The revamped A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI S Line continues to impress, having now been on our fleet for the past two months.
But how does it fair against the competition? In this year’s Fleet News Awards it’s been shortlisted in the best premium car section alongside its smaller sibling the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-class, and the Volvo S60.
Stiff competition indeed in what is a fiercely competitive class, where the user-chooser is king and ever-more demanding in terms of performance from potential suitors.
Comparing it to its German rivals – specifically the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics Sport and the revised Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI – I looked at the company car tax implications for an employee.
The A5 boasts CO2 emissions of 120g/km, which puts it into the 13% Benefit-in-Kind bracket for 2011/12, which increases to 18% from April (2012/13) and 19% in 2013/14.
Meanwhile, the BMW 320d with Efficient Dynamics has CO2 emissions of 109g/km and fuel consumption of 68.9mpg compared to the A5’s 60mpg. That 109g/km means it sits in the same 13% BiK bracket in 2011/12, increasing to 16% in 2012/13 and 17% in 2013/14.
The 170bhp C220 CDI SE with manual transmission has CO2 emissions of 117g/km, with a claimed combined performance of 64.2mpg. That puts it into the 13% Benefit-in-Kind bracket for 2011/12, which increases to 18% from April (2012/13) and 19% in 2013/14 – the same as our A5.
The differences are minimal when P11d prices are taken into account for different trims, proving that choosing a premium-badge saloon is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions facing a user-chooser.
The Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and now the new BMW 3 Series result in a vast list of important boxes ticked for drivers and fleet operators.
It perhaps comes down to which badge appeals most for many, but in my next review I’ll be looking at residual value performance and wholelife costs to see who comes out on top.
By Gareth Roberts