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My first week with my 2019 S5 SB

Old 01-08-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default My first week with my 2019 S5 SB

About me: I'm coming from a 2006 Honda Ridgeline which was my main vehicle for the last 12 years. I owned this truck to serve my karting transportation needs and I really liked it for what it was. I had to stop racing karts because of a bad neck so enters the S5 SB as my pleasure vehicle. My wife's last vehicles were 2001 Acura MDX recently replaced with 2018 Acura RDX and I've driven both plenty. So that's where I'm coming from. I've only had the car for one week and it is spending week 2 at a shop getting its ceramic coat. Here are my impressions so far.

Engine: It only has 300 miles on it so I'm still taking it easy and I have not much to report here other than I keep driving with a smile on my face. I've been keeping the radio off and listening to the exhaust sounds. Even in slow city traffic, I switch to Manual mode and upshift at 3000 and downshift at 2000 just to enjoy the soundtrack.

Transmission: There is a marked difference between D and S modes and I've used both equally so far and they are both satisfying to me considering the purpose each one serves. I nicknamed D mode as "wife mode" with its tame behavior and it's a good thing that the vehicle defaults to D for her. She will rarely drive the car but having it in D without her having to remember anything is a good thing. S mode is what I'll switch to most of the time and I can handle switching from D to S.

Brakes: From racing karts, I'm used to slightly hard brake pedals so I like firm and consistent brake pedal feel. I find our 2018 Acura RDX pedal way too soft and way to grabby early and I'm never smooth when I drive that car. My passengers often look at me and wonder what I'm doing. Sorry, soft pedal is what I tell them. The S5 SB on the other hand has suited me perfectly, I can hit the pedal with decent force and control the brakes smoothly.

DAP: Driver assistance is a mixed bag of good and bad.

ACC: The ACC is smarter than the RDX when time comes to slow down. It is good at attempting to coast without needlessly hitting the brakes for smooth deceleration. It is also good at ignoring and not panic braking for cars shifting lanes in front of me when these cars are travelling faster than me. One thing the RDX does better than the S5 is by allowing me to completely override the set speed by simply controlling the gas pedal, most importantly allowing me to slow down below the set speed when needed by simply applying a lighter pressure on the gas pedal. I can go as slow as I want to and when I completely let go of the gas pedal, it accelerates back to the set speed. I find this behavior most useful when traveling on unfamiliar freeway connectors where a slightly reduced speed is more comfortable. I thought the S5 Predictive Speed Control feature would be a good substitute for this handy feature but it's not.

Predictive Speed Control: I started with this feature turned on and found the car decelerated way too much over freeway connectors and needlessly decelerated twice while I traveled in the carpool lane approaching an area where leaving the carpool lane was allowed. There was just no need to slow down there as I continued to travel in the carpool lane with no obstacles in front. I have since permanently turned this feature off.

Camera-Based Sign Recognition Cruise Control Speed Assist: I started with this feature turned off as I read it could misread Truck and Trailers signs with lower speed limits and slow down the car unexpectedly. I did observe some erroneous speeds displayed in the HUD (55 instead of 70) a few times confirming what others have seen so I'm keeping this feature turned off.

Active Lane Assist: It is good a keeping the car in the lane but gave me some warnings about not steering when I actually was and it feels like having two persons trying to control the same steering wheel so it will remain mostly off. I would compare it as having a cruise control system requiring you to keep your foot on the gas pedal, I just don't see the point of it for prolonged usage. I may use it as it is a simple button click away when I think I may get distracted in the near future.

Traffic Jam Assist: I haven't been stuck in traffic yet. Strangely looking forward to it.

Little pleasant details:
- All the graphics and animation in the MMI when navigating through setting menus are pretty cool. Not necessary at all but well done.
- Contacts imported over Bluetooth also import the contact's address if already programmed which makes it very easy to navigate to a friend's house by quickly drawing the person's name first 2 or 3 letters on the scratchpad and the name and address quickly pop up.

Annoyance: The vehicle jack is in a bag in the cargo area strapped to the tie-downs. I'm not liking that. I've removed it and drive without it for now, there's always roadside assistance if needed.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:31 PM
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Great write up / experience compendium! I can relate to most of what you posted — especially the smile “pasted” on your face. 7 months and 3,000 miles later, I have that same grin on my face when I pull out of the garage.

Congratulations & Happy Motoring!

— John
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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I'm feeling as good as you. Only downside is that i keep hearing a knocking noise from the cargo cover area. Does anyone know how to stop it without remove the cargo cover?
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by IvanLZ View Post
I'm feeling as good as you. Only downside is that i keep hearing a knocking noise from the cargo cover area. Does anyone know how to stop it without remove the cargo cover?
Make sure it's snapped in all the way, it's a bit hard to push all the way in.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MH62 View Post

Traffic Jam Assist: I haven't been stuck in traffic yet. Strangely looking forward to it.
Don't get your hopes up. I have fiddled with all the related settings and have yet to find a combination that didn't make me want to turn off TJA after about five minutes. I'm convinced that ACC in general is an Audi scheme to sell more brake pads.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:32 AM
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OP,

Thank you for the comprehensive review. The more I drive this car the more comfortable I become with all of the assist features. Going in with the understanding that the car is not fully autonomous requiring an appropriate level of oversight, and a thorough understanding of the system capabilities/limitations, I am not disappointed. if I could change 1 thing it would be the dwell time while stopped using TJA before it cuts off as 3 seconds is just not enough and having to touch the gas or pull the ACC lever back is just too hard..��
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by IvanLZ View Post
I'm feeling as good as you. Only downside is that i keep hearing a knocking noise from the cargo cover area. Does anyone know how to stop it without remove the cargo cover?

Had same issue. I made sure that I had that sucker in there tight as possible and tightened everything I could. turns out there was a broken part from factory. Dealer fixed it right away and haven't had issues since.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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Even in slow city traffic, I switch to Manual mode and upshift at 3000 and downshift at 2000 just to enjoy the soundtrack.
I will tell you a little secret. Never drove a B9 with 3.0T before taking possession of it.

I am positively impressed by the loud soundtrack of it. Didn't expect this LOUD. It reminds me my BMW I6 with Performance Exhaust. Just wow and this justifies every penny! ... Loving every minute (totally hated the 2.0T soundtrack I had before).
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:47 PM
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When I test drove a 2018 there was an issue in Drive mode where if you're driving slow, or at an intersection, and you step hard on the gas to exploit a gap in traffic, the kickdown takes like 2 seconds before the car goes. There was a thread here complaining about it. People would put it in Sport mode just to get around that. Does this still happen in D or not? Can the car get through the intersection pretty instantly on a left turn in D mode?
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by belzebutt View Post
When I test drove a 2018 there was an issue in Drive mode where if you're driving slow, or at an intersection, and you step hard on the gas to exploit a gap in traffic, the kickdown takes like 2 seconds before the car goes. There was a thread here complaining about it. People would put it in Sport mode just to get around that. Does this still happen in D or not? Can the car get through the intersection pretty instantly on a left turn in D mode?
It hasn't happened but it's too early for me to tell. I only have 350 miles on it.
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