By Peter Perrotta
There was a time, a few years back when Audi was not high on my list of favorite German import cars. I tended to favor BMW and Mercedes Benz a bit more.
But, like everything else in life, things change.
In the past several years, Audi has changed quite a bit. And as far as this automotive reviewer is concerned, the change is all good.
What I once felt was a more staid external look with a confusing and hard to navigate dashboard and instrument cluster setup has evolved into a new beast on the automotive landscape.
This week’s On The Road will take a look at two popular Audi models: the 2022 Audi RS 3 sedan and the 2022 Audi S5 Sportback.
2022 Audi RS 3 Sedan
This Audi sports sedan isn’t your dad’s or uncle’s Audi folks. This car is a very sexy looker.
Overall, I’d have to give this luxury sports sedan an 8.5 out of 10.
Not only does this Audi look good inside and out, but it performs even better. Powered by a five-cylinder, 401 horsepower turbocharged engine, this Audi won’t be left behind at too many starting lines.
It has great power, a fantastic roar to its engine, especially in the sport mode, and grips the road using Audi’s legendary all-wheel drive system quite well.
This car handles “superbly and crisply” and you feel completely safe driving aggressively if you so chose.
The base price of the RS 3 sedan is $58,900 and at that price comes a lot of standard features.
The test car I drove for one week had a bottom-line sticker price of $65,440. Added options on my tester included: $2,750 for a technology package which included an upgraded Bang and Olufsen 3D stereo; $1,000 for a sport exhaust system with black tips; $750 for a black out sport package and more.
I must say I don’t know what 3D stereo is or how it works, but I got to tell you folks, the sound system in this Audi ranks up there with some of the best I ever heard. It is superb.
This car has plenty of head, leg and shoulder room and the driving sight lines are good.
If I had to point out one weakness in this second-generation RS 3, it would be the voice recognition system when you try to give it voice commands to do things like make a phone call, change the radio station or find a point to navigate to.
I’m a very big fan of using the voice command system in every car I review because I’m on the road a lot and I feel it’s much safer to use voice commands while driving then fiddle around with the controls while driving.
There were too many times when I attempted to give the system a voice command and it totally misconstrued my command to mean something else. I think a software upgrade is in order to put a simple fix on this issue.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gas mileage rating on this model comes in at 23 miles per gallon (mpg) overall – 29 mpg in highway driving and 20 mpg in city driving.
On average it will cost you about $1,900 per year in fuel costs as it is rated to use 4.3 gallons of gas for every 100 miles of driving.
So if you are seriously in the market for a luxury import sports sedan, you would be remiss not to check out this model Audi.
2022 Audi S5 Sportback
I enjoyed this sporty crossover as well. It features a full of pep turbo charged V-6 engine with a nicely appointed interior and great handling capabilities.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to rate the S5 hatchback a solid 8.
The turbo charged V-6 puts out an impressive 349 horsepower. It also features a smooth shifting eight speed automatic transmission and Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system that sticks to the road in any kind of weather.
It is available in three trim levels: Premium (starting at $56,395); Premium Plus ($59,995) and Prestige ($64,795).
I recently road tested the Prestige model for one week, which carried a base price of $54,900 after adding in the destination and delivery charge.
With added options my tester carried a bottom-line sticker price of $65,745.
Additional options included the impressive Prestige package ($8,400) that included: the Bang and Olufsen 3D sound system, heated steering wheel, heated front and
rear seats, parking system plus and an upgraded navigation system and much more.
The EPA gas mileage rating for this Audi comes in at 24 mpg overall – 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg around town.
It is estimated that on average you will spend $1,850 a year in fuel costs as it uses about 4.2 gallons of gas per every 100 miles.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On The Road is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J. one of the leading new car leasing brokers in the tri-state area.