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Road Test: Audi A5 Sportback - can it build on the success of the coupe?

Road Test: Audi A5 Sportback - can it build on the success of the coupe?

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The Audi A5 Sportback is there for those who don’t want to lose stylish looks in the quest for improved practicality; but is it a compromise too far? Motoring journalist, Jack Evans, got behind the wheel to find out.

Should I buy an Audi A5 sportback?

If you love the sporty, sleek lines of a coupe, but need the practicality that a 2 door coupe just can't provide, then the Audi A5 sportback could most definitely be for you:

  • Still great looking, but much more practical than the coupe
  • Useful hatchback entry to boot
  • Luxurious and well-designed interior
  • All of the lloks with none of the downsides
  • Fuel efficent for day to day driving

Explore the Audi A5 sportback


What is the Audi A5 Sportback?

The new Audi A5 Sportback is for people who want all of the coupe looks without any of the coupe practicality drawbacks.

With better access to the rear of the cabin, thanks to an extra set of doors, as well as a more practical boot style, it’s ideal for people who want just a little more room. However, thanks to good build quality and a fine range of engines, it’s still very much a proper Audi product.

Grey Audi A5 sportback driving at speed round a bend towards you


What’s new in the Audi A5 Sportback?

Of course, the biggest change with the Sportback over the regular A5 is the extra set of doors.

This gives better access to the rear of the car, but there’s not as much headroom because of a more sloping roofline than the previous-generation model. Under the bonnet sits a range of Audi’s latest engines, although our test car came with a 187bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel – likely to be one of the best sellers.


What’s under the bonnet of the Audi A5 Sportback?

As mentioned, our car used a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel. Being a quattro model, power goes to all four wheels – ideal for UK drivers, particularly as the roads become greasier. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic sends drive to the wheels, and this can be left in full auto mode or controlled via paddles on the steering wheel.

It’s an efficient set-up, with Audi claiming that the diesel will return 62.8mpg and emit just 124g/km CO2 – ideal for business users or high-mileage buyers.


What’s the Audi A5 Sportback like to drive?

It’s a drama-free experience driving the A5 Sportback. There’s plenty of torque making merging on to motorways hassle-free, although we felt that the engine doesn’t have a lot of character.

Audi A5 sportback driving from the rear


How does the Audi A5 Sportback look?

In our eyes at least, the Audi A5 Sportback is a very good-looking car. Ours was an S Line specification, and that meant it featured a lower ride height and larger alloy wheels, both contributing to its road presence.

The ‘Scuba Blue’ paint colour that it was finished in may have been a £550 option, but it didn’t do the car any favours – a lighter shade or a more dramatic grey colour would give the car more impact.

Rear seats of Audi A5 sportback


What’s the Audi A5 Sportback like inside?

As with the vast majority of current Audi vehicles, the A5 Sportback’s interior is a lovely place to be.

There are lots of high-quality materials used throughout, and everything feels very well screwed together. Our test car benefitted from the manufacturer’s excellent Virtual Cockpit infotainment system, which replaces the traditional analogue dials with TFT screens and is capable of displaying information such as satellite navigation readouts and media functions. At £250, it’s an option well worth specifying.

Front interior of the Audi A5 sportback


What’s the Audi A5 Sportback spec like?

There’s quite a lot on offer as standard with the A5 Sportback. Our S Line test car featured 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and a full sports styling pack, as well as lowered sports suspension for a more dynamic drive. You also get electrically adjustable heated sports seats as standard, alongside Audi’s full navigation system. That said, our car was fitted with the optional Virtual Cockpit system which, at £250, is an option we’d thoroughly recommend specifying, as it transforms the overall experience inside the car.

Our test car weighed in at £42,310 which, given the level of equipment on offer, actually seems like a good deal – and you could drive this down by limiting the number of options you choose.


Verdict

The Audi A5 Sportback is a great option for those who want the looks of the regular A5 with an added level of practicality. It’s good looking, relatively involving to drive and offers low running costs, too. Go for the right specification plus a choice number of options and there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be pleased with the keys to an Audi A5 Sportback.

Explore the Audi A5 range


 

 

Audi A5 Sportback: The Knowledge

Model: Audi A5 Sportback

Price as tested: £42,310

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel

Power (bhp): 187

Torque (Nm): 400

Max speed (mph): 146

0-60mph: 7.2 seconds

MPG (combined): 62.8

Emissions (g/km): 121