I currently have an S3, and with a few select mods feel I have achieved a fairly quick car which ticks most of the boxes in my car ownership wishlist. It's a little impractical at times, but has most of the tech and quality I would want from a hatchback. The wife has been banging on about when it gets replaced in March 2010 that she would like me to consider either an A5 3.0TDi Quattro (Manual), or a second hand S5. I'll be the first to admit I adore the S5. It's beautiful, has a fantastic options list, and looks so much more car for the money than the overpriced S3. However.... I have a friend who replaced his M3 CS with an M6 in 2008. Whilst he was taken in by the plush luxury comfort and the headline performance figures, inside 8 months he had traded it back in citing that it was uninvolving, slightly barge like, and a very expensive mistake. He lost tens of thousands in those couple of transactions. He's now very happy back in an M3 CSL. Before testing the S3, I test drove the old S4 4.2V8 (admittedly an auto), and was wholesomely underwhelmed by the driving experience. It felt disconnected, lazy, and there appeared to be limited 'go' to match the soundtrack. Likewise I have tested the 3.0TDi engine in both an A6 and Q7 and felt that this engine lacks any real magic in standard spec. Admittedly I haven't driven it in an A5, but my fear is I could be walking blindly into the same mistake my mate did last year. It looks as if it could be a little soft round the edges, lack some focus as a drivers tool, and end up being more of an exec barge than a real drivers car. Maybe I'm totally wrong. I love the look and the thought of an A/S5, (can't afford an RS5 for info purposes), so does this sound like the wrong choice of car for me given the kind of noises I'm making, or would I be pleasantly surprised? Any thoughts or feedback from A5/S5 owners would be greatly appreciated as it may save me some time and effort in being able to wipe it from my list of potential ownership propositions. One final question; The S5, why no flat bottomed steering wheel like the S3?