I admit I came over all magpie-like when I was speccing our long-term Audi A5, and the lure of a set of sparkling 19-inch alloy wheels proved too tempting to resist.
Upgrading from the standard-fit 18s cost £650, and I realise now that I made a mistake. While the 19s undoubtedly fill out the wheelarches and add to the muscular look of our A5, they don’t do wonders for the ride quality – already fairly stiff in Sport specification.
And, of course, they will cost more in terms of tyre replacement costs – around £126 extra over 60,000 miles – according to the Fleet News running cost database.
So if you’re offering an A5 on the choice list, my advice would be to steer drivers away from the optional extras.
However, this may not prove too difficult when you look at the deal Audi is currently offering on the A5.
You can now upgrade a 2.0 TDI to Sport specification for free, adding nearly £1,500-worth of extras which includes leather seats, sports suspension, cruise control, Bluetooth telephony and 18-inch alloys. That’s a good deal, especially as the 18-inch wheels are a cheaper – and better – bet.
It’s not only Audi which is promoting special incentives at the moment, with BMW also offering sporty upgrades on its 3 Series Coupé range.
Obviously, the state of the new car market is part of the reason behind these incentives, but the forthcoming arrival of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé in June will also give Audi and BMW something to think about, especially as the E-Class Coupé’s prices have been reduced.
The choice in this sector has never been wider and user-choosers will have a tough decision to make.