, which instantly caused the opposite feeling; sort of like a bipolar attack.

I left the dealership a broken man only to be called less than 30 minutes later and told that the deal had fallen through. Three days later she was mine and I nervously I drove my new "babe" home.

This being my first cabriolet I noticed immediately that the chassis is not as stiff as many of the cars I have driven - which I suppose is normal for any convertible.


The drive is incredibly smooth though, considering the 19-inch rubber hugging the S5 mags and the Audi Sport Suspension brings the A5's belly 10mm closer to the ground.These two options are not cheap (R20 000) but changes the whole look of the car. In fact, the standard 17-inch mags make the car look very ordinary in comparison.

The interior is very comfortable with every possible gadget you could wish for, granted some being additional extras. My options included sport seats, iPod dock, Bang and Olufsen sound system and Multitronic gearbox.
Having driven a Golf 5 DSG previously I would have preferred the S-tronic gearbox (not currently an option) since I find the Multitronic a bit sluggish off the line. You can expect a delay upon putting your foot flat on the gas, and then a squeal from the R22 000 set of Pirelli P Zero tyres. Or was that my bank manager?

Once the car gets going though you can look forward to an extremely satisfying drive and plenty of grunt from the 155kW turbocharged motor. I have however, not been able to get close to Audi's claimed consumption. In an urban cycle, I can only manage about 12litres per 100km, albeit I do have a heavy foot.

Admiring glances

The designer of this car certainly knew what he was doing; this is evident from the daily compliments from fellow drivers and pedestrians. Basically this car should come with public liability insurance due to the double take and whiplash effect this car causes.

The back seat and boot are surprisingly spacious for a cabriolet, but then again it’s not exactly a small car. All in all, this is by far the best car I have owned and at R550 000 after all the options had been added, it represents the best value in its class. It even makes the BMW 330i cabriolet look tame.

At the risk of sounding shallow the attention this car creates makes you feel like you are driving a car that’s way more expensive and you get the feeling that you have arrived!

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